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.