When it comes to financial operations, the primary focus of the chapter treasurer is to ensure a high collections rate while keeping an organized and strategic budget. One of the hardest things to do in the chapter is to change a culture, whether it be conduct, academic or financial. The best way to combat a culture of complacency surrounding paying dues is to establish transparency and accountability in all financial operations. If your chapter could use some help in this area, here are three things you can start doing:
1. Budget transparency: In my experience working with various chapters, the groups that struggle the most with collections often have no idea where their money is going to begin with. If men are hesitant to pay their dues, start having conversations about the budget during your report in chapter meetings. This can be as simple as projecting the budget during your report or sending out an updated budget beforehand, talking through where the money is going and how much money is in the bank. If everyone in the chapter is aware of where the money is coming from and where it is going, the level of accountability will be heightened.
2. Year-to-date (YTD) percentages: The YTD percentage is simply data that indicates the amount of a particular budget that has already been spent at that point in time. The YTD percentage is already built into the Standard Budget that we provide our chapter with, and will auto-populate as long as you keep your budget organized. Similar to the budget transparency, emphasizing the YTD percentages to the chapter will help keep everyone informed on where money is being allocated.
3. Current/delinquent accounts: Think about your chapter and the men who don’t pay their dues. Is it easy for those brothers to go under the radar? Is there any accountability in place? A recommendation I always have is to further that same transparency. During your report in meeting, briefly go over or display the men who are financially delinquent. If a man’s brothers are seeing that he isn’t pulling his weight, he will be held accountable. Additionally, highlight them men who are current on their dues as well as the men who are keeping up with payment plans. Reinforcing positive behavior can go a long way when it comes to building a healthy financial culture.
Work on implementing the tips above in your next report, and next week we’ll dive into Collections Strategies II, which will focus on working with financial delinquency on the individual level. For more general treasurer information, take a look at the treasurer handbook.
Jarrett M. Way
Director of Educational Content & Strategy