fraternity dues increase

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Question:

My Fraternity has been mulling around the idea of raising dues for the past few years but it has never happened.  As I’m sure you know no one wants to vote on something that would cost them more of their money. Just the same a congress would never vote to lower their paychecks.

The attitude in the chapter is finally ready to accept a dues increase but it still has to be done the right way. I have filled out a SCOPED form and read many resources on best ways to present this to the chapter but just wanted to know if you had any other suggestions on the best way to handle this.


Answer:

How exactly do you get the idea of making it MORE expensive to be in a fraternity to go over well? When I was an active, we increased dues maybe once, and it was only by a very small amount. It is important to keep in mind that if your chapter is having trouble with collections, hardly any of the following advice will be valid.

There are resources available on this site on how you can improve your collections. There are 5 key things to show your membership and be ready to explain when you propose an increase in membership dues

1)      Prove why the increase is necessary

–          If you cannot show your membership why the increase is needed, you will be met with insurmountable resistance. Numbers speak louder than words. Show your honest projections for your chapter’s finances. Explain where you are losing money or not growing your savings enough. This will connect with your members as to the future needs an increase can meet and give them a short term reassurance that the increase is needed

2)      Have a plan for the increased revenue

–          Just as important as showing why the increase is needed is having a plan for what the money is to be spent on. Is it debt reduction? An increase for the recruitment budget? Are you starting a long overdue capital project on your house? Find out what the money SHOULD be used for and show your members.

3)      Understand that there is no way it will be a wildly popular idea

–          Your members may now that it is needed, but that doesn’t mean they will love it. Stay calm when there are questions and be focused if your fellow members get combative in meting discussions. When you talk about money, people tend to get a bit short tempered.

4)      Recruit!

–          This seems to be a part of every response, but, if you recruit people who can pay their dues, even with the increase, then you should be ok. One major objection for people that do not join a fraternity is that it is too expensive. Though you will be raising dues, use the tips above to demonstrate why there is value in the money they pay in their dues.

5)      Keep it simple

–          You are not going to solve every financial issue in one swing. A modest increase in dues can help get you started. Then make sure the rest of your financial house is in order. Stay focused with the extra revenue and keep your goals clearly in sight.

Dues increases can cause some major headaches if not handled appropriately. Trust in your information and your presentation. Best of luck!

This question was submitted by one of our readers. If you have a question you want me to answer go here to submit it: Fraternity Advice.

This answer was written by Joe Russo, an alumni brother from Phi Delta Theta and contributor for the thefraternityadvisor.com. If you are interested in writing for thefraternityadvisor.com – let us know (CLICK HERE)!






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One thought on “5 Keys to Pitching a Dues Increase to Your Fraternity Membership

  1. I don’t have time for a bigger discussion at the moment, but chapter business operations is the biggest thing I think chapters don’t have a handle on. And also the thing that if you’re able to learn from can most benefit you in the business world beyond.

    To go one step further with recruiting, it is better to recruit your way into better financial shape than to overburden a lesser number of guys. Why are you raising dues? Can you not afford to operate because you don’t have the economies of scale? If you increased chapter size by 30% at the same dues rate, would you still need to raise dues to afford the slightly larger versions of events or would the extra income be enough? You need a solid understanding of this issue that you can express to members.

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