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Preferencing Philanthropy

During recruitment, a majority of PNMs will say they want to join a sorority because they want to make friends or they’re searching to gain a strong sisterhood. While I also wanted that, it wasn’t my only requirement for the chapter I was going to call home. Keep reading for tips to connect with a potential new member like me!

While I was going through recruitment, I was asked the question over and over again, “Why do you want to join a sorority?”. I think I surprised many of the recruiters I met when my answer was that I wanted to be involved in the service and philanthropy that sororities participate in and contribute to, and that I was excited to do service projects with a big group of people and make a big impact.

When we meet PNMs who also have this goal in mind, how do we showcase our heart for philanthropy and service during the philanthropy round as well as through the entire recruitment period? Here are my three tips to cultivate a focus on philanthropy & service throughout all of recruitment:

1. Do a service activity during philanthropy round!

Philanthropy round is a great opportunity to talk about your chapter’s philanthropy and service, but if you’re looking to go even further, plan an activity that is service oriented and related to what your chapter's focus. When I was going through recruitment, one of the chapter’s activities was making bracelets to sell as a fundraiser for their philanthropy, and another chapter’s activity was putting gift bags together to be donated. These activities can be as simple as writing cards to a certain group of people. Doing an activity similar to these gives PNMs the opportunity to experience service and philanthropy first hand while also getting to talk to your chapter about their experiences with philanthropy.

2. Learn more information about your chapters philanthropy and service efforts.

As a recruiter, you’re expected to know what your chapter’s philanthropies are and what you do as a chapter to contribute to those, but how well do you know the details? I was guilty of being somewhat clueless about my chapter’s philanthropies until I became our Vice President of Philanthropic Service. I learned more in depth about the specific programs, scholarships, and grants that the foundation provides from the funds we raise for them as chapters. Make sure that you are learning everything you can about your chapter’s philanthropies and service projects so that you can answer any questions PNMs might have. You can learn more by asking your philanthropy & service officer in your chapter or visiting the philanthropy's website.

3. Share how you’re personally connected to philanthropy!

Often we memorize small chunks of information about the causes we support and turn them into speeches that we can then rely on during recruitment. While this is helpful to know the basics, this doesn’t help you create a meaningful connection with a PNM. When it comes to philanthropy, personal connections and stories are the most powerful. I always speak about my personal connection to one of Sigma Kappa’s philanthropies, Alzheimer’s disease. I’ve lost family members to Alzheimer’s disease, so I love speaking about how I now get to contribute to research for a cure for this disease. Another example could just be personally seeing the impact that your chapter’s efforts are making in people’s lives or even your sister's. Think about how you connect with philanthropy and how you can share your personal story during recruitment.

Remember that everyone connects with philanthropy at different levels and in different ways. The same goes for PNMs, some go into recruitment without philanthropy on their radar and some go in with philanthropy as their main reason. Use the time before recruitment to reflect on your experience with philanthropy and practice having those conversations and sharing your story with others.

While there is a specified sisterhood round during recruitment, it often tends to become the overarching theme throughout recruitment. This is not surprising considering the main reason women are going through recruitment and trying to join a chapter is to make friends and gain sisterhood. Philanthropy is the other topic that always has a round during the recruitment process. While there aren’t as many PNMs going through recruitment with philanthropy as their main focus, you never know when there might be some. Work with these ideas to raise the importance of philanthropy in recruitment and incorporate the theme throughout the process like we do with sisterhood.


Aubrey is one of our incredible interns who will be contributing to Her Sorority Journey programming & development during the 2021 summer! Meet our rockstar team of interns here:

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