Eliminate Fraternity Pledge Dues

The number one deterrent to pledging is the financial obligations of joining a fraternity. This is a huge hidden expense that not many freshmen were planning for when they entered school. It would be a tremendous recruiting advantage if a fraternity did not have pledge dues.

The pledge can learn to love the fraternity without the fear of the financial obligation. If they don’t think that the fraternity is worth the cost, they can quit before they finish the pledge program. If the pledge program does what it is supposed to do, then the pledge will happily pay their dues when they become a brother.

Obviously though, there are fees that need to be paid and most fraternities cannot have the brotherhood cover these expenses. Therefore, the fraternity should set up fundraisers that are dedicated for pledge dues.

The first fundraiser is make the pledges in charge of the can recycling program. This isn’t something that brothers will want to do anyway.

Second, create a pledge DD program. Take these funds and apply them to pledge dues.

Third, make the pledges responsible for the drink machine in the house.

These three programs should create enough revenue to more than overcome the cost of pledge dues. Also, it will teach the pledge class the importance of teamwork, fiscal responsibility and taking care of the brotherhood.

And as a side benefit, you should get more guys into your fraternity pledge program. More pledges will turn into more brothers. And with more brothers you will have more guys paying dues which will have a huge positive financial impact on the fraternity.

To learn more, check out our most in-depth article on fraternity recruitment: The Complete Guide to Fraternity Recruitment.

3 thoughts on “Eliminate Fraternity Pledge Dues

  1. Pledge DD lists are I’ll advised and can lead to the fraternity being sued for damages if a pledge crashes and injured anyone. None of these things will make up for $1,000 a semester from each pledge.   

  2. We charge a reduced level for pledge dues to compensate for the national pledge & initiation fees. So it works out equiv to active dues.

    I’m not against pledges doing fundraising programs to cover their costs, and of course they will be dedicated as actives/initiates. But dedicated and financially able to pay are different things. Going from zero to 500-1500 a semester (we charge 750sem) is a big change.

    Pledges coming through a system like that may be thinking they’ll get a job when they don’t have to worry about being a pledge anymore or they’ll use financial aid money or something, but they aren’t demonstrating an ability to pay. I’d rather know they can’t afford it when they can still be easily voted out than as an active when they’ll be strung along for a while and eventually sent to collections.

    I do like the idea of them doing fundraising activities like this though. I’d have no problem with them reimbursing a portion of that to cover pledge/initiation fees. But, I’d rather see them spend the bulk of that money on pledge class socials. Let them go pair up with another fraternity’s pledge class and set up a social with a sorority pledge class or something. That way (with some guidance) they can learn how to do some of the functions active officers have to do, and they can have some fun in the process.

    • I agree that the new members need to understand the financial commitment that goes into becoming a brother. However, there is no reason whatsoever that a motivated new member class or chapter cannot have huge fundraising efforts to significantly reduce brotherhood dues.

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