"Making mental connections is our most crucial learning tool, the essence of human intelligence; to forge links; to go beyond the given; to see patterns, relationships, context" - Marilyn Ferguson
Seeing a pattern. Making a connection. That’s when you know you’re learning and remembering. And that’s what I’ve been doing recently in sorority recruitment training. On Monday, July 25, the consultants of Alpha Sigma Tau, Sigma Kappa, and Alpha Gamma Delta joined those of Alpha Sigma Alpha at their headquarters in Indianapolis for sorority recruitment training. Jessica Gendron Williams, an Alpha Sigma Tau alumna, presented Dynamic Recruitment, a Phired Up production. Since our fraternity/sorority life adviser at Penn State Behrend provided us with wonderful great campus programming, I was lucky to have already been familiar with the presentation. Though, each time I saw the production, it was before I began working with fundraising and donor development at my alma mater. But this time, as I sat through a sorority recruitment workshop, I made the connections with and saw the parallels between sorority recruitment and development.
1. The goal. The main objective is the same for both. In development, the goal is to promote a relationship to your organization that is so strong, the individual is personally fulfilled by giving back. In sorority recruitment, the goal is to promote a relationship to your organization that is so strong, the individual is personally fulfilled by joining. Not much different.
2. The pipeline. In the Dynamic Recruitment workshop, Jessica talked about encouraging chapters to have a “names list” of women who are not affiliated with the organization who may potentially join. Members constantly cultivate these relationships until the women educated enough to join or not join. When these women either join or don’t join, women from lower on the list are moved to the top, and new women are added. This “names list” is like a development officer’s pipeline. Development officers are continuously looking for people to add to their pipeline and to cultivate them into future donors. Who knew?
3. The personal connection. In development, often times people give to an organization for a personal reason. There is a personal motivator behind their decision to give. They have a specific connection to something that sparks their interest to make a gift. In sorority recruitment, women join their organizations for personal reasons. This could be a specific member, a community service event the organization supports, or a connection she feels to the values of the organization.
Isn’t this crazy?! There are probably more parallels, but those might have to wait for a deeper analysis at a later date. I guess I just thought some of the similarities were interesting, and I was very excited to make a connection between something I’ve been learning over the past year (development) and something I will be teaching over the next year (recruitment).