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.
My fraternity has a big problem with fraternity dues. Some people have legitimate excuses but most don’t. Also, we offer payment plans on a need to need basis. What are some ways to make guys pay their fraternity dues? What I have gathered so far:
– Each week announce who hasn’t paid – ie shame them into paying
– Bar them from all social events until paid up
Do you have any other ideas?
This can be a very frustrating problem, and is probably deeper than you think. In my experience, this is often the clearest indicator of the health of your fraternity. Your brothers aren’t paying their fraternity dues because they do not feel like they are getting good enough value for their money.
I actually wrote an entire chapter about this in my book (The Fraternity Leader) titled “How to Make Finance a Fraternity Strength”. In this chapter I talk about how you can use finance to empower your brothers and get them to actually want to pay dues. This will happen because they will have taken ownership in the success of the fraternity. And having brothers who take ownership in the fraternity is a sign of an elite chapter.
However, you asked me how to get brothers to pay their fraternity dues. Here is a down and dirty list of 7 ways you can dramatically improve collections (even though increasing collections may not solve your problem):
1. Offer an incentive for brothers paying on time. This positive reinforcement will help you collect quicker.
2. Be sure the financials of the fraternity are transparent. Every brother should know where the money is being spent. Brothers will be more eager to pay their dues if the realize the money is going to benefit them.
3. Keep announcing who hasn’t paid their dues. Peer pressure should eventually get these guys to pay.
4. Make it easier for them to pay by using a 3rd party collection service. I am very impressed with Chapterspot’s dues collection platform. There are other companies out there that do the same thing, but a lot of them charge an outrageous fee for their services.
5. Hold fundraisers to help the delinquent brothers out. Set up the fundraiser with the intent that all the funds will go to the dues of the guys who attend the event. Any brother can attend and it isn’t mandatory. Go here to learn more about great ideas: Fraternity Fundraisers.
6. Suspend the brother from the fraternity until he pays his dues. If you allow the brother to attend all the events that he did not contribute towards, he is mooching off the other brothers. This will create animosity and isn’t needed in a fraternity.
7. This is obviously a last resort, but you can take the brother to small claims court. This is a simple process that can be learned with a quick google search. If you have a signed contract, this will be an easy win for the fraternity. It will also send a strong message to the other brothers in the fraternity.
If you do these seven things, your collections will improve. You will also be creating a culture where it is expected that members pay their fraternity dues, and that they are paid on time.
For more about this subject, check out my fraternity treasurer article. Also, be sure to check out “How to Make Finance a Fraternity Strength” in my book The Fraternity Leader.