While your fraternity or sorority might have fundraising chairs in charge of your philanthropic efforts, your campaigns should be a full team effort. Your fundraisers thrive off of spreading awareness, so having strength in numbers helps you reach new audiences. Plus, engaging your chapter members in fundraising activities while they’re students makes them more likely to participate in alumni giving once they graduate.
However, involving your members in your philanthropic endeavors can be easier said than done. Between classwork, club activities, and other obligations, college students have busy schedules, so it can be difficult to capture their free time for fundraising. That’s why it’s in your best interest to excite your members about philanthropy through hosting workshops, making it a priority during recruitment, and more. Here’s how to inspire your chapter’s members to fundraise for your fraternity or sorority.
1. Make it an expectation during recruitment.
Your job as a fraternity or sorority leader is to find like-minded brothers and sisters during recruitment. During rush recruitment events, stress the importance of philanthropy as a core value of your chapter. Then, ask your potential members to elaborate on their views on philanthropy. Those who show a sincere appreciation for fundraising will be the best candidates to add to your chapter, as they’ll likely feel enthusiastic about participating. Consider asking the following questions to your potential members:
- What’s your experience with fundraising or volunteering?
- Which philanthropic causes are you most interested in and why?
- Do you plan to devote your time to philanthropic activities in college?
- What clubs or organizations are you involved with, and do they host fundraisers?
- How much free time do you normally have per week?
Use their responses to gauge whether they’re a good fit for your chapter and will be an asset to your fundraising activities.
2. Use fraternity and sorority management software.
Your chapter members will feel more connected and passionate about your cause if they’re kept up to date on your fundraising progress and opportunities to get more involved. The best way to keep your members in the loop is by using fraternity and sorority management software. According to OmegaFi, some capabilities to look for in a great software solution include:
- Centralized messaging. Quickly and easily send message blasts to your chapter members.
- Mobile-friendliness. College students are always on the go, so having a mobile app to get in contact with them streamlines your operations.
- Event planning. Your fundraisers will likely have an accompanying event, so automating your event planning is necessary to keep everyone on the same page, no matter what their role is.
- Financial management. Allow your members to seamlessly check how much money they’ve raised by logging fundraising records into your software.
Once you’ve found a software solution that fits your needs, teach your members how to use its features to simplify and improve their fundraising experience.
3. Host fundraising workshops.
Your members might want to get involved in philanthropy but don’t know where to begin. Help them find their philanthropic calling by hosting fundraising workshops. These short sessions allow your chapter’s members to hone their skills and understand philanthropic best practices. This will increase your members’ confidence and effectiveness as a fundraiser, allowing them to contribute to your campaign’s overall success. Here are some useful topics to cover:
- Different roles in the fundraising process
- How to manage fundraising burnout
- How to ask for donations
- How to identify and categorize fundraising prospects
- How to track different types of philanthropic data
- How to get more involved in your chapter’s philanthropy efforts
New recruits who have never fundraised with your organization are prime candidates for these workshops. To maximize your campaign’s success, consider making attending these classes a prerequisite to participate in your philanthropy. Your members will appreciate the opportunity to learn new life skills that they can use after graduation!
4. Offer perks for participating in a fundraiser.
In addition to gaining new skills and helping your chapter achieve its goals, you can get your members excited about philanthropy with tangible incentives: perks and prizes. Encourage your brothers or sisters to participate by offering:
- Prizes, such as concert tickets or branded merchandise
- Service hours that count towards your chapter’s philanthropy quota
- Invitations to an exclusive celebration of the top fundraisers
- Special cords to wear at graduation
You can determine who earns rewards by establishing fundraising tiers based on the amount raised by each member, or by simply rewarding the top ten fundraisers overall.
5. Listen to your members’ feedback.
A surefire way to achieve widespread satisfaction and interest in your philanthropy is to take your members’ preferences into account. Send a survey right after recruitment concludes to gauge your members’ thoughts on:
- Which philanthropic organization you should partner with
- What types of fundraising events to host
- Which positions they’d like to fill
- How to market the campaign
These surveys don’t have to be binding, and they’re very helpful for your team to determine how to structure your fundraisers according to your members’ preferences. Also, remember that you can send out more than one survey per year if you’d like. An ideal time to do so could be right after an event so you can understand how to improve the fundraising experience in the future.
6. Make fun events that students want to participate in.
Your brothers or sisters are more likely to participate in a fun philanthropy event rather than a trite one, so don’t be afraid to get creative while brainstorming your schedule! Consider the following interesting event ideas:
- Pledge drive
- Fun run or walk-a-thon
- Branded merchandise sale
- Football watch party
- Benefit concert
- Talent show
- Sponsor-a-pet campaign
- Fashion show
You can even try a peer-to-peer format for these events. Your members will advertise their own mini-campaigns to their friends and family, who will donate to your fundraiser through them. You could also generate extra fundraising revenue from these events by charging admission to attend or having giving kiosks on hand for attendees to donate at the event.
Ultimately, your brothers or sisters devote their precious time, energy, and money to support your chapter’s philanthropic efforts. Remember to thank them for their hard work and dedication. Whether that’s throwing them an appreciation dinner or featuring them on your chapter’s social media profiles, ensure that your fellow chapter members feel valued. This will help solidify their allegiance to your chapter and encourage them to get more involved in your fundraising efforts for years to come.