By donorsearch

6 Fraternity Recruitment Strategies to Make the Most of Rush

For fraternities and sororities, recruitment is one of the most exciting times of the year. But it’s also one of the most important — and strategic. With the right strategy, you can take recruitment to the next level, bringing passionate new members to further your Greek organization’s mission. Here are six steps you can take toward a more efficient, focused, organized recruitment process:
  1. Utilize prospect research.
  2. Implement fraternity recruitment software.
  3. Network with brothers or sisters and alumni.
  4. Brand your fraternity recruitment.
  5. Incorporate smart communication strategies.
  6. Build from your fundraising success.
Ready to plan your most successful year of recruitment yet? Let’s get started.  

1. Utilize prospect research for fraternity recruitment.

Prospect research is used nationally in Greek organizations to identify brothers and sisters with the highest giving potential. Prospect research allows Greek organizations to learn more about an individual’s professional trajectory and the causes they care about. Likewise, your chapter can perform prospect research on a much smaller scale. And instead of asking for financial contributions, you can leverage what you learn to find the best possible recruits! In prospect research, you search for markers such as:
  • Social connections: Do recruits have family members or friends in your fraternity or sorority?
  • Interests: Do your recruits’ activities reflect the values of your organization?
  • History of giving: Have recruits supported causes connected to your philanthropy before? Other charitable causes?
  • Commitment: Have your recruits demonstrated that they can commit to a cause and stick to it?
You can use public sources of information such as social media profiles to find this information and use our prospect research tips for Greek organizations to lead you! Bottom line: Prospect research isn’t just for organizations looking for potential donors. Fraternities and sororities can use prospect research to find the perfect recruits.  

2. Implement fraternity recruitment software

Think of just how many moving pieces are involved in rush:
  • Collecting recruits’ contact information
  • Filling out paperwork
  • Coordinating events
  • Communicating with recruits and current brothers and sisters
Each piece is just as important as the last, so you can’t afford to let anything fall through the cracks. But if you’re always flipping between spreadsheets, email, and other software, you’re bound to miss something. To make sure you don’t confuse recruits or, worse, deter them from joining your Greek organization, implement a fraternity recruitment software solution to handle everything in one place. The best software for your recruitment is the one that’s built specifically for fraternities and sororities so you don’t have to do any customization or programming yourself. Check out a fraternity-specific platform like OmegaFi, which can help your fraternity stay organized throughout the recruitment process through its partnership with the GINsystem, a communications solution. Tip: Not every fraternity and sorority management tool is created equal. You’ll need to assess your needs and budget to determine the best solution for your Greek organization. To help you get started, Double the Donation has an full list of top recommended software providers. Bottom line: It’s crucial that you stay organized during rush. Using a comprehensive fundraising tool made specifically for Greek organizations, will help you manage every aspect of the recruitment process.  

3. Network with brothers or sisters and alumni.

Recruitment is a year-round process, though you’ll be focusing on your recruitment efforts more than usual during your university’s rush. To ensure you’re always promoting your fraternity or sorority to potential new members, even outside of rush, lean on the best referrals you have: your brothers or sisters and your alumni. The higher opinion your members have of your Greek organization, the higher praise they’ll sing to younger people. And young people who hear great thing about your fraternity or sorority turn into potential members later on. The key is to maintain positive relationships with your chapter members. Staying on top of your relationships is easier when brothers and sisters are still on campus, but it’s not so hard to network with alumni, either:
  • Send out an alumni newsletter a few times a year. You should have your alumni’s email address, so use it to share news about the chapter’s on-campus activities and fundraising successes.
  • Organize alumni-only events in cities with high concentrations of your graduated members, taking a hint from a popular university alumni engagement strategy. Happy hour is always a popular option. Your alumni will appreciate the opportunity to get together with old friends and network with new friends that live in the area.
  • Include alumni in fundraising efforts for a double benefit: you bring in more donations for your philanthropic efforts, and you remind your alumni about the good work your chapter does.
Your current members and alumni are the best judges of potential new recruits. Make sure they’re funneling people as awesome as they are back into your organization! Bottom lineBy staying in contact with your alumni, you’ll have passionate supporters who can refer recruits and encourage potential candidates to join your Greek organization.  

4. Brand your fraternity recruitment.

It’s a simple formula: the more students that know about your fraternity or sorority, the more potential recruits you have. But of course, it’s not just awareness that draws recruits. You need to intentionally build a brand around your recruitment efforts so you can make sure the recruits who will make the best fit make their way to you. You’ve got plenty of options for branding your recruitment. Some of the most popular options are T-shirts, buttons, hats, and other items your members can wear. See how effective t-shirts can be for identifying your members? By giving your current members branded items, you associate them and their personalities with your organization. That way, potential new members who have conversations with your awesome members will walk away with a positive image of the entire fraternity or sorority. Tip: When ordering T-shirts, keep an eye on your budget. Consider a manufacturer like Bonfire, which doesn’t charge you anything to design or sell shirts, and you get to keep the revenue from sales. Bottom Line: Creating a brand for your fraternity or sorority is a great way to attract recruits and show potential members your organization’s personality.  

5. Incorporate smart communication strategies.

You can’t organize a successful recruitment effort if you’re not organized about your communication. Your recruits need to know when to show up and what to bring, and your current members need to know what their responsibilities are. Make sure your leadership team has clearly set a communication plan before rush begins, including:
  • What platform will you use to communicate with recruits? (Hint: Something free and easy to use.)
  • What kinds of messages will you send to recruits and current brothers and sisters? Event reminders, paperwork, etc.? (Hint: Stick to logistics about recruitment events and paperwork.)
  • Which members of the leadership team will be in charge of sending which kinds of messages? (Hint: The fewer people, the better.)
  • How often will you send messages, not overwhelming recruits or leaving them with too many questions? (Hint: At least three reminders about events will ensure no one forgets.)
The trick is to meet your members and recruits where they are. What kind of communication platforms are they already using? Email, social media, group texts? How can you implement those to get in touch with your members and recruits? Make sure you ask your youngest members for suggestions — they’re the closest in age to your recruits, so they have a valuable opinion to give. It can get overwhelming to keep track of all your messages, especially if there’s more than one person on your leadership team who’s in charge of communications with recruits. You might find it helpful to integrate your communication strategy with your fraternity recruitment software so you’re not losing messages in transit between email accounts and other places you keep information. Don’t forget about non-digital communication strategies, too. Anything from business cards to flyers remind your recruits that you care about them and communicating with them. Plus, it’s harder to ignore a poster on a wall than an email or a text. Bottom line: Communicating successfully is key to improving your recruitment strategies. Make sure that members understand their responsibilities and keep outreach organized using management software.  

6. Build from your fundraising success.

You can think of recruitment as a way to find the most interesting brothers and sisters on campus. But really, recruitment should be an extension of your philanthropy. Your fraternity or sorority was founded to do good in the world, so use rush to find the people who will continue your legacy. Include information about your philanthropy whenever you can, including:
  • At events.
  • On your T-shirts.
  • On your chapter’s website.
  • On your university’s website.
  • In your outreach (emails, flyers, etc.).
You’re recruiting members who will someday be in charge of your fundraising. Make sure you find new brothers and sisters who have the passion and discipline to serve as good stewards of your philanthropy efforts. Make sure you’re following fundraising strategy best practices

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By DonorSearch

Prospect Research for Greek Organizations

Many young people have a stereotyped vision of college that not only includes, but mandates, fraternities and sororities. While some colleges thrive without prominent Greek scenes, fraternities and sororities add personality and school spirit to school identities. They are organizations aimed at helping young people to develop into intelligent, rational, involved citizens. Greek organizations need to fundraise to keep providing students with vibrant, enriching social experiences. Thanks to prospect research, fundraising is made a little easier. Let’s walk through a few components of prospect research for fraternities and sororities:
  1. Why Greek organizations need prospect research
  2. How prospect research is different for Greek organizations
  3. Who to screen in your prospect research
  4. How to screen prospects for your Greek organization
  5. When to screen for prospective donors
Nonprofits and other organizations of all sizes regularly use prospect research to identify their next big supporters. Your fraternity or sorority should be doing the same at every stage from recruitment to alumni management! Let’s dive in:

1. Why Greek organizations need prospect research

Membership fees only go so far. Fraternities and sororities have houses to maintain, events to host, and various other expenses. Like other nonprofits, budgets need to be balanced in order for these organizations to run at full capacity. Greek organizations are social communities, but they’re also complicated enterprises with many moving parts. Fraternity and sorority financial management is an important component of the health of your chapter! While donations of all sizes can help, major gifts provide significant sums that can help fundraising campaigns succeed. Finding new major gift prospects is tough work, but it gets easier when you have prospect research to reveal the philanthropic and wealth indicators that matter. Download our free white paper on Major Giving: Prospects and Approaches for more context.

2. How prospect research is different for Greek organizations

Hospitals have patients that come and go. Museums have members that have to renew after certain amounts of time. Greek organizations have massive alumni bases from which they can find new major gift prospects. The beauty of a Greek organization’s prospect pool is that alumni are alumni for a lifetime. Just like for universities, this permanent prospect pool allows fraternities and sororities to be more patient with fundraising. Urgency is a must, but not everyone has to be researched at the same time. Prospects can be segmented into groups and researched in intervals. The ability to break donors up into categories helps Greek organizations tackle vast prospect pools. Recent graduates are unlikely to give, and even if they do their donations tend to be minimal. Knowing the time since graduation and the depth of affiliation of alumni with your Greek organization allows you to pick out people to research who are more apt to give large sums. Prospect research will also help to find information on when people give, so you can pitch to people at the appropriate time of year. Learn more prospect research fundraising strategies.

3. Who to screen in your prospect research

Not everyone is a major gift prospect, and you can waste a lot of time and money conducting research on every alumnus. A large piece of successful prospect research is planning before conducting any research. A good research plan details:
  • The indicators you’ll be looking for in a major gift prospect
  • How much time and money will be allocated to obtaining information on any one prospect
  • Strategies to store and share prospect research
  • How you’ll approach prospects once they’re identified
Not all alumni are dedicated alumni. Likewise, people lose touch with the organization and their commitments wane. It’s up to you to find the alumni who hold their Greek experience in high regard and wish to promote the experience for future generations. Fraternities and sororities should combine prospect research with known levels of engagement with their organizations:
  • Was the prospect actively engaged in the fraternity or sorority?
  • Was the prospect a president or governing board member of the organization?
  • How many years was the prospect a part of the organization?
People with stronger ties tend to have higher affinities to give back to Greek organizations. Whether a prospect was highly engaged in your Greek organization or not, many brothers and sisters already donate to various nonprofits, while others have both the means and will to give, but have yet to donate. Prospect research helps to find these people, so you can initiate the prospect development process and begin conversations about major philanthropy. One easy first step might be to screen a long list of initial prospects. Learn how to conduct a bulk screening to gather data on 2,000+ prospects at once.

4. How to screen prospects for your Greek organization

How to screen prospects includes what to look for and the methods to obtain your desired data. What you’re looking for is not merely wealthy alumni. Money matters, but philanthropic indicators, such as previous giving to both your Greek organization and other nonprofits, are better indicators of future giving. Of course, combining philanthropic data with wealth markers is the optimal approach, as the best major gift prospects have not just the affinities to give, but the capacities to give, too. To conduct prospect research, there are three common approaches: Do it yourself Prospect research consultant Prospect screening company

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By donorsearch

How does prospect research vary by nonprofit cause?

The first little pig needed straw. The second little pig required sticks. The third little pig sought bricks. And that big bad wolf? He needed enough breath to blow all those houses down. Depending on who you are, what you need to succeed varies. No two types of nonprofits seek the same prospects. An education-based nonprofit won’t build its fundraising campaign from the same prospects as a healthcare organization, which will differ in prospects from fraternities and sororities. Like a home, you build your life out of the materials at hand, and you hammer away at your work until something stands upright that you can be proud of. While the various types of nonprofits use prospect research to unearth similar information, they’re doing so for different types of donors and for a wide range of causes. We’ll talk about eight different nonprofits that use prospect research:
  1. K-12 Education Organizations
  2. Higher Education Institutions
  3. Healthcare Organizations
  4. Greek Organizations
  5. Arts and Cultural Nonprofits
  6. Community Foundations
  7. Faith-Based Organizations
  8. Advocacy Groups, Social Service Organizations, and Environmental Groups
jQuery(window).on("hashchange", function () { window.scrollTo(window.scrollX, window.scrollY - 200); }); Keep reading as look deeper at these types of organizations and how they can use prospect research to their advantage.

K-12 Education Organizations

Unless they’re prodigy pop stars or the lucky inheritors of a family fortune, young adults tend not to have the funds to give major gifts. This leaves their parents as the prime major gift prospects. Each year, new students arrive, old ones leave, and parents come and go with their children. It’s important for schools to screen their lists of parents at certain times throughout the year in order to identify who to pursue with their limited fundraising resources. Good screening times include:
  • the beginning of the school year
  • the end of the year around graduation
  • in between semesters
It’s important to space out screening prospects so as not to overwhelm your fundraising team with too much information at once. Most parents remain involved with schools for multiple years, so time is on your side, but you want to make the most of it.

Higher Education Institutions

As with K-12 schools, parents are a primary focus, but they’re not the only focus. Alumni networks are filled with wealthy folks eager to support their alma maters. Many colleges and universities use telefunds to reach out to their alumni networks, and telefunds are most efficient when they organize prospects according to certain criteria, such as a specific calling pool for major gift prospects. This allows schools to keep track of their most important donors and call them at the right times of the year with specific ask strategies. If you’re interested in learning more expert advice on how colleges and universities can raise funds, check out our university fundraising guide. Keep in mind that reaching out to current students and recent graduates may not be fruitful, especially in terms of landing major gifts, but it’s important to plant the philanthropy seed early. That way, when these people do make big bucks they remember to give back to the place that set them on the right path. Learn more about prospect research for education-based organizations.

Healthcare Organizations

People get sick, people feel better, and people are constantly coming and going from hospitals. This leaves healthcare organizations with little time to discover who among the masses is a major gift prospect. Hospitals can bulk screen patients daily, weekly, or monthly, according to their schedules. It’s important to stay on top of the constant influxes and departures of patients, as cultivating relationships takes time. You don’t want to miss out on your chance to begin dialogues with the people most likely to give large donations. Many nonprofit hospitals run grateful patient programs, which consist of teams of doctors, fundraisers, and other staff who use prospect research to pursue donations from the major gift prospects either staying in or recently departed from their hospitals. Grateful patient programs work best with daily patient screenings, as you don’t want to miss out on a single opportunity to pursue a donation

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