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    Using Technology to Connect with Your Chapters…And Grow Younger – By Guest Blogger Allison Koppel, American Fraternal Alliance Executive Vice President

    millennial tech

    This week Joe is on the road on Alliance business with stops in Pittsburgh and Springfield, Illinois, among other places. While he is away, I am going to throw my hat into the blogging ring and take a few moments to talk about an exciting new Alliance member benefit designed to modernize how you connect with your chapters.

    Chapters are an important part of any society. They promote and advance your mission and vision to serve both members and the community. But as we all know, maintaining a successful chapter is a difficult task for all those involved. Any chapter should always strive to attract new members, find new community service projects and volunteer opportunities and serve local members in a meaningful way.

    There is no question that maintaining a chapter takes a lot of work and most of it depends on a small group of volunteers to keep things going. But volunteers don’t last forever! What about the future? Some of your best qualified future chapter leaders are convinced that they’re too busy to lead. So the same dedicated generals continue to carry the load. They’re busy too, but feel stuck… they’ve invested too much to see it all fall apart. It’s not as fun as at used to be, but they have the knowledge and experience to make it all work. That’s risky too.

    Koppel_Allison 2008How to recruit new volunteers is an age-old problem. Getting younger people to donate their time can take a chapter to the next level but how will introducing change and doing things in new ways affect your current members?

    Start small! Consider breaking the bigger jobs down into something a strong leader with an already booked life could imagine him/herself doing. Also, introducing new technology can be a lifesaver, especially with all the paperwork that is necessary to keep an active chapter going.

    To assist in this effort, the Alliance has developed a new member benefit called FraternalsGIVE.org. This new program is a perfect example of the Alliance seeing a challenge among all fraternals and creating a solution for it. There’s also an added benefit. Using FraternalsGIVE.org will help the Alliance advocate on behalf of its members because the cumulative data will be so powerful.

    FraternalsGIVE.org is a website designed to capture chapter activity data which will help society home offices streamline communications between headquarters and chapters/lodges. Participating societies can decide which chapters (any or all) want to go primarily “paperless” and start using the FraternalsGIVE.org platform to record all fraternal activity. Home offices will have the ability to run reports by chapter, by state, by date range; chapters will be able to see only their own activity information. The Alliance, as the “super-user”, will have access to all data that creates a powerful supply of local community activities to draw upon when we visit with state and federal lawmakers and regulators to promote the fraternal business model.

    FraternalsGIVE.org is a cost effective way to modernize how you connect with your chapters. For a nominal annual fee of $2,500, societies can add any or all of their chapters to this database so that chapter leaders can report on community service activities, volunteer events, board meetings, chapter donations made to other causes and all of the other important actions of chapters. The investment will seem insignificant once your staff and chapter leaders are relieved of onerous paperwork and data entry. FraternalsGIVE.org is also a great way to attract younger volunteer leaders who are turned off by traditional, manual processes.
    Additional benefits of this new program are:

    FraternalsGIVE.org gives chapters the ability to request matching funds from the society home office and gives societies a better method for reviewing requests.

    • Data that chapters report can be summarized quickly and transferred in their IRS 990 filing, thus supporting the chapter’s and your society’s tax exempt status.

    • The work to find a vendor who understands fraternals is done; the site is tested and ready to be used…saving societies the time and headaches of starting a system from scratch.

    • Simple. Easy. No email necessary to utilize.

    FraternalsGIVE.org is simple to use for both home office fraternal staff and for chapters leaders. And the Alliance will provide training for anyone who needs it! Why not learn more about this exciting and affordable new system by viewing a FREE webinar tutorial?

    Register here for a FREE webinar tutorial being held on:
    Tuesday, April 1, 2014
    11:30 AM-12:15 PM CDT

    I urge you to visit the FraternalsGIVE.org page on the Alliance website to learn more. Providing you with the tools that will help you succeed is part of our mission here at the Alliance. Let us know how we are doing and what you would like to see in the future. Please stay in touch and let us know how we can serve you better.

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