TTBO. ROADMAP FOR SUCCESS: Best Practices for Alumnae Clubs

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1 TTBO 1867 ROADMAP FOR SUCCESS: Best Practices for Alumnae Clubs

2 TTBO 1867 Your bags are packed, it s time to hit the road! This Roadmap for Success provides ideas and assistance to Pi Beta Phi alumnae clubs. Whether your club is looking to increase membership, improve officer training or learn more about Read > Lead > Achieve, the Fraternity s philanthropic effort, this guide offers helpful tips and tricks to put you on the road to fun and friendship. This roadmap is divided into sections which contain best practices for alumnae clubs to follow in order to achieve their best and provide an excellent member experience. So buckle your seatbelt and enjoy the ride! Table of Contents Resources... 3 Programming... 7 Read > Lead > Achieve... 4 Finances... 9 Member Retention/Growth... 5 Leadership/Sustainability Communication... 6

3 Resources Your Alumnae Regional Team is an important resource available to you. Strong clubs interact and communicate with their regional teams by asking questions and sharing news. Many regional teams also have their own newsletters and social media accounts. It is important for club leaders to understand how regional teams are structured and what the different regional officers are able to assist clubs with. These teams consist of an Alumnae Regional Director (ARD), an Alumnae Regional Membership Specialist (ARMS) and an Alumnae Regional Programming Specialist (ARPS). Contact information for your regional volunteers can be found under the support section of the alumnae tab at Regional volunteers should be contacted with concerns or questions surrounding membership, programming, fundraising efforts, Read > Lead > Achieve and other alumnae-related topics. Clubs can also utilize Pi Beta Phi Foundation volunteers such as Foundation Ambassadors. Two key websites club leaders can visit for information are and Other key resources clubs can utilize are ereports, MemberPlanet, the Online Learning Center, the Resource Library on the Pi Beta Phi website and the Pi Beta Phi Headquarters staff. All clubs receive a fall and spring mailing from Headquarters. These mailings are electronic and sent via . They contain pertinent information for club members and it s a good idea for Club Presidents to share these mailings with other club officers when they come out. 3

4 Read > Lead > Achieve Strong clubs understand Read > Lead > Achieve and are able to explain it clearly to others. Philanthropic-focused clubs also support Read > Lead > Achieve as the Fraternity s primary philanthropic focus. High-performing clubs understand Pi Phi supports literacy through both service and fundraising. Both are important parts of our philanthropic work. Successful clubs plan a Fraternity Day of Service event on or around March 2, in honor of Dr. Seuss birthday. Many clubs host a fun and engaging Champions are Readers program in their community, such as in a classroom or at an after-school program. It s considered a best practice for alumnae clubs to support The Literacy Fund at Pi Beta Phi Foundation through their contributions. Strong clubs also nominate their Literacy Fund gifts toward a Local Impact Grant. Through Local Impact Grants, chapters and alumnae clubs may nominate 25 percent of their gifts to The Literacy Fund to a local organization working in literacy. Additionally, that 25 percent will be matched by the Foundation, dollar for dollar, increasing the impact of the club s donation! Make sure to share all the philanthropic work your club is doing! You can share the good news by writing a press release and sending it to local newspapers, magazines and TV stations. You can also share your news via social media don t forget to use the hashtag #readleadachieve! 4

5 Member Retention/Growth Make sure to use the Membership Roster in ereports and know how to manipulate the data, such as finding the largest age group in your club or what different chapters are represented. Membership interest surveys are an easy way to learn about the demographics of your club, what programs your club members are interested in and what goals the Executive Board should be working toward. These surveys can be administered electronically through MemberPlanet or be sent through the mail. There are sample surveys available in the Resource Library. Club officers should be aware of best practices for engaging new graduates. Make sure to utilize MemberPlanet for electronic invitations for events and programs. These electronic invitations can also double as a dues request. Remember to make membership personal. Many members attend club events because they have been personally invited by a Pi Phi sister, neighbor or through an individual or phone call. Following up with a member after she attends her first event is important too! Make sure to thank her for coming and let her know when and where the next event is taking place. 5

6 Communication The following are key to strong communication: effective, frequent and varied. It is important to have a communication plan for the whole year that includes mailings, s, social media posts, etc. All messages sent to your membership should have a cohesive look and message. Model clubs often utilize the MemberPlanet template which comes with the correct messaging and language! Strong clubs keep their website up-to-date. Your website is a valuable recruitment tool. Don t forget to communicate outside of Pi Phi: press releases, invitations to stakeholders to philanthropic events, Alumnae Panhellenic organizations, etc. All these groups are interested in the good work your club is doing. A good question to ask is: who else, besides Pi Phis, would be interested in this event or community service? Focus on all ages. Keep in mind members who don t have an online presence and vice versa. Many clubs use the How to Create Positive PR document on the Resource Library to spread the word about their activities. Communications to club members should promote the mission, vision and values of the Fraternity consistently. Remember, we are a premier organization for women! Make sure to share your news with the Headquarters staff. Your photos and stories could be shared in The Arrow, on social media and on the Fraternity website. 6

7 Programming Make sure your programs are varied and are attractive to different age groups. Don t forget to focus on all ages groups, not just new graduates or Golden Arrows. It s a best practice for alumnae clubs to conduct more than one Leading with Values seminar throughout the year, such as a Founders Day workshop or a workshop combined with a local collegiate chapter. High-performing clubs understand how valuable interest groups can be to the membership and programming of the club. Be creative and use membership surveys to determine what your members want! Don t forget to recognize member anniversaries, such as 25-Year Silver Arrows, 50-Year Golden Arrows and 75-Year Diamond Arrows. Support a local collegiate chapter by volunteering to help at events like initiation, a philanthropy event or Founders Day. This can be just as fun for alumnae as it is helpful for the chapter. Even if there is not a chapter nearby, there are still many ways to show support! Clubs can send care packages during finals time, send a holiday card or send a donation to the chapter s philanthropy event or fundraiser. Look at past events and ask these questions: What worked? What didn t work? What have we never done before? Use those answers to plan for the upcoming year. 7

8 Programming (continued) Invite your Pi Beta Phi Foundation Ambassador to speak at an alumnae club meeting or event. Topics can be philanthropy in general, about Foundation programs or Read > Lead > Achieve. Strong clubs know the history of their club and celebrate milestone anniversaries. Do you know how old your club is? If you don t know, contact Headquarters to learn your club s founding date. Strong clubs create a programming calendar over the summer. This helps club leaders see the big picture to ensure you aren t over- or under-programming club members. Club leaders should attend Fraternity events, such as convention or Alumnae Leadership Summits, and utilize the tools and resources provided at these events. 8

9 Finances Strong alumnae clubs budget conservatively for the year, keeping in mind dues income and expenses. Develop a spending approval process so reimbursement requests do not exceed the budget for the year. Make sure this process is clear to club officers. Make sure to budget appropriately for your club leadership to attend Fraternity events, such as convention and Alumnae Leadership Summits, including budgeting for travel. It s a best practice to utilize MemberPlanet for online dues collection. Using MemberPlanet can make the work of the Treasurer much easier. If club members write checks for dues, it s advised Treasurers submit those checks to Headquarters on a rolling basis, instead of waiting several months to send the checks all at once. Alumnae Club Treasurers should refer to the Guidelines for Alumnae Club Treasurers, which can be found in the Resource Library on the Pi Beta Phi website. The document contains important information regarding financial processes and due dates. 9

10 Leadership/Sustainability Officers should be aware of which reports and awards their position is responsible for. A complete list of officer responsibilities and due dates can be found in the Guidelines for Alumnae Organizations in the Resource Library. Outgoing officers should train incoming officers and make sure their procedure notebook/binder is up-to-date before training takes place. When leaving a position, the officer should ask, What do I wish I knew when I started this position? and share that information with the incoming officer. In addition to in-person training, officers should utilize the Online Learning Center for training. A meeting of the Executive Board should take place in early summer to begin planning for the upcoming year. Developing visionary leaders is a primary goal of the Fraternity. Leadership development provides benefit for the Fraternity, the local alumnae club and the individual member. Many Pi Phis volunteer at the club level in order to develop their own leadership skills. Promote this as a benefit when recruiting new officers! Make sure the Executive Board understands and practices servant leadership. 10

11 Leadership/Sustainability (continued) Utilize strategic planning, SWOT (Strengths-weaknesses-opportunities-threats), S.M.A.R.T. (Specific-measurable-achievable-relevant-timely) goals and the Alumnae Club Review. More information about S.M.A.R.T. goal setting can be found in the Resource Library. Celebrate the successes of your club and your members by applying for Fraternity awards, both individual awards and club awards. Provide names of your club s leaders to the Leadership and Nominating Committee as potential candidates to serve the Fraternity and Foundation beyond the local level. Club officers should be familiar with the Pi Beta Phi Constitution and Statutes, as well as the Policy and Position Statements. 11

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