Check out our new Finance Admin updates!

With the fall semester around the corner, we’re excited to announce our new updates to the Finance Admin! You can create custom payment plans for new members, and allow members to pre-authorize upcoming charges through their bank.

Did you know you could track the Stripe-to-Bank Account transfers amounts and divide them by charge tag?

When you create a charge, you can tag it to keep it organized for your records.  For example, housing dues can be tagged as “rent” and Panhellenic dues can be tagged as “national dues.” You can now track these transactions by tag to filter which charges appear on the breakdown by category.

To get to this page, go to Finance Admin –>  Bank Accounts, and click Transfers next to the bank account.
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You can click on charges under the “Initiated Date” tab.   Under the “Transfer Breakdown” tab you can see how much you are collecting and for which type of charge.

 

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Managing your groups’ budget and finances is easier with the updated Finance Admin tool!

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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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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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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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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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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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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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