Why a Points System is the Answer for Better Chapter Management

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Does your chapter have a hard time motivating members to attend required events? Between classes, work, and other extracurriculars, you might find your members putting some of their sorority or fraternity obligations at the bottom of their to-do lists. While some chapters have success using fines, implementing a points system can be a highly successful, positive means of encouraging your members to prioritize attendance at chapter events.

A points system works by setting designated points amounts for each chapter event or milestone that you would like to motivate your members to attend or achieve.

These can include:

  • Attending chapter meetings
  • Paying dues on time
  • Attending initiation
  • Attending philanthropy events
  • Buying a recruitment t-shirt
  • Wearing your letters on letter day
  • Being a member of a Greek honor society
  • Attending study hall/work hours
  • Maintaining a certain GPA
  • Holding an office
  • Serving on a committee

A point value should be determined for each of these items based on the relative importance of completing the activity or milestone. For example, each chapter meeting could be worth 1 point, while initiation could be worth 10 points.

The key to a successful points system is making sure that the incentives are meaningful to your members. Many chapters will create a ranking of their members based on the total number of points they’ve earned, and use this to determine priority for things such as rooms in the house, parking spaces, or first pick when getting a little brother or little sister.

Another common technique is the use thresholds. Many chapters will set a minimum number of points that have to be achieved per month, otherwise a member will be placed on social probation, where they’re unable to attend formals or swaps. A good rule of thumb is to require that members earn at least 80% of the available points in a given month to avoid social probation.

A good points system has not only punishments, but also rewards! Consider giving $30 off of semester dues, or gift cards to local spots for members who earn 100% of the points for the semester. Recognize the individuals with the most points as ‘Freshman of the Year’, ‘Sophomore of the Year’, etc.

If you’re looking for an easy way to track these points online, look no further than the ChapterSpot PointsTracker app. It’s available as an app integrated into your ChapterSpot account, so all of your members will populate into it automatically.You can give certain individuals the ability to log points for the chapter, such as your Recording Secretary. Anyone can log in to view their personal point-count.

A points system may be just the answer you’re looking for to put a positive spin on attendance requirements.

You can find more information about the PointsTracker app in the ChapterSpot Apps Marketplace.

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Why is your Advisor your Chapter’s Biggest Wasted Resource?

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Your advisor can and should be a strategic asset for your chapter. Are you getting the most out of this relationship? Here are three tips to help you create a productive and positive relationship with your chapter advisor.

Keep them in the Loop

The first step you should take is to equip your chapter advisor with the right tools. Make sure they have access to your chapter’s schedule and communications. You can do this easily within ChapterSpot by sharing your chapter calendars and documents with your alumni advisor. You can also grant them admin or finance admin access under the permissions tab, which will enable them to see your chapter’s dues collection progress. Take every opportunity to keep them connected. This will give them strong a foundation from which they can help grow and strengthen your chapter.

Be Proactive about Asking for Help

Your advisor will be in the best position to help your chapter if he or she understands what you’re aiming to achieve. Set up a regular time to communicate, and be upfront about your chapter’s goals. Do you want to expand your membership? Improve your on-campus reputation? Generate more alumni donations? Help them help you by presenting your advisor with an honest assessment of the current state of your chapter, and your future goals.

Put their Talents to Use

Find out what kind of jobs or experiences your advisor has had in the past. Have they done marketing? accounting? teaching? Help them put their skills to work for your chapter, and use their background to gain unique insights on different aspects of your fraternity or sorority operations. Your chapter advisor is also likely to have a strong connection to your alumni, or at the very least, a valuable perspective on how to best communicate with alumni and seek their involvement. Use your advisor as a sounding board and an advocate when you create newsletters or events aimed at attracting alumni involvement or financial support. You’ll be surprised how valuable their input can be!

Your chapter advisor isn’t just there to make sure you follow fraternity or sorority rules, or to police your behavior. He or she is a person who has committed to making your chapter a success. Sure, they can help you buy supplies for recruitment, or set up for initiation, but you should also think outside the box to see how their unique perspective and abilities can help your chapter achieve its strategic goals.

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Where in the World are ChapterSpot Users?

When you’re using ChapterSpot, you’re in good company. We recently went through our 2014 usage data, and decided to share some of our favorite tidbits in a series of infographics. Our top cities for usage in the US included a lot of our favorite college towns. We also found out that ChapterSpot was used in 108 countries during 2014!  Find out where your city ranks for ChapterSpot usage in our map below!

Where in the World are ChapterSpot Users

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Top 3 Mistakes You’re Probably Making on your Chapter Website

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When it comes to fraternity and sorority websites, we’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Is your chapter missing out on a huge opportunity to use your website for all it’s worth? Yes, a chapter website is a place to tell people who you are. But more importantly, high quality chapter websites invite visitors to engage. Is your chapter making any of our top 3 website mistakes?

Not Engaging Alumni

Alumni should be any chapter’s best and strongest resource. When they want to reconnect to the chapter, or check for chapter updates, you bet they’ll be coming to your website. Are you prepared?

Every good chapter website has a dedicated page just for alumni. If they come to this page, it’s safe to assume that they’re looking to get involved somehow. Provide them with a range of options so they can find something to fit their desired level of time and commitment.

Here’s some suggestions:

  • Link to a form where they can update their contact information
  • Link to a form where they can sign up for your chapter’s newsletter
  • Invite them to contribute photos, stories, and life updates to share with the chapter and other alumni
  • If you need volunteers for an chapter event, or have an upcoming alumni event, include this information on your alumni page.

Remember, they’ve come to this page so they can connect with the chapter — do what you can to make it easy!

Not Facilitating Donations

If parents or alumni want to donate money to your chapter, is your website ready? To capitalize on these opportunities, you need a donation widget on your page. The key to maximizing your donations is to tell your potential donors how you plan to use the money. They probably don’t want to fund your social budget, but they probably do want to help you buy a new appliance for the house or new materials for your initiation ceremony.

Be specific about what you hope to purchase and what you expect it to cost. This builds confidence and encourages individuals to donate more to help you reach your goals! Then, accept their credit card or e-check donations via a payment widget on your site.

Not Promoting Recruitment

Besides alumni, the other main consumers of your website are potential new members. They’ll come by to check you out, look through your photos of members and past events, see how your chapter describes itself, and try to decide if they see themselves as a fit. It’s important to have content on your website that projects who you are as a chapter, but what if they do decide they’re interested in membership?

In recruitment, quantity drives quality, so of course you want the largest possible group of individuals to select from. But are you telling them how to join, and making it easy for them to show their interest? Smart chapters include a recruitment interest form on their chapter’s website. It’s impressive and it gets your potential members more invested in you as a chapter, but it also makes recruiting members so much easier when you can let your new members come to you.

Do you have a question about how to enable any of these features on your ChapterSpot website? This link will take you to our WebsiteApp tutorial. If you’d like some one-on-one help, shoot us a line at support@chapterspot.com.

 

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ChapterSpot’s Alumni Newsletter Guidelines

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Ever wondered what makes for the perfect alumni newsletter? 

 
Alumni care about the chapter, but they also care about other Alumni!

A generally accepted breakdown of information is:

  • 20% chapter-related news
  • 70% alumni-related news
  • 10% campus-related news

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Suggestions for chapter-related news (20%):

  • Awards
  • Recruitment numbers
  • Sports victories
  • Members elected to important student leadership positions
  • Recent philanthropy events
  • Updates or improvements to the fraternity house (+pictures)

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Suggestions for alumni-related news (70%):

Alumni life updates

  • Weddings
  • Where are they working? What is their position?
  • New jobs or promotions
  • Where do they live?
  • Do they have kids? How many and how old?
  • Travels
  • Anniversaries
  • What’s an email address to get in touch with them?

Photos of alumni

  • Family photos
  • Brothers hanging out with other brothers
  • Photos from past alumni events
  • Old chapter photos from 5+ years ago

Articles by alumni

  • Funny memories from their time in the chapter
  • House corporation news
  • Update from the area alumni association
  • Job and internship listings

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Suggestions for campus-related news (10%):

Campus News

  • New buildings built on campus
  • New fraternity houses
  • Chapters that have closed or opened

Important Dates

  • Homecoming
  • Alumni reunions/alumni weekends
  • University sporting events

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Extras:

Chapter Wish List

  • Let alumni know about specific needs the chapter has, such as money for a scholarship fund, new ritual equipment, the renovation of the chapter room, or specific items for the fraternity house
  • Let them know who to contact to make a donation or contribution
  • Recognize past donors

Current Contact Info

  • Names, phone numbers, and email addresses of chapter president, alumni relations chair, chapter advisor, alumni association president, housing corp president
  • Share your chapter’s website

National Info

  • When and where is the national convention
  • Which alumni have donated to the national foundation

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Chapter Websites

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With chapter websites, your groups can easily create sites that adhere to your organization’s brand. Plus, you’ll have the ability to monitor and evaluate their success through Google Analytics on all their sites.

 
 
What’s the Importance of a Chapter Website?

We like to think of chapter websites like your group’s business card. They’re often the first point of contact with your organization for many of your prospective members, brothers, parents, and alumni. In an age where organizations are judged on the strength of their websites, it’s important to think– are your chapter websites sending the right message? By providing your chapters with a unified website template, you can ensure that your chapters are helping your organization put its best foot forward.

 

What are some common problems we see with Chapter Websites?

Chapters recognize the importance of a good-looking website, especially when it comes to recruiting new members. That’s why, in our experience, we find that chapters are spending a ton of time and effort creating their own sites. It’s great to see chapters committed to building their public image, but even with the most conscientious webmasters, we see the same problem over and over again. Inevitably, the member with the technical skills graduates or transitions out of his position, and no one knows how to update the website or fix features when they break. Ultimately, that’s bad for the image of the chapter and the image of the national organization.

How can these be solved?

We’ve developed our chapter websites to help your groups avoid exactly this kind of problem. Your national organization designs the template–you choose what parts will appear on every chapter website, and which parts can be customized by the individual chapter.  With simple and intuitive inputs, your chapter’s webmaster doesn’t need an ounce of computer programming know-how to keep the site up to date and looking great.

Also choose which parts of the websites feed information to your national headquarters. For example, recent industry research shows that Alumni looking to reconnect with the fraternity are most likely to go to their individual chapter’s website first. By including a form for lost alumni, your organization can contact these individuals directly, rather than placing the burden on the chapter to do so.

Plus, all our sites are mobile-friendly and include Google Analytics tracking information for both the chapter and your national organization to keep track of the website’s performance.

It’s a headquarters’ job to create and perpetuate its brand– take this burden off your chapters by providing them with a simple, easy, and intuitive website template that always looks great.

 

Check out these screenshots of sample sites!

 

Back-end website editor
Back-end website editor

 

 

Sample Beta site
Sample Beta site

 

Sample AEPhi site
Sample AEPhi site

 

Sample PKT site
Sample PKT site

And contact us at hello@chapterspot.com for more information about how to incorporate chapter websites into your organization’s package.

 

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