Women’s Greek organizations go back to the mid-nineteenth century, with the formation of the first women’s fraternity in 1867 at Monmouth College, Pi Beta Phi. In 1870, the DePauw University women’s fraternity Kappa Alpha Theta was the first to use Greek letters in its founding. A decade later in 1882, Syracuse University’s Gamma Phi Beta became the first organization in American history to be called a sorority. The Internet did not exist until a century later. Computers didn’t exist until the 1940s, and it wasn’t until decades later that they became widely present in American homes. The medium has since grown, including improvements in hardware, software and the integration of both into the Internet. This technology, by comparison to the history of American Greek women’s organizations, is relatively young. Yet its rapid evolution has made it a powerful tool for sorority chapters, especially as many software developers have created software specifically for use by sororities. Sorority software is that which aids sisters by streamlining communication, recruiting, finances and management of their chapters. This software can typically be accessed in app form on phones and tablets, as well as via larger programs and web portals on a computer.
From the storied formations of earlier generations of sororities, sisters have gained access to social media, email, the blogosphere, cell phone apps, and software designed to engage sororities with many different methods to connect in the most efficient way possible, bringing their values and ability to recruit to the forefront. Yet there are many options sorority chapters might utilize to best approach these goals of fostering the growth and strength of their sisterhoods.
There are many cell phone and tablet apps available for sisters to utilize. Some have positive reviews due to their streamlined, user-friendly functionality. Yet some are advertisement-laden, low quality, phone-freezing pieces of software your sorority chapter may be best to avoid downloading. The open market for app designers means a range of quality. However, via the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store, researching user reviews and ratings should offer sisters an idea of what apps best fit their needs. Some apps are free to download. Others require either a one-time purchase cost or subscription fee based on the services provided. There may be a cost when seeking out the best phone and tablet software apps for your sorority. There are many standalone apps out there, yet some of the apps used by sorority chapters would be connected to larger web-based programs and networks of professionals, such as OmegaFi.
How does a chapter find the best Sorority Software? And what kinds of sorority software are there?
Communication is a key component of running an efficient sorority chapter. While it’s essential that chapter members are proactive about communicating chapter goals and operations, software is available to assist in streamlining and optimizing communication. Sorority communication software can aid with tasks such as updating parents and alumnae with events and fundraising efforts, distribute newsletters, and send reminder messages to sorority sisters about member-specific chapter business, such as dues payments. Communication software can also be used to centralize chapter communication for specific events. For instance, GINSystem is an example of communication software to share group information via a mobile device. The ultimate purpose of sorority communication software is to optimize a connection between chapter officers, sisters, alumnae, parents and nationals.
One of a sorority chapter’s most important goals is recruitment, a central component of any successful sisterhood. Recruitment software is that which focuses on maximizing the potency of a chapter’s recruitment efforts by enhancing a chapter’s ability to find, connect to and recruit new sisters in order to gain a chapter the most it can from their efforts. Recruitment software offers services including social media connectivity to maximize online or mobile presence--software like Bidlily and Select-a-Sis, which help both sorority chapters and potential new members connect in order to find the best matches for their individual needs and goals.
Financial software is easily one of the most important pieces of software for sorority officers in managing day-to-day chapter operations. Financial management is crucial to running a healthy chapter, since effective dues collection and budgeting are necessary to fund a vast majority of a chapter’s operations throughout the semester. Financial sorority software such as Vault might serve a number of vast functions relating to chapter finances, though largely these types of software would focus on budgeting, chapter dues collection and management, managing bank transactions, compiling and mailing statements, communicating with parents about their students’ financial standing, generating financial reports, and maintaining a secure database for appropriate parties to access and send or accept payments where necessary.
Sorority financial software for fundraising can also potentially integrate alumnae relations by centralizing alumnae information, and helping keep in touch with them with flyers, newsletters, and invitations to events, as well as soliciting for donations and maintaining an easy to access database of this information.
More broadly applicable than software for specific functions, such as finances and chapter communication, sorority management software offers overarching functionality for many issues chapters must tackle. Sorority management software might cover areas of chapter operations such as centralizing sister information in a membership database, potentially integrating communication (from email to video conferences and file sharing) and dues collection functions; collaborative software such as Trello for planning and executing events or other chapter projects; or other project management software to delineate tasks to chapter officers and members.
These pieces of sorority software offer various different functions based on a chapter’s needs and goals. Some are specific tools for dues collection and management and budgeting for a chapter treasurer, communication to coordinate events and share chapter-specific information or other specific chapter-related tasks. Others are multifaceted programs that integrate communication, membership and alumnae databases, and other aspects of a chapter’s operations to offer a broader and more centralized process. Some software may be downloadable as apps for mobile and tablet devices. Other, more complex software can be utilized either from a computer program or some other entry hub such as a cloud network or webpage.
Whatever software a sorority chooses to utilize, chapter management in the modern world requires the use of software integration into operations in order to ensure peak efficiency of the sisterhood.
Contact OmegaFi today to learn how adopting new sorority software can improve your sorority’s budgeting, membership intake, and other chapter management goals.