By Renee Bailey Iacona, International Vice President of Alumnae Membership, Delta Upsilon-University of Tennessee, Martin
Recently, Grand Council and the Alpha Delta Pi Foundation Trustees met together and discussed ways in which we can improve alumnae engagement- after all there are many more sisters out there who are not active with their chapters, nearby associations, house corporations or the International organization. As we considered opportunities to engage more sisters, one area that we are already exploring through a pilot is the concept of Chapter Associations. This idea bloomed from the NPC Alumnae Summit where members of our alumnae team and myself as your Grand Council representative for Alumnae Membership come together with fellow NPC alumnae officers and share ideas across our organizations- after all we are not competing for alumnae and can grow together to be better organizations through sharing! The Chapter Association idea came from this type of Summit sharing…
The concept of the Chapter Associations is that we have many sisters who associate their membership with the chapter they joined (or in some cases the one they affiliated with)- that is, they are closer to ADPi because of their chapter- they want to know what’s happening with their chapter, what awards were won on campus, and what their chapter sisters are up to- and they care more about this than who serves as an IO or who’s been to DLC. In addition, our chapters want to keep their alumnae updated and often lose contact because of changing physical or email addresses since the alumnae left college. While the latest technology with Social Media has helped, chapters still do not have current information for all their alumnae. We’ve seen this impact recent Chapter Anniversary celebrations where the chapter was unable to connect with many of their alumnae and invite them back for the festivities and either didn’t have complete contact lists or found some sisters as “lost lions.”
So to address this, other NPC groups have formed Chapter Associations with the goal of engaging alumnae who have this interest of their chapter. The concept is that each chapter (active or closed) could have a chapter association in which the alumnae of that chapter or alumnae with keen interest in a chapter (such as a long standing advisor) would join the Chapter Association. The chapter will receive contact information for the members of the chapter association and kept up to date of members providing each access to their own alumnae. The association will organize ways for the members to support the chapter.
Additional benefits of the chapter association include:
- Sisters of a closed chapter have a way to connect with each other and celebrate together should ADPi return to their campus as we have recently seen with Delta Gamma, Gamma Delta, Epsilon Eta, Delta Sigma and Epsilon chapters..
- Sisters who do not live near a local alumnae association have a way to connect with other alumnae from their chapter
- Chapter anniversary support- the committee for a chapter anniversary event will include a member of the chapter association to connect with the alumnae in a coordinated way
- Chapters where there are not local alumnae nearby can find additional support from their chapter association alumnae
- Connecting sisters to their chapters will further then connect these sisters to the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority and Foundation
In Alpha Delta Pi we are piloting this concept for 2013-2104 year with a few chapters in each district. For the pilot, we chose some chapters that need additional alumnae support, chapters with upcoming anniversary events, and included a couple of closed chapters with upcoming anniversaries as well. The pilot will allow the alumnae team to consider the processes and support needed to support the chapter associations and also determine any improvements needed before we roll-out to all chapters.
Recently we have also held key city events where members of Grand Council and members of the District team invite area alumnae to an event to share the State of the Sorority with the local alumnae and to answer any questions- recent events were held in Jackson MS, Los Angeles CA ,New Orleans LA, and Phoenix AZ with upcoming events scheduled for Oxford MS, Philadelphia PA, Washington DC, and Atlanta GA.
I would personally love to hear your ideas for alumnae engagement to keep Alpha Delta Pi first, finest and especially forever! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will share your ideas with our great alumnae team.