The Phi Sigma Pi National Staff has rounded up the most Frequently Asked Questions we receive. Throughout the summer you will see some of these FAQ’s and answers on the Phi Sigma Pi Blog to gear you up for the next school year.
Today’s question: Members are typically interested in social and scholarship events, how do we motivate and gain interest and participation for our service events?
Your Chapter, like many others, may have a lot of attendance at scholarship and fellowship events, but falls short during your leadership events. Phi Sigma Pi promotes all three legs of our Tripod equally, however, service is our way of connecting with our community and leaving the world a little better than we found it. Motivating your Chapter to be excited and involved in your leadership events is easy. Check out the great ideas below for increasing your Chapter’s participation in service events!
- Put the Service Into Your Service. All too often, Chapter’s participate in service events because they have become tradition, or because a select few Members have chosen the Philanthropy with which the Chapter works. Phi Sigma Pi Members appreciate having a say in what they support, so make sure you ask your Chapter for their opinion. Create a Chapter survey, ask a spokesperson from a local organization to come speak to your Chapter, contact your Student Activities Office to learn what organizations are most supported on campus or see what local organizations your current Members are already affiliated with. This may require a bit of extra work, however, the results will be worth it!
- Make it Personal. In one way or another, all of us have experienced a hardship. Whether we have been affected directly, or through family friends and community members, most of us are driven to help those we can personally relate to. If you are volunteering with organizations that do not have a personal connection to your Members, it may be more difficult to gain participation. Look for an organization that resonates with your Members. Educational inequality, autism awareness, veterans affairs, domestic violence or substance abuse are all examples of areas in which your Members may be passionate about.
- Lead By Example. As a Chapter Member passionate about community service, be sure to lead by example. Be flexible in who your Chapter serves, be present at as many service events as possible and share the stories of those you have helped. Badgering your Members to participate in service only leads to conflict within the Chapter. Showing and sharing the fun, rewarding and awesome experiences that come from donating your time to those in need is a great way to spread the “service-bug.”
- Recognize and Celebrate. Are you celebrating the awesome things your Chapter is doing? Do you stay in touch with the organizations for which you are volunteering? If you have a Member that is outstanding when it comes to service, make sure to point that out in a General Business Meeting. People respond to recognition much quicker than they respond to criticism. Celebrating the awesome, feel-good activities your Members are doing will not only show how much you appreciate them, it will make others want to be celebrated too!
- Purpose Should Be Your Priority. After assessing what is important to your Chapter, make sure that the service activities you have scheduled are purposeful. Making gift bags or blankets for a Children’s Hospital feels more fun and effective than simply donating money to an organization that does the same. Creating hands on, fun and challenging activities that have a clear purpose or end result will give your Members a strong feeling of accomplishment. Who wouldn’t want to participate in more events that make them feel happy and awesome?!
Check our other FAQ Posts:
- How do we hold Members accountable for their Chapter responsibilities?
- How do we best manage and communicate differences of opinion within the Chapter?