As a house corporation volunteer for my sorority, I’ve always cringed when someone asks me if I want the good news or the bad news first. If I must choose, I’ll ask for the not-so-great news first. I’d rather get it out of the way and end on a positive note.
So, here it goes...
The not-so-great news: Virtual and/or delayed recruitment meant that nationally, fraternity and sorority membership was down 13% in 2020.
As a result, house corporations across the country took a major hit. Many house corporations, or chapters, billed the bare minimum to cover their mortgages, national or international dues and fees, and insurance while cutting costs and delaying housing projects not related to health and safety. The 2020-2021 academic year became one of mere survival instead of growth.
OmegaFi provides financial services to over 3,000 chapters and house corporations, and the data from the hundreds of house corporations using our Vault financial management tool shows some staggering trends in 2020.
- Nearly $15 million less was billed in 2020 as compared to 2019.
- Nearly $11.5 million was credited or refunded in 2020 compared to $5.1 million in 2019.
- Nearly half as much revenue was collected in 2020 as compared to 2019, and fixed costs stayed the same.
The good news: OmegaFi’s experts are forecasting a return to 2018 or 2019 revenue levels for house corporations and chapters in the 2021-2022 academic year. Based on our data, we anticipate house corporations collectively can expect a cash infusion of more than $109 million.
Before you start dreaming of building an addition to the house or upgrading outdoor spaces, here’s what we recommend you do with that influx of revenue:
- Restore your reserves: A good rule of personal budgeting is to pay yourself first and set funds aside for just-in-case. Build your house corporation savings back up before making big investments.
- Make the revenue work for you: Many national/international headquarters’ liability insurance coverage policies now require billing to be done by an approved professional service, and some offer discounted rates if a professional service is involved. Get the discount! A professional accounting service like OmegaFi’s GRS Accounting may also help you discover additional cost savings after reviewing your budget.
- Shift some responsibilities to experts: Give yourself some time back and focus on your house corporation’s strategic goals instead of day-to-day operations. Consider expanding your accounting services to include contract management, payroll, accounts payable, and customized financial reports to ensure the long-term success of your house corporation and reduce volunteer burnout.
These are just a few of the ways you can position your house corporation back into a position of strength and stability after a tumultuous 18 months.
Caitlin Hannah is the sales manager for OmegaFi, a financial services and technology company that helps chapters and house corporations manage member information, accounts receivable, accounts payable, tax filing and compliance, and other critical financial operations. When she’s not helping chapters and house corporations find excellence, she’s a proud volunteer with the Epsilon Epsilon of Sigma Kappa House Corporation at The University of Georgia. You can contact her at channah@OmegaFi.com.