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The Votes are in...


Of more than 128,000 fraternity and sorority alumni who responded to a survey this summer, less than 30 percent said that they were satisfied with updates about fellow alumni and their local chapter in fraternity publications.

We anecdotally hear this when we talk with fraternity and sorority alumni, but those conversations are now also backed by research. For more than a decade, the Foundation for Fraternal Excellence—an interfraternal organization that supports fraternity and sorority charitable foundations—has partnered with Cygnus Applied Research to conduct the largest survey of fraternity and sorority alumni.

In each of the three times the survey has been conducted, most recently in summer 2020, the study has highlighted that affinity lies with the local chapter. For most Greek alumni, the people they met, the experiences they had, and the place they called home in their formative college years foster the strongest connection.

Cygnus reports that alumni frequently feel let down when it comes to the delivery of key content, especially information from the chapter. In fact, alumnus dissatisfaction with chapter content has only increased in comparing the 2020 results with those of 2015, even though alumni have potentially greater access to information than they did five years ago through social media, chapter and national organization websites, and email campaigns.

Specifically, the survey indicates the top three things that interest alumni most are:

  • Information about chapter developments and activities,
  • Updates about fellow chapter alumni, and
  • Future plans for the chapter.

This research is consistent with Pennington & Company’s findings over the last 27 years. In our work, we have interviewed more than 22,000 affluent Greek alumni, and they seek a deeper connection to their chapter. Two of the most common complaints from alumni:  

  • “I stopped by the chapter house, and no one said hello or made me feel welcome.”
  • “I do not hear from the chapter, unless they need money.”

Alumni are asking for organizations to share news, plans and progress and to connect them with the chapter they love. By launching a mail and digital alumni engagement program designed to share these chapter updates—weaving in important national messages—organizations will build a stronger affinity for and drive awareness about their fraternal programs.

There has never been a better time to strengthen the tie between the fraternity or sorority (starting with the chapter) and alumni. Over the past year, the need for connection has been critical to our well-being.

Learn more about how we might tailor our services to help fill that void and enhance your alumni engagement program HERE. We welcome the opportunity to discuss how we might best partner together.