It's somewhat easier to extract dues from the Actives while they're on campus. But, with each successive year away from college life, the importance of the "the National" becomes less and less. And yet, alumni have the greatest ability to pay dues...and at a higher annual rate than Actives.
Despite being a Board member of my Chapter Alumni Association, I have to admit that my track record of paying dues to the National has been spotty, at best. Indeed, through my affiliation with the Chapter, you'd think I'd be more tuned into the activities of the National and, thus, more likely to pay dues. Imagine what my contemporaries that aren't involved with their Chapter do when it comes to National dues. Hell, most don't pay their Chapter Alumni dues.
Which is a dilemma for more than just fraternities. We are all joining fewer associations than the generations that came before us. So, how to keep the lights on when the dues slow to a trickle?
My National just hit me up with a genius idea. Subscribe to their exclusive wine club where a accomplished vintner (and fraternity Brother) selects three small batch wines from some of the best vineyards in America for $99 a quarter. And, half of all proceeds go to the Mothership. That means each year, subscribers get 12 rare bottles of wine for $200 and the National gets $200.
And, while that may seem like some pricey wine for some...the revenue to the National per Alumni is likely more than they could extract by simply appealing to their nostalgia and loyalty.
Can't wait to see how this pans out.