How to Help a Fraternity That Has Lost Momentum

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.

Question:

Over the last few semesters my chapter had been moving up in the ranks but instead of gaining momentum it seems as though we’ve hit a plateau. Recruitment and our social calendar may have even dipped. In addition we have a fairly large senior class graduating at the end of the semester. I was wondering if you had any advice on how to get back on track, come back in the fall stronger then ever and throw the best rush our school has ever seen, so we can fight our way back to the top again.

Thanks for your help, Alpha Sig Rush Chair.


Answer:

I think this is a stage that most fraternities encounter at one point or another. Fraternities put forth so much effort to get better, that they eventually burn out. This causes the lull you seem to be facing.

The reason for the burnout is not because of the effort though. It has more to do with the activities that are getting all your effort.

Chances are, you have an extremely inefficient recruitment. You don’t have a targeted approach so you rely on dorm storming and putting up thousands of rush flyers. You don’t really have a systematic approach to recruitment, so you get by with incredible effort and dedication from your brothers.

On top of that, most of your rush events probably feel more like work than anything. Sure, the brothers are willing to put forth the effort for a while for the betterment of the fraternity, but eventually their energy will wane.

Also, in an effort to get better, your fraternity probably participated in a multitude of community service events. While it made the fraternity look better on paper, and you did help a bunch of people, the brothers didn’t ever really enjoy their philanthropy. Because of that, their participation eventually decreased.

These are just two common examples I see all the time. Fraternities don’t want to understand that less often more, and quality always trumps quantity.

So how do you get better? You get better by focusing on the foundation of leadership – serving those who follow you. Find out what your brotherhood wants, and then do everything you can to meet their expectations.

While you need to have those conversations with your brothers, I can almost guarantee that they will want to pay less in dues and have more fun. This is a common theme for every fraternity.

I take great pride in providing hundreds of ways to help you achieve those goals in my articles. And if you are truly looking to take your fraternity to the next level, then I strongly encourage you to check out my ebook – The Fraternity Leader.

If you can focus on reducing costs and making sure the brothers are having the time of their lives, then you will have no problem getting momentum back in your fraternity. When you do, it will be even more rewarding because your brothers will realize where you came from and will have a deeper appreciation of your achievements.






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One thought on “How to Help a Fraternity That Has Lost Momentum

  1. I’d bet the rising trend over the last few years of this process was driven by less than 5 individuals, regardless of who held what positions from one semester to the next, and now those guys are seniors, just graduated, failed out of school trying to carry the whole load of the chapter on their backs, or just burned out.

    You really need to get better at transitions. It’s good to have those few great leaders like that, but they each need a couple mid-level guys underneath being mentored into their replacements.

    I agree with the recruiting advice. Get better at it. We call it values based recruiting, but really just figure out the qualities you need in mid-level fraternity leaders, go find those guys on campus (they’re probably in student govt or other student orgs, not just whoever shows up to formal rush or wants to come to a party). Don’t try to recruit those guys. Genuinely make friends with them. THEN make a concerted effort to recruit them. If you’re pulling a third to half your pledge class like that, then it’ll both increase the numbers coming in & vastly increase the quality of leaders to take you to the next level.

    I wouldn’t have mentioned philanthropy in my advice, but since it’s mentioned here I’ll talk about it. Community service is nice, but I could partner with a charity to a fundraising event at a bar with a band or do a burger cookoff in our yard with a band or something like that. I could have a blocked off VIP area for my chapter & our guests. It becomes basically another social, but a charity is making a few thousand off it & you’re getting philanthropy hours for setting it up. I’m not saying do that all the time. There’s still value in physically going out and doing charity work, but mix it up a little and make it fun. Take what you’re good at and want to do, and try to use some creativity to make other things you need to play into your strengths.

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