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: How do we communicate dues and time requirements to our potential new members without scaring them away?
Your Chapter has done an excellent job planning and executing a top notch Recruitment period. You have spread the Phi Sigma Pi energy throughout your campus community and have gotten some amazing new potential new members interested in your Chapter. Now, the part that puts most Members on edge, telling these potential new members about local dues, National dues and time requirements. Discussing this information does not have to be as difficult as you think. When done correctly, you will help these potential new members feel more comfortable with these subjects, as well as increase their belief and respect for our transparency. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Not Everyone Likes Surprises. Being upfront and honest from the beginning is a great way to show the open and authentic relationships the potential new members can expect in the PSP Brotherhood. Preparing the potential new members for the time requirements, financial obligations and curriculum from the start will make them feel less overwhelmed and more a part of the process. Discuss time commitments and dues at your information sessions, recruitment events as well as the handouts you provide throughout the recruitment and pre-pinning process.
- Finances (or lack there of) Need to Be Handled With Care. Money can be a very sensitive subject for some students, be sure to keep this in mind when you are communicating about dues. Make sure you openly discuss the financial obligations of Phi Sigma Pi in an open forum. Allow time for questions to be answered in the public forum. Then, announce a time where your Chapter Treasurer will be available if anyone should need to speak privately about the Chapter dues. If you are offering payment plans to your Members, be sure to be discreet and respectful when working with them. Seek solutions to obstacles by offering different payment options, payment due dates and informing them of any scholarships that may be available. Maintain an approachable and positive attitude when discussing finances. We never want to make someone feel singled out or unwanted because they may need a bit more time to get their finances in line.
- Bargain Doesn’t Always Equal Best. One of the benefits of Phi Sigma Pi is how low our dues are in comparison to traditional social greek organizations. Although this is a perk and should be highlighted as such, spending too much time discussing how inexpensive our dues are in comparison to other organizations may not be the best way to represent your Chapter. Instead focus on why our dues our lower and what awesome benefits you are receiving through those dues. Discuss our National resources like Leadership in Action and any other local benefits or events that may come along with your individual Chapter dues.
- Focus on Fun, not Funds. When discussing finances, remember to point out all of the amazing things that come along with Phi Sigma Pi. You need to assist your potential new members in understanding the value of their membership. Fellowship, scholarship, leadership, Regional events, National events, Chapter Consultant visits, networking across the US, the list is endless!
- Respect their Time. If potential new members are still adjusting to college life, the time requirements for Phi Sigma Pi may seem overwhelming. Make a checklist that better explains specific items or events in the Initiate Handbook that includes suggestions of how much time is needed for each. Breaking down the requirements into daily or weekly hours will help make the commitment seem less overwhelming. Telling potential new members they will need to reserve 35 minutes a day or 3 hours a week for Phi Sigma Pi is much less intimidating, right?
- Encouraged or Required. Be sure to clarify which events are required for potential new members to participate in and those which are “Bonus Fun.” Informing potential new members that they have choices in their requirements and a choice to participate in extra fun “encouraged” events, allows them to maintain autonomy over their schedule. In addition, giving potential new members a clear understanding of why certain events are required and why others are only encouraged helps these potential new members better understand Phi Sigma Pi National values and Chapter spirit!
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?
- Members are typically interested in social and scholarship events, how do we motivate and gain interest and participation for our service events?