Let’s take a moment to shout out to the parents for the love and affection they’ve showered on you over the years.
Since you were young, they’ve done their best to raise you right. They must’ve done a good job, too. Look at you.
You’re getting a college education.
You’re in a sorority, which means you’re putting your values to the test through hard work and philanthropy.
These are all accomplishments to celebrate. Take a moment to pat yourself on the back. Now call your parents and thank them for their support. We’ll wait.
There’s more, too. Many parents are still helping sorority sisters have their best chance for success by easing their financial worries.
Sorority membership dues aren’t exactly cheap. Neither is tuition. Being a college student while fretting about the impending nightmare of student loan debt can quickly overwhelm you.
When parents cover these costs and let sisters focus on their academics, it’s a huge relief.
They’re so nice, they won’t even ask you to pay back their investment in your future (unless your parents are professional loan sharks). Though you might show your gratitude by making a GPA worthy of the dean’s list and bagging a lucrative career once you graduate.
The least a chapter can do is offer some transparency and engage parents in the product made possible by their checkbooks.
OmegaFi believes that bringing parents into the fold and engaging them in the chapter makes good financial sense.
Plus, Greek life is a generational and familial pursuit. Why wouldn’t you include those who’ve had the biggest impact on who you’ve become?
Let’s open our sorority finances and our hearts to the ‘rents. Let’s Show Sorority Sisters’ Parents What They’re Paying For.
Let Parents in on the Sorority Fun. Invite them Out.
The best way to engage parents in the sorority chapter is to invite them to the house to meet the sisters and alumnae.
In fact, it’s probably a good idea before pledging to show parents how to get in contact with chapter executives, alumnae or advisors. They can ask questions about pledging, anti-hazing regulations, academics and what the heck membership dues pay for.
Once you’re a sister, however, you’re going to want parents to stay engaged throughout your undergrad years.
Invite them out not just once during your sorority’s parents weekend, but also tell them to come out to big chapter events, to visit for a Mother’s Day or Father’s Day dinner, or to tailgate a sporting event.
Local parents have the added advantage of being able to drop in more often.
That’s not an excuse to lose touch with those who don’t live nearby, though.
If you plan far enough ahead and invite all parents to cornerstone events, you’re sure to get some out-of-towners to make the trip.
What’s important is that parents see what they’re paying for in action: Philanthropy. Academic success. Dedication. Leadership. Joy. Sisterhood.
So wrap them up in a big hug, tell them to take a load off in the den, and ease their minds about their money well spent.
Remind Parents What They’re Paying for: The Results Are Black and White
Many parents simply can’t travel long distances as often as you’d like, and that means their physical presence at chapter events can’t be the only way you engage them.
There are still plenty of other ways to illustrate the value of sorority membership dues.
Parent engagement relies on communicating at a distance. Share chapter publications targeting their involvement and keep them in the loop about chapter goals and accomplishments. Focus on showing them how sorority life improves your college experience and helps you grow as a young woman.
Think of it in terms of how you approach alumnae engagement. You put out a sorority chapter newsletter. You phone and email them. You celebrate their accomplishments. You let them know about chapter accomplishments. You show them you care, and that you want to share successes with them.
Parents share that desire to be a part of your sorority life.
Target parents with communications and publications that illustrate the benefits of sorority life. Share academic successes, chapter projects that connect you to the local community, and major news about your university.
Connect them to the chapter, alumnae organizations, and the national sorority through social media.
Between in-person visits and touching base long distance, keeping parents informed helps them see the many important benefits of strong chapter finances.
Sorority Financial Software Links Parents to the Chapter Budget
Your chapter budget is a labor of love between the sorority treasurer and the angry mob of officers and committees demanding funding for this or that project, proving that the art of compromise is alive and well—and as crucial as ever.
The treasurer should make her magnum opus available for sisters to see and understand how funds are allocated. She’ll keep paper trails and be as informative as possible about the chapter’s financial reality. Any changes in the budget should be transparent and explained to the chapter as soon as possible.
But what about parents? Should they see the budget, too?
How you answer that question will vary from sorority to sorority, according to your bylaws and internal management decisions.
Regardless, you can still have an open and easy dialogue with parents using sorority financial software like OmegaFi’s Vault. Parents can pay sisters’ dues easily through an electronic payment system, and the chapter benefits from online bank management.
When a parent asks a question about dues or the budget, the treasurer or other executives can quickly access the budget to answer those questions.
Financial software has the benefit of adding a tangible, streamlined connection between parents paying for sisters’ dues and the chapter who uses those dues.
How has your chapter worked to engage parents in the chapter finances? Do your sisters’ parents know what they’re paying for? Let us know in the comments below.