A fraternity, like any organization, requires a certain amount of structure, planning, and hands-on participation to run smoothly and effectively. Through our extensive experience working with Greek organizations, we have come up with these five top traits of a successful fraternity:
- Responsible Leadership
When electing your executive board, look for individuals who possess a strong leadership mindset and are dedicated to meeting their goals. These individuals should be a great support team for the fraternity and help lead the organization in a positive direction, especially as fraternities evolve to meet new requirements and regulations from universities and national organizations. If possible, the previous executive board should thoroughly train the new incoming board. When this does not happen, established procedures can get lost in transit very easily. This transition ideally should take a few weeks to make sure everything is captured.
- Attainable Budget
Every year, the board should get together and discuss its income and expense numbers to formulate an attainable budget for the school year. All billing changes will have to be considered as event planning, daily operational costs, and other activities develop throughout the year. The fraternity should have budgets for each event and stick to them. If something goes over budget, the fraternity should discuss what other events could be downsized to make up for the overage. There are also other expenses to maintain the house that need to be considered, such as utilities, food, wages of employees, and routine maintenance.
- Strong Membership Numbers
The fraternity will need to plan recruitment strategically to ensure it will have a successful new member class. This is something that should be done at least once a year. When the member numbers are up, then the income for the fraternity is up and will help with financial stability. The more members that the fraternity has, the less worry there will be when it comes to setting an attainable budget. Additionally, with higher numbers, there is a hope for lots of strong involvement from the members.
- Competitive Fees
Fees obviously need to be increased when the budget is no longer attainable, as costs are rising steadily every year. However, the fraternity will want to make sure it has competitive live-in rates compared to its affiliated university, as well as the other fraternities associated with the same campus. This is something that new member families thoroughly consider when going through their recruitment process and deciding on the best fit organization for their needs. There should be resources on campus for fraternities see how they compare to others in terms of costs.
- Supportive Alumni
Involved alumni is usually a great thing! Most fraternities have alumni organizations that work with their chapter. They are there for support—advice, financial, house improvements, etc. This is something that members should keep in mind. This should not be just a three/four-year commitment during their undergrad studies; it is something that should be considered and carried on throughout the member’s lifetime. It really is a lifetime brotherhood. Ideally, alumni will want to continue to make the time spent as an undergraduate even more valuable as the years go by.
If you are a member of a fraternity and would like to learn more about how Sciarabba Walker can help you meet your financial goals, please contact us.
By Kassandra Sinn