As vice president of membership, it’s vital to dedicate the time and energy to develop and implement an on-going recruitment plan that promotes chapter growth and strives to improve member diversity and inclusion. Recruitment season is a time for the chapter to show off its strengths and expand operations by bringing new ideas into the mix, courtesy of incoming new members. An on-going recruitment plan is one where recruitment certainly happens at the beginning of each semester, however, it also happens on a regular basis throughout the school year, to broaden the chapter’s network on campus and in the community. On-going recruitment events are events hosted by the chapter for all students to drop by, learn about the Fraternity and enjoy a communal activity like a local service event or game night.
Consider the following questions when building the chapter’s ongoing recruitment program:
- How is the chapter currently perceived on campus?
- How would the chapter like to be perceived on campus?
- Are there any recruitment guidelines on campus which the chapter must adhere to such as where events can take place and when?
- What events can be hosted by the chapter to promote APO and the development of campus and community leaders?
- How can the chapter set itself apart from other Greek or student organizations?
- What are some tangible goals the chapter can strive to achieve through member recruitment?
Ensure the entire chapter understands their role in recruitment and how each members’ effort is necessary to continue chapter growth. No matter a member’s level of involvement, everyone can play a role in recruitment by participating in planning, promoting events and showing the spirit of fellowship that welcomes potential new members! Investment in the recruitment process is investment in the sustainability of the chapter for years to come.
Membership growth is an important element to chapter development, and it takes preparation and organization to be sure membership is consistently growing. Monitoring growth through tracking membership to recognize growth spurts, stagnation and declination is essential and can be done through basic spreadsheets or other tracking software. Tracking membership requirements alongside membership trends is also useful for members to know whether they’re completing the bare minimum or going above and beyond expectations.
While requirements are being tracked, be mindful and observant of how members are participating in and engaging with programs. The observations should be deconstructed and utilized as a tool for building a strong and successful retention program. Retention is an ongoing process of keeping members connected and engaged in the chapter and Fraternity. The vice president of membership should be leading conversations to address and plan out how to improve retention within the chapter – all audiences included. Having a strong retention plan means that the chapter will be prepared to help members prioritize APO as part of their everyday lives and work towards total involvement with pledges or new members, active members and alumni alike.
When building a retention plan, consider the evolution of each audience within the chapter:
- Pledge or new members as they transition to active membership
- Active members as they grow increasingly busy throughout their college career
- Chapter officers as they navigate their leadership path and their member experience after their term ends
- Alumni members as they continue their APO journey beyond college
To best support the chapter, this officer must advocate for the wants and needs of all chapter members through effective programming, efficient chapter operations and an approachable chapter environment. Teamwork is an essential for those reasons. From a simple “hello” to a stranger on campus or extensive planning of the next best fellowship event, the vice president of membership plays an active role in helping members create more shared connections to make the world a better place
It’s important for pledges and new members to feel that their recruitment experiences align with what is expected of them during their active membership. If the recruitment plan includes solely service events, the inclusion of fellowship and leadership events during active membership may be unexpected or unwelcome. As a chapter officer, work to increase diversity across all metrics so that every member feels they are participating in a meaningful way within the chapter. This means hosting leadership, fellowship and service events during recruitment season, all of which are mirrored throughout the rest of the term. Recruitment diversity shows the chapter recognizes the needs and desires of chapter members, and actively works to update programming to match the expectations of members. Often that means getting out of the chapter’s comfort zone, but the diversity brought back to the chapter will benefit everyone!