A fraternity that doesn’t own its house is in a bad position. They are either at the mercy of a landlord or the university. Any brother who has been in this position knows how awful a situation this is for the fraternity.
The obvious solution to this problem is for the fraternity to buy a house. Unfortunately, houses aren’t cheap, especially the type of house your fraternity deserves.
Bit it can be done though by following this plan:
Form a house association. Your fraternity is going to raise a lot of money in this endeavor, and you don’t want it to be diverted to any other purpose.
The brother who heads the association will send out a pledge request to all brothers (alumni and undergraduate alike) at the beginning of each semester. The request should be for a small donation – something like $25.
The donation request should be small because you want maximum participation. A brother is much more likely to contribute a small amount than a large amount. And since these small donations are easier to get, and they will multiply very quickly.
Whenever you ask someone for money, and especially when you ask alumni for money, you should make it as easy as possible. Be sure to mail them a self addressed stamped return envelope for their donation. All you want them to do is sign the check and mail it in.
With the request, be sure to send a status update. You should have a fundraising goal, and where the house association stands on achieving that goal. Also, you should keep track of everyone’s total contribution, and create giving levels. When a brother reaches a giving level, be sure it is posted for everyone to see. You want to make sure the brothers that contribute are recognized. It also gives the others an incentive to give more.
So will it work? Let’s do the quick math. Let’s say you have an alumni base and active chapter where you can get 100 brothers to contribute $25 a semester. That means you will generate $5,000 a year to the housing fund. That is $50,000 over ten years, and that isn’t factoring in interest. Needless to say, that will make a very nice down payment on a fraternity house.