Headquarters Consultant Newsletter

Software as a Service

At ChapterSpot we use a SaaS (software as a service) model because we know that the services component is just as important as our software.  After several years in the industry, we understand the nuances that impede work from getting done at a headquarters level.  Simply giving technology to chapter leaders and expecting them to adopt it is an antiquated view.  That’s why we like to think of ourselves as the personal trainer for chapter leaders. 

This newsletter reviews our current apps and services so you know what you have access to.  Let’s first see take a look at what is next on the horizon for your organization.

What’s next for your organization?

At ChapterSpot we are always innovating technology that supports your growing organization.  Our new Status Routes feature allows you to collect important information about members along the way.  Let’s use an example to illustrate how it works.

If a member recently joins your organization but moves from new member to alumni, that fast transition could raise some concern.  The issue is, that status change may not even come up as a problem unless your software knows how to detect it. Usually that new member needs to be initiated first and then they could move to an alumni status.  Our Status Routes feature would automatically populate an error message to stop this from happening.

Additionally let’s say an active member is now taking a semester off and is going from active to inactive on ChapterSpot. Your organization would definitely want to gather some important information about why that member is taking that semester off.  Our tool let’s you take membership information snapshots once your members move to new statuses or change routes.

Be on the look-out for more updates and features coming down the pipeline!

Here’s a rundown of our current apps and services:

WebsiteApp  

 

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Websites are the business cards for your chapters.  They are a simple branded page meant to show prospective members the basics about individual chapters.   Today’s college students go to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for information on chapter’s social events and recruitment. With that said, it is still important for the chapter’s website to reflect the national brand and for the organization to have a unified digital presence.

ChapterSpot’s state-of-the-art technology, provides uniform chapter websites that are representative of your national brand.  Striking the balance between national brand and chapter individuality can be a feat but through training with one of our consultants, your chapter presidents learn how they can use their website but also customize it as well.

Amidst the litany of things you have to do…. Monitoring every chapter’s web presence is not the highest priority.  Without taking a look into each site though, you could end up with a PR scandal on your hands.  Part of your subscription involves our chapter specialist reviewing your chapter websites on a monthly basis.  We screen for highlights (chapters doing well) and issues (ex: an inappropriate photo) and then send you a monthly report. This gives you the unique opportunity of encouraging chapters that use their sites well.  It also provides you with the ability to stop PR headaches before they begin.

RecruitmentPro

There are a lot of recruitment CRMs on the market currently but many fail to recognize the relationship between the user and the app itself.  RecruitmentPro is basic and simple.  We specifically designed our software to be low-touch and easy for our chapter leaders.  A chapter recruitment chair needs a consolidated app where they can solidify a prospect list, move prospects to different stages and streamline their communication. RecruitmentPro hits on all of those points.

The headquarters reporting feature extracts the important data and lets you pinpoint what chapters are on track and what chapters are falling behind. 

Beyond that, we know how hard it is to keep recruitment front of mind for all chapters.  That’s why we text and call all your chapters to make sure they have an active campaign (or at least have a date to start for their next one) and that they are using our recruitment feeders to attract new members on Facebook, Twitter and their websites.

ChecklistApp

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Featured in our last newsletter, the ChecklistApp is one of our most utilized headquarter’s apps.   Consultants have to manage hundreds of award packets, chapter budgets, philanthropy forms etc every semester.  The ChecklistApp allows consultants to easily assign and collect all forms in one fell swoop.

You also have the unique ability to track all your chapter’s progress in one area and download reports to pinpoint your chapter outreach.

Many times we find that chapters struggle to log in and get started, so our specialist gives them a call and sets up a training time to make sure they have their membership information updated, their roles updates and their form turned in.  

We also help them with automated emails that give friendly reminders for forms to chapter leaders.  If that isn’t enough to get the ball rolling, we even text chapter leaders periodically to make sure they are up to date on their forms. 

MassMailerApp

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Alumni engagement on the chapter collegiate level is difficult because a) chapters do not know where to get alumni contact information and b) they do not know what to write (content wise) to get in touch with alumni.  MassMailerApp streamlines that process by providing chapters with a pre-loaded alumni contact list and templates for writing a newsletter.

Again as we have mentioned, simply providing the technology is not enough to change the culture of alumni engagement within an organization- someone has to be the chapter personal trainer.  That’s where we come in.  We do several outreach campaigns to your chapter leaders to train them in on the app and generate creative and engaging content.  

One of the key aspects to alumni engagement is checking in with your chapters.  Our admin feature of MassMailerApp allows you to log in and see what chapters have written to engage their alumni.  

Send me an email at sophie@chapterspot.com to learn more about your subscription or get a demo on all of our apps and services.

 

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3 Tips for Connecting with your Alumni Base

 

We always emphasize that to join a Greek organization is to join a lifelong community. Yet, after members leave their chapters, it’s hard to maintain that sense of community. In our experience, the best way to keep alumni connected to your sorority or fraternity is to facilitate engagement with their individual chapter.

In this post, we’ll share 3 ways your headquarters can help your chapters maintain an active alumni engagement program.

 

1. Provide a Structured Plan with Concrete Examples

Give your chapters a multitude of examples and suggestions for how to engage alumni so that every chapter can find something that fits their personality and circumstances. Undergraduate chapter members haven’t had the experience of being a fraternity or sorority alumnus, so it’s understandably challenging for them to know and understand what kinds of activities or information appeal to alumni. With insight from your staff, and feedback from your most engaged alumni, your headquarters is in a much better position to understand how your chapters can reach their alumni.

Provide them with a list of potential events and activities that fit different levels of time and budgetary commitments, and then provide specific instructions and suggestions for execution. An example suggestion is hosting a tailgate for the homecoming football game. In this case, you would make suggestions about when to contact alumni, what details to include, and strategies to get the alumni and undergraduates talking. By providing your chapters with structured and specific plans for engage alumni, your headquarters can help build and strengthen your organization’s overall sense of community.

2. Make it Easy

Your chapters invariably work best with clear formulas to follow, and tools that make their jobs easy. Give them a simple set of expectations, such as 2 alumni newsletters, and 1 alumni event per year. In addition, equip them with tools that help facilitate these tasks! With the ChapterSpot MassMailer app, give them a straightforward tool that allows them to send emails to their alumni using a template branded for your fraternity or sorority, with an integrated mailing list of chapter alumni that can automatically draw from your headquarters’ database. You can also encourage them to put their alumni events on their ChapterSpot calendar, and set these events to ‘public’ so that they automatically show on their ChapterSpot public website. With simple and intuitive tools, your headquarters can make alumni engagement so much easier for your chapters.

3. Reminders are Key

We recently ran a pilot program of the MassMailer app, and if there’s one thing that we learned it’s the power and necessity of reminders! Like it or not, hardly anyone will comply with a request the first time around. And emails are not as effective as you might think. By virtue of several email reminders, we were able to get 11% of our participants to send out an alumni communication. Using phone call reminders, we were able to bump that up to 78%. Help your chapters engage their alumni by holding them accountable! In most cases, the phone call reminder was a welcome opportunity for the chapter member to carve out a few minutes of his/her time and cross something off the to-do list.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about MassMailerApp or WebsiteApp, drop us a line at hello@chapterspot.com.

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Delta Chi Talks ChecklistApp

 

We recently spoke with Justin Sherman, Executive Director of DeltaChi, about their experience using the ChecklistApp to do their organization’s Awards Applications. Curious what he had to say?

 

Before using ChecklistApp, how was Delta Chi doing its awards applications? How long did it take your staff to collect and score awards applications?

  • Delta Chi has been doing an awards program for decades. Historically it would take weeks with numerous people reading awards packets and compiling information.

Did you guys have any hesitations about going to an online awards application system? How did you decide to move forward with using the ChecklistApp?

  • We did not have any hesitations going to an online applications system. We spoke with people in the industry and really liked what ChapterSpot had to offer with its ChecklistApp. It is very convenient and easy to use.

Was it difficult to transition your chapters to this new system? Was there a period of adjustment involved?

  • There actually was not that much difficulty. With anything completely new in life, there will be some road bumps, but the ChecklistApp actually made the application process easier.

How much time were you able to save by doing online Awards Applications?

  • We can’t even begin to tell you how many hours have been saved with this app.

What changes have you seen since moving your Awards Applications online?

  • We have definitely seen an increase in applications and expect that trend to stay the same moving forward.

ChecklistApp can used for e-learning, awards applicationsform submissions, and more!

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Get More Data on Your Chapters

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One of the biggest challenges we often hear about from greek organizations is the difficulty of getting sufficient data on their chapters. Sure, they get updated lists of rosters and officers a few times a year, but details about how well the chapter is performing in various aspects of fraternity or sorority life can be very hard to come by.

If you’re using ChapterSpot, you’ve got more data at your disposal than you might realize!

Recruitment Progress

Using the admin view of the RecruitmentPro app, your headquarters can view chapters’ recruitment progress individually, or in the aggregate. By viewing data on a chapter’s recruitment pipeline, it’s easy to determine where a chapter may have recruitment weaknesses, and require additional training. Are they failing to generate enough initial interest? Are they failing to invite back enough members in successive rounds? Your chapters’ recruitment processes don’t have to be a black box–use your RecruitmentPro app to gain key insights.

Service Hours

With philanthropy being one of the central missions of a greek organization, having a complete picture of your philanthropic impact is crucial. Most organizations need a better way to measure if their chapters are living up to their ideals of service. Use your admin view of ServiceHours to see how many hours your chapter members spend volunteering, and track these figures over time.

Chapter Rosters

If your current system for viewing your chapters’ membership information isn’t as convenient or as user-friendly as you’d like, you can find a simple solution within your ChapterSpot account. Using the Organization view, you can see your chapters’ rosters, add or delete members, and see who’s currently in leadership positions.

Emails to Alumni

In order to keep alumni engaged, your headquarters has to depend on your chapters’ involvement. Industry research shows that members feel the strongest connection to their individual chapter, and respond most when contacted by them as opposed to the national office. Using your MassMailer app, you can make sure these critical connections are being maintained by viewing the number of emails a chapter has sent to alumni, how many of these were opened, and even reviewing the content of each email sent.

Chapter Websites

When each chapter sets up and maintains its own website, one of the difficulties headquarters often run into is finding a simple means of tracking the URL for each chapter website. It happens all the time that a chapter can’t remember who initially set up the website, or who has maintained it previously, and thus has to deactivate it or buy a new URL. If your organization uses Website app, remember that you can log in from your admin view, and see every chapter website, its Google Analytics tracking code, and whether it’s currently active.

If you have any questions about the chapter data you can access from your ChapterSpot account, drop us a line at support@chapterspot.com.

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Give Your Chapters a Philanthropy Makeover in 3 Simple Steps

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How strong is the connection between your chapters and your national philanthropy? Although service is a core component of the fraternity and sorority experience, many chapters struggle to implement philanthropy projects that support their national philanthropy partner. What can you as a headquarters do to support meaningful engagement between your chapters and your national philanthropy?

 

Coordinate a National Day of Volunteering
Facilitating a nation-wide day of service is a great way open up the door to a relationship between your chapters and your national philanthropy. Chapters don’t lack motivation, but they do lack ideas on how to get involved. With one centrally organized and structured activity, chapters gain a great jumping off point from which they can start their own relationship with your philanthropic partner.

Talk with your national philanthropy to understand their needs, and brainstorm ways that every chapter in every community can make an impactful contribution to their mission. From spending a day reading with underprivileged youth, to teaching a women’s self defense class for their community, to beautifying a local park, find one activity that can unite all of your chapters towards a common purpose.

 

Promote It!
Too many times, we’ll send one email to our chapters and think that we’ve done enough. But through experience working with your members, we know that these college students are so busy, and have their attention diverted in so many different directions, that you need to reach out to them repeatedly through any and every medium that they’re using. Give concrete and timely suggestions for community service activities via email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and your blog. And when they complete these activities, encourage them to share on social media to connect to your larger fraternity or sorority network. Let one chapter show off their philanthropy, and inspire other chapters to do the same.

When you’re promoting your philanthropy, remember to make it personal! Showcase the results of previous volunteering activities that have supported your national philanthropy so that your members can understand their potential impact. But also reiterate why it’s important to the fraternity or sorority experience, and even what’s in it for them! Participating in community service has far-ranging benefits from strengthening a resume, to developing leadership capacity, to strengthening bonds of brotherhood or sisterhood through a shared experience.

 

Hold them Accountable
To really motivate your chapters to put philanthropy at the top of their agenda, it’s a smart idea to make it a membership requirement, mandating a certain number of community service hours per individual, or that chapters host a certain number of philanthropy events per year. In our own experience, the difference in completion of suggested versus required activities is dramatic (we’ve seen this play out everywhere from sending alumni communications, to making a chapter budget, to updating membership rosters, and more). When a certain outcome is important to your organization and its values, we always recommend going the ‘required’ route.

A great way to track this requirement is to use the ChapterSpot ServiceHours app. It’s a simple interface where your members can log community service hours for their chapter. Your headquarters group can then use your version of the app to see your chapters’ service hours, which can be broken down by individual or by chapter, and shown across any date range you choose. You can check out this video if you’re interested in seeing what the app looks like in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rt2BC1Kj7Wg.

Philanthropy is a vital component of the fraternity and sorority experience. By providing the right level of support and facilitation from your headquarters, a commitment to philanthropy can become a strong piece of your members’ shared values.

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On-Boarding Support

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Does getting started with ChapterSpot seem daunting? It’s hard to get chapters to be responsive and communicative for even routine tasks, so the idea that you could ever get them to adopt a new platform might seem virtually impossible. At least not without causing a massive logistical and operational headache for your headquarters, where you’re so strapped for time already.

The good news is that migrating to ChapterSpot is actually so much easier than you might imagine. Through a customer support team that’s dedicated to your onboarding, we eliminate the burden for your headquarters and your chapters alike. Our service includes:

  • Customizing ChapterSpot to fit your organization’s group structure
  • Setting up a group account for each of your chapters
  • Importing your group’s rosters
  • Creating an individual account for each member
  • Training your chapters in how to use the product
  • Providing your members with unlimited customer support along the way

We’ve worked with a lot of organizations in this space, and we put that knowledge to work for you, suggesting process improvements and sharing best practices. Don’t let caution hold you back from implementing ChapterSpot solutions that put technology on your side. Running a large Greek organization is hard enough. Why not do something simple and smart to make your job a little easier?

If you’re interested in learning more, let us know. We’re always happy to email you additional information, or jump on a demo to give you a better sense of the range of solutions that exist for an organization with your particular structure, challenges, and goals.

 

Attention the content in this post is outdated please bear with us while we update these blog posts.

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HQ Payments

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HQ Payments is the easiest way to bill your chapters.

 
Keeping your chapters financially accountable is hard work. It’s even harder when you manage your relationship with them across multiple different platforms.

HQ payments is a simple, straightforward means of billing your chapters and collecting payments that’s integrated with the full suite of ChapterSpot tools that you already know and love.

Chapters access the app through their ChapterSpot account, the same tool they’re already using all the time to send messages, schedule events, and collect their own chapter’s dues.

On a platform you and your chapters are both familiar with, billing and completing payments couldn’t be any easier.

 

Check out this video to learn more!

 

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PointsTracker

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The PointsTracker app is the best way to record and track your chapter’s points.

 
Keeping track of points is a challenge for any chapter. It’s tough to create a system that’s secure, but also transparent.

Use the PointsTracker app for a better way to manage points.

Customize the PointsTracker app to fit your chapter by creating different categories and point values, such as 1 point for attending chapter, and 2 points for attending a recruitment event.

Tracking points just got a whole lot easier. View the PointsTracker app, and other great ChapterSpot apps, in the AppsMarketplace.

 

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BudgetApp

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The BudgetApp is the easiest way to maintain your chapter’s financial records and make budget projections. 

 
It’s a robust tool for tracking and projecting income and expenditures, yet it’s simple enough that chapter leaders can learn it easily, and get their reports done quickly.

For your national headquarters, it’s important to know that all of your chapters are in good financial health. For your own accounting purposes, it’s also important to receive standardized financial reports across all your chapters. When you don’t provide your chapters with a tool to do so, they’ll either neglect to engage in budget planning, or submit reports to you that vary so widely that it takes countless man hours to aggregate all of the financial information you receive.

 Avoid this headache by giving them a budgeting tool that connects with the other chapter tools that they already use every day. BudgetApp pulls information about the money that chapters collect directly from their ChapterSpot account, making it highly accurate, and simple for chapters to use. Learning to budget and track expenses is a tremendous life skill–get your chapters started on the right foot with the BudgetApp. And save yourself some time as well by configuring monthly chapter budget reports to be sent directly to your central office.

To get a look at the various features of the BudgetApp, check out this video!

Contact us at hello@chapterspot.com to learn about getting BudgetApp for your organization!

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ServiceHours

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Service Hours gives you a complete view of your chapters’ community service activity.

 
Philanthropy is one of the core functions of a fraternity. Yet for most headquarters, it’s difficult to track the impact that your organization has. When you have so many chapters, and each has their own unique community service tracking mechanism, it’s next to impossible to collect aggregate data on your organization’s community service activity.

ServiceHours was built to help you track your impact. It’s one standardized app that allows your chapters to input and track their community engagement. Your headquarters gets a complete overview of each chapter’s activity, from total hours, to hours performed per individual. You can filter this information by time period, or by chapter, to get all the information you ever wanted about your organization’s philanthropic reach.

Check out this video to learn more about Service Hours!



Get in touch with us at hello@chapterspot.com to learn more.

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