Chapter Leader Playbook: Tips For Onboarding New Chapter Members

By the time you’ve reached the end of your chapter’s recruitment, new member education, and initiation, you probably feel like you’ve already invested a lot of time into your new members. But devoting extra attention to new members after initiation can go a long way.

In our Chapter Leader Playbook series, we’ve covered tactics to engage your campus community, officers, and alumni. But are your new members feeling the love? And we don’t just mean from their Bigs.

In the business world, 54% of companies with onboarding programs reported higher employee engagement. A boost in new member engagement could make for lasting member involvement throughout their time on campus and beyond.

Your new member education program likely includes extensive team building activities, initiation requirements, along with organization history and structure. With these time consuming activities complete, adding additional onboarding programming after initiation becomes much simpler. Evaluate the resources your organization may have available and look into adopting proven strategies used in companies today.



If you are unclear on what your chapter’s responsibilities are when it comes to onboarding, it’s a good idea to make time to discuss with your Advisor or contact at National. Here are few questions to start with:

  • Are there specific onboarding tactics that other chapters or National have found to be successful?
  • Are there any onboarding email templates that you should be aware of, or have access to?
  • Is it clearly stated what type of experience your chapter should strive to provide a new member?
  • Are there best practices that your chapter should follow to ensure they are consistently maintaining member data and updating changes when necessary?
  • Are there educational videos and tools you can share with members throughout the year?



For some corporations, human resource (HR) teams conduct onboarding programs that last up to 12 months. While an extensive program isn’t necessary for your initiated members, here are some ideas that can be tweaked and adopted for your chapter:



For new employees, HR will conduct check-ins at the first week, first month, and even after three to six months. It may be challenging to connect with all new members this often, so use the tools available to you. Create a digital survey that can be sent out to members throughout their first year that checks in on if they are comfortable and engaged. Make a repeatable template so your chapter can reuse each year.



Employers will often create checklists for new employees to follow within their first six months. Checklists often direct new employees to resources that they can review independently, cutting down on questions to leadership. Provide your own checklist to new members to guide them to answers on their own. Make it available on Google Docs so that you can easily edit to remove or add items each year.



HR teams will send a series of welcome emails to new employees set on a predefined schedule. Create a series of email templates that you can send to new members that shares information in bite-sized pieces and provides helpful reminders.


Coordinating additional onboarding measures for your new members can make them productive and engaged members for years to come. In the next post of our Chapter Leader Playbook, we discuss how to elevate your chapter events.


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About the author

Charlotte Muylaert is the former Marketing Leader at Billhighway and greekbill. She oversaw the marketing and branding strategies for 10 years in the fraternal and association markets.