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:
- Utilize prospect research.
- Implement fraternity recruitment software.
- Network with brothers or sisters and alumni.
- Brand your fraternity recruitment.
- Incorporate smart communication strategies.
- Build from your fundraising success.
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.
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!
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.
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 throughout the year so you have something to show when rush comes around!
Bottom line: Rush is all about finding new brothers and sisters that are as passionate about philanthropy as you are. Your recruitment strategies should showcase your mission so you can find like-minded recruits.
With these recruitment strategies in your wheelhouse, you’ll be sure to find the perfect recruits for your Greek organization. Don’t forget that just like any strategy, these are best planned in advance. Don’t wait — get started right away to make next year’s rush the smoothest in your chapter’s history!
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