The O∆K National Invitation to Membership Program leverages the resources and prestige of the national organization to assist local circles with recruitment by directly contacting eligible students and, when economical, their families. O∆K research indicates that many prospective members ignore recruitment notifications from local circles for a variety of reasons. Included in those reasons are:
1) the lack of knowledge about O∆K at the national level, and
2) belief that there are no benefits to the student beyond the specific campus. This program would link the potential new member directly to the resources of the National Headquarters. Circles would still retain complete control over the selection and initiation of new members but be required to follow specific timelines and recruiting practices in order to achieve maximum effectiveness.
The O∆K National Invitation to Membership Program is a six-step process.
- Circles would agree in principle to add the National Invitation to Membership Program to their recruiting process. [See Sample Timeline] Once O∆K National Headquarters (O∆K-HQ) and the circle agree on the process and timeline, the national staff member assigned to each circle (national contact) will begin working closely with the circle to implement the national recruitment strategy. One critical element of the program will be for the circle and national contact to agree on membership targets including a percentage increase over the previous year’s membership yield.
- Circles will need to initiate during a specific period of time as set by the National Headquarters. Circles would also be highly encouraged to recruit undergraduate classes that are 60% juniors and 30% seniors with 10% reserved for other membership types.
- Sample Schedule – National Invitation to Membership Program – 45 Day Timeline
- The circle requests and receives a list of all sophomores, juniors, and seniors who rank in the top 35% of their class respectively from the appropriate office. Given that each institution calculates this differently, the circle requesting this information for the first time should plan on two to three weeks processing time.
- O∆K requires the institution/circle to sign an agreement stating that O∆K has institutional permission to email these students and that the institution has received permission from the students and or families to receive this kind of email invitation.
- The circle provides the list of potential members to O∆K-HQ and any specifics about the local recruiting process such as information sessions, application deadline, special application information, etc. O∆K-HQ will format student email template and family letter template, which the circle will review and approve.
- Once the email and letters have been approved, O∆K-HQ will manage the process of sending the emails. Two emails will be sent to the student and one printed letter will be sent to the family.
The circle would provide the O∆K-HQ with a spreadsheet of specific information about students that meet the minimum standards for O∆K.
• Junior, Senior or Graduate/Professional student standing as defined by the institution
• Top 35% of the junior or senior class (graduate/professional student standards may be set by the campus)
O∆K-HQ would send an email to a list of potential student members as defined by their circle and institution. O∆K-HQ would field general questions about the national organization but forward all circle specific questions to the circle officers of the participating circles. Emails would be sent to individuals twice during the established recruiting timeline. O∆K-HQ will provide institutional registrars or academic administration officials the necessary documentation on the security of the data and adherence to FERPA.
Family Letter (for mailing lists under 500)
Part of the list provided by the circle to O∆K-HQ would be the permanent home address of the students. O∆K-HQ, through a contracted vendor, would send a letter via US Postal Service to the parents/families. This letter, on O∆K stationery with the signature of O∆K President/CEO, would explain the importance of the invitation to their student, encouraging the families to discuss membership with their student, and offering national level assistance for questions. Only one letter would be sent to families during the recruitment period.
A family email can be sent in the same manner as the student email. We would only need an email for the family. Only one email would be sent to the family.
- O∆K-HQ will monitor the emails providing circles with data on open and click rates. If rates are extremely low, an additional email could be considered after consultation between O∆K-HQ and the circle.
- O∆K-HQ will also monitor the mailing providing the circle with information about return rates and inquiries from families.
- Once the circle has completed the application, selection, and initiation process, O∆K-HQ and circle officers will review the program to determine if the program was successful.
For more information on this program, contact Timothy Reed, vice president for membership and operations, [email protected], (540) 458-5345.