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Organizations and chapters have all been experienced members choosing to end their membership for a variety of reasons. It can be hard seeing members end their membership. For sorority women, retention is the effort of keeping/engaging members in the organization. Retention can be achieved by identifying the reason members leave and improving the reasons why members stay. If your chapter has low morale and is struggling with retention, consider the ideas below to help improve your sisterhood.

Programming

Host relevant programming by year in school.

While sisterhood events are a great way to bond with the chapter, members’ needs may vary by year. Freshmen may need events catered towards getting involved on campus while seniors might need events centered around interview etiquette. Take time to consider the stages of live your members are in and how you can provide relevant programming that keeps them engaged. 

Organize a sisterhood event.

Outside of the required events and programming, consider hosting more frequent and smaller-scale opportunities for members to participate in sisterhood events. There are plenty of ways you can host events virtually or for a low cost. Finding ways members can spend time together and form relationships is key. Creating more opportunities to connect, even if it’s for just a few members, can be a catalyst in forming friendships.

Keep things fresh.

Change up chapter meetings to allow for more relevant programming and strategize them in a way that fosters connection. Check out what resources your organization offers or find another office on your campus that might be able to facilitate a program for your members. You can also leverage the knowledge and abilities of your members by allowing them to host programs and events.

Celebrate Members

Evaluate how you celebrate/highlight members.

Doing a little can mean a lot. Sharing appreciation and pride in members being selected for an internship or being accepted into a competitive program through chapter shoutouts or social media posts allows members to see they are valued and their hard work highlighted.

Consider implementing programs that recognize:

  • Academic achievement.
  • Positive acts of sisterhood.
  • Service and philanthropy work.
  • Attending or participating in events hosted by other fraternal organizations.

Think about who in your chapter might not be recognized as often and be intentional about ways to highlight their contributions to their community or campus.

Provide Opportunities for Connection

Create small groups.

Building connection can be hard. Finding your place and your people can take time, but the absence of connection can distance members away from the sisterhood your chapter offers. Consider utilizing small groups to promote connection. Use small groups for chapter events, meeting activities or in other ways to provide a sense of community within your chapter. This can help make sure no one is left out and help members make connections with women they might not have before.   

Provide mentorship opportunities with Alumnae.

Big/Little relationships are a great way to provide mentorship within the collegiate experience, but mentorship doesn’t have to end there. Partnering with your local alumnae chapter is a great way to promote membership and solidify that a sorority is a lifetime membership. Consider having members shadow alumnae at work or host an alumnae panel on resume and career tips. Leveraging the strength of our lifelong sisterhood by connecting with alumnae is a great way to offer mentorship to your members.

Host weekly get to know a sister events/days.

One of the most effective ways to make connections is when someone bravely puts themselves out there. That is hard for many members, but chapters can create programs that encourage this connection. Hosting weekly coffee dates or meetups is an opportunity to connect one-on-one with another member in the chapter. Pairs can be chosen at random using name generators or going old school by drawing a name out of a hat at a chapter meeting. Consider having pairs share during the following chapter meeting something they learned about the sister they went to coffee with. This is also a great thing to talk about on social media as it highlights members and the connection of sisterhood.

Written by Hannah Haulsee

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