For the last couple of years, it seems like everyone in the fraternity/sorority industry has made recruitment and growth a priority. Whether it was always a focus or it has recently become more important, industry peers on campuses and at the headquarters level are all more mindful of membership numbers. However, motivations seem to vary. Some are looking to make up for lost ground from 2020 and 2021, and others are looking to satisfy greater student needs for connection and belonging. Meanwhile, the strategies can vary just as much as the motivation. Some are looking at scaled strategies for growth across their campus/organization, others are looking to leverage alumni, and then there are those focusing on individual members’ skills training.
No matter the level of priority or specific tactics used, in my experience, what is vital for sorority and fraternity growth is to hone in on a philosophical approach to growth. Simply stated, why do we want to grow? What would it mean if more students participated in our membership experience?
Having worked with a few different organizations early in my career, I have benefited from experiencing a variety of organizational philosophies, objectives, and strategic initiatives related to recruitment. Thus I’ve also executed a variety of recruitment tactics and operated within varying growth philosophies. Through these experiences, I have crafted my own strategies and tactics for growth and, more importantly, my growth philosophy.
My Growth Philosophy:
I fundamentally believe in growth. I view expansion and recruitment as an opportunity for more men on more college campuses to benefit from a positive fraternity experience. I also believe that more men in this world can and would benefit from a positive fraternity experience. Given that, I believe that when more men have that opportunity, they will be better prepared to positively contribute to society in the future.
It’s easy to lose sight of what recruitment and growth really mean. When a person joins our organizations, we change their life by giving them a place to belong and enhance their college experience and life after. It can be easy for headquarters and campus-based professionals to get lost in the numbers and trends, but we must never lose sight of each individual member’s experience and what this opportunity can mean for them.
As I continue to learn, I spend intentional time crafting my ideology around fraternity recruitment. When considering your personal philosophy or when evaluating your organizational/campus philosophy, here are a few things to consider.
- Do I believe that more students would benefit by participating in the membership experience my campus community/organization/chapter is currently providing? If not, what needs to change in our experience to ensure it would be of benefit to more people?
- If more people truly knew and understood what our membership experience entails, would more people join? If so, how can I ensure more people understand? If not, what small changes can we make today to change the answer to that question in the future?
- What is it that today’s collegiate students truly need, and what experiences do they need to prepare them for life after school? What changes do we need to make to ensure our organizations are providing relevant and positive experiences?
- Does my chapter’s/organization’s/campus community’s joining process paint a true picture of what our membership experience will be? If not, how can we adapt our joining process to better align with the rest of the membership experience?
Now more than ever, more students need positive fraternity and sorority experiences on our campuses. When we start by considering our philosophies for growth, including why we should grow, I believe we are best positioned to impact more lives by providing membership to more individuals.
About the author
Alex Hart serves as the Director of Field Operations & Growth at Delta Chi Fraternity Headquarters. Alex is a proud Loper and graduate of the University of Nebraska – Kearney, where he was a founding member and the President of his Sigma Tau Gamma chapter. He started his career at Sig Tau, serving two years as a Recruitment & Growth Coordinator. Alex also served as the Director of Growth at Sigma Alpha Mu before joining the Delta Chi team in 2021. Alex resides in Indianapolis and is a sports enthusiast. Contact Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org.