Prepare, Plan, Produce
It may seem odd to think about planning for next school year when this year isn’t over yet. However doing so now will set you up for success. Utilizing committees will spread out responsibilities, get more members involved, and get a fresh perspective on what priorities are paramount right now. Maybe you have lower than desired membership or less money than originally budgeted. Here are a few helpful suggestions to get rolling.
Joining the Crysophylos, pick a group of three or four Fraters to join you in creating a 2012-13 budget. Some key components to keep in mind are recruitment, education, philanthropy and alumni involvement. While recruitment is one of your main sources of income, you should not forget about the other areas that require money to function. Once again, being prepared for this prior to going into the summer will give officers or committee chairs a good grasp on how to best stretch the dollars allotted for the following year and think creatively about ways to raise additional funds.
Broken down very simply, let’s take a look at recruitment. This is the lifeblood of the organization. It not only helps you gain new perspectives and leaders, it helps increase the ability to do more of everything else. Events to enhance this area should be broken down, but this will be the job of the recruitment chairman over the summer. If you give him a number to work with and you have a standard week-long process, he now has the task of stretching those dollars during the five-day recruitment period. Better yet, he can utilize the allotment over the entire summer and fall.
*One thing to remember, don’t over budget this area. By saying you are going to get XX guys so you can add some more dollars to the budget sets everyone up for failure. Don’t count on money that hasn’t come in, use what you have and if there is a surplus you can budget higher next year.
This often overlooked committee can be exceptionally helpful to the future health of the organization. There are many programs TKE and universities provide to enhance your leadership skills, academic performance, and the chapter. Things like Regional Leadership Conferences, TKE Conclave, UIFI (Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute) , Charles R. Walgreen TKE Leadership Academy and Leadershape are great programs to attend. And what about bringing a speaker to your campus for everyone’s benefits (like Frater Mark Sterner)? While TKE can assist in getting you there or making it easier to get speakers to campus, you will still need to add a line in for these expenses. All you need to do here is take last year’s cost (or find what it is) and multiply it by how many you want to send or bring in.
*Please note, the TKE Educational Foundation has funds available through Special Projects and grants to help, but you should budget as if those are not available. This way if you do have some you can add to the number of people going.
Another seldom used, but very important committee is for Alumni. Many chapters struggle with re-engaging alumni members, but having a budget line and plan in place can immensely aid in this effort. Just because things may not be successful initially does not mean you abandon them entirely. Common areas to mark down are Homecoming, Newsletter and events. Homecoming should be a no-brainer as many alumni come in town to participate and attend to remember the good times spent during their years there. A newsletter doesn’t always have to be printed, but creating a quarterly or semi-annual report is a non-intrusive way to showcase all of the good things the chapter is doing and why they should get involved again. Events like a friendly softball game, sport tailgate or restaurant gathering are no-pressure activities that gather friends back together. The first step is to expose them to current membership and then you can ask for assistance (whether to volunteer or ask for funding).
*Remember to avoid simply asking for money every time you see an alumnus. This will immediately turn off a potential donor of time or treasure. You only have one opportunity to make a first impression - make it count.
Service/ Philanthropy Committee
Both Service and Philanthropy are core responsibilities in TKE. To insure you can have successful events, it is a good idea to set aside funds for them. While local organizations and St. Jude representatives can help you with the planning, money will be needed to execute most efforts. Since service events don’t generate money to offset initial costs, you must have plan on how many of these you will have during the year. Some ideas chapters have had include a miniature carnival for kids, can food drive and Christmas presents for kids. Philanthropies typically have higher start-up costs, but the dollars generated can sometimes help alleviate this concern. Allotting funds for these can do a lot for the campus, local and international perceptions of TKE.
*Don’t forget that St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is an internationally endorsed philanthropic partner and they have local chapters to help you. In addition, be sure to record all dollars raised and hours spent on the Maintenance Module.
As many have said, failure to plan is planning to fail. Don’t jeopardize your future by avoiding the work needed today. If you ever need assistance, the TKE staff is here for you. Email or call us (317.872.6533) any time.
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