How A Growth System Saved A Chapter

How A Growth System Saved A Chapter

by Matt Farrell

Coming into 2020, Sigma Chi at Florida Atlantic University was by no means a struggling chapter. The group was above average in campus size, had motivated members, and alumni support.

So how could advisor Vincent Fernald say point blank that “the Phired Up growth system saved our chapter”?

The issue speaks to issues thousands of fraternity leaders encountered this fall. Incoming students demanding more value. Active members not prepared for a virtual experience. Chaos across higher education.

The chapter had to pivot, and fast.

Led by Recruitment Chairman Daniel Journey (left in photo) and his team, Sigma Chi ended up taking its largest fall class ever during a pandemic.

Picture1Phired Up’s recruitment certification and ChapterBuilder technology built the foundation. We dug in to learn what Sigma Chi did with it.

What was the biggest change you wanted to make for recruitment this fall, and how did you make it?

We had two main focuses towards recruitment:

  1. Meet as many new FAU students as possible

  2. Make friends

As we learned from the Phired Up growth philosophy, “You can’t recruit students you do not know.”

We did this by reaching out to new students through social media and then offering our support during their transition to campus by answering questions like the best dorms to live in, professors or classes they should take, best gyms, or places to eat in the city.

We never use “Rush Sigma Chi” in any of our marketing. We had a robust marketing campaign where we asked the questions:

“CLASS OF 2024: If there was an organization on the FAU campus that fostered lifelong friendships, developed values-based leaders, and made a positive impact on the world – Would you be interested in learning more?” 


“Are you looking for lifelong friendships, values-based leadership, or making a positive impact in your community?”

“You will find it here!”

How did ChapterBuilder influence your success this fall?

We upgraded to the Pro Version of Chapterbuilder last April [early in the pandemic] and we are so grateful we did. Having the ability to send out a mass text message while making it personal by adding their first name to everyone on our Potential New Member list has been time-saving. Giving everyone on our recruitment team the ability to review profiles and leave notes after their personal one to one chats with candidates allow everyone to collaborate.

What about your new recruitment vision has you most excited for the future of FAU Sigma Chi? 

Because of the pandemic, we were forced to meet students through Zoom. We now see this as a huge benefit. Using this tool as the first or second meeting with a student has allowed us to meet potential new members anytime and anywhere. We will continue to use this tool over the summer and winter breaks to recruit new members.

We have seen a 64% increase this Spring in the average number of bids given out during the past two Spring semesters, and ChapterBuilder was the primary tool that helped us get there. Oh, and by the way, we also initiated our largest fall class.

What’s next?

We can’t wait to use the new Chapterbuilder 2.0 and Custom Relationship Management software to help us continue to identify those students who will become the future leaders of our chapter.