Frequently Asked Questions
Details about the Alumnae Dues Program
Why an Alumnae Dues Program? Why now?
In recent years, Phi Sigma Sigma has fully rededicated itself to being a progressive organization for success- and service-minded women – meaning that we are continually and strategically exploring best ways to expand our services and offer even more benefits for sisters of every age. As a result, by our much-anticipated Centennial in 2013, we will be an even better, stronger and more personally relevant sorority for tens of thousands of members worldwide! All that you envisioned for the Fraternity in its heyday, and even in our leaner years, is coming to fruition now – thanks to the vision, commitment and drive of our leaders, volunteers and sisters like you.
In assessing how we can immediately improve our Fraternity and what best practices to adopt from well-established and highly successful Greek organizations, it recently became clear that we were missing a structured alumnae dues program offering multiple opportunities for members to feel like “active” participants after college.
Some National Panhellenic Conference sister organizations have enjoyed tremendous success with their alumnae dues programs. Dues-paying alumnae members tell the world, “I continue to value and cherish all that Phi Sigma Sigma stands for, and I’m proud to contribute to our future success.”
Lifelong memberships are common among fraternal organizations of all types, not just Greeks. You probably have family members who have invested in lifelong memberships within various philanthropic and social groups – everything from the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) to university alumnae associations.
Phi Sigma Sigma is simply instituting this best practice as a way to help all our members enjoy an even better sorority experience in the years to come. … Think of the alumnae dues program as yet another American Beauty rosebush planted in the larger “garden” we are building as a sisterhood, if you will. … The more roses we plant, the lovelier the garden will ultimately become.
What would the Alumnae Dues Program offer me?
In addition to exclusive benefits, such as product and program discounts and even more opportunities to network with alumnae in your area, we’ll offer special access to events for dues-paying members throughout the year to thank them for their continuing support. Additionally, dues-paying members would have the ability to cast their votes for our Fraternity’s leadership, meaning you would have a direct say in the future direction of our organization (something we know is important to many sisters).
This in no way detracts from the continuing services, programs and opportunities Phi Sigma Sigma has provided, and will continue to provide, to every alumnae member. The saying, “Once a Phi Sigma Sigma, Always a Phi Sigma Sigma,” is as true today as it’s ever been. So, think of our Alumnae Dues Program as yet another way to participate in the post-college years and, for those who wish to give, as a way of giving back to the Fraternity that gave so much to their lives.
What will the funds collected from the alumnae dues program specifically benefit?
Dues will go toward alumnae programs and events internationally while at the same time bolstering opportunities for our youngest and newest members who will someday become alumnae. We’re dedicated to being the best sorority possible, so you can be sure that every dollar donated to our Alumnae Dues Program would be carefully invested with the goal of strengthening those aspects of our sisterhood that you, our dues-paying members, care most about! That’s why one of the benefits of membership is the ability to choose the leaders who oversee Phi Sigma Sigma – so you have a say in our future.
I donate funds to
. Is this the same thing?
Alumnae dues benefit the Fraternity and are not meant to replace your generous donations to the many outstanding philanthropies, leadership training programs, and scholarships and grants that Foundation supports. We encourage you to continue donating to Foundation, at whatever level you can – because together, a strong Fraternity and Foundation are needed to create the dynamic, successful Phi Sigma Sigma we all envision for the future.
Am I required to participate in this program to remain an alumna sister in good standing?
Not at all. This is a completely volunteer program. We understand that sisterhood within Phi Sigma Sigma is already a “lifetime” experience for you, in that you’ve made friends for a lifetime, memories to last all your years. Your membership is something we hope you’ll always treasure. It is a reality for all Greek organizations that “active” membership tends to drop off after college – often because of the pressures associated with getting a job, launching a career, starting a new life and beginning a new family. All wonderful things! Later, many sisters want to give back to their sorority – but perhaps they cannot devote time to volunteering, for example. Or, if they volunteer, they want to help still more by contributing a little toward our future success. Our new Alumnae Dues Program strives to meet these needs and help our sisterhood at the same time.
I belong to a local alumnae chapter, where I already pay dues. If I decide to participate in the new Alumnae Dues Program, how am I affected?
The Alumnae Dues Program annual investment of $35 is in addition to, and complementary of, your local chapter’s activities. Alumnae chapters absolutely depend on your annual contributions and continued generosity to defray operations costs and make donations that directly benefit the local philanthropies, programs and events you care about. We would hope alumnae chapter members – who are among our most cherished volunteers and sorority ambassadors – would see value in paying local and international dues, because both are equally important to the future of Phi Sigma Sigma.
What happens if I choose not to participate?
Your alumnae status within Phi Sigma Sigma remains intact, as always. You will retain access to the “Phi Sigs Only” Web site and features (including our new chapter roster and directories pages), you will still receive updates from the Fraternity, and you can still participate in alumnae chapters, clubs and interest groups. Our staff will still be here to assist you in a variety of ways. Absolutely nothing about your participation in Phi Sigma Sigma will change.
If my alumnae status is not affected by not participating, what is the incentive for sisters to pay alumnae dues?
Every Phi Sigma Sigma is special. Your continuing association with Phi Sig – at whatever level of participation you prefer – remains important to us! We know the Alumnae Dues Program isn’t for everyone – and that’s OK.
However, some sisters are not content to say, “I once participated in Phi Sigma Sigma….” For those sisters who want something more – those who want to take their relationship with our sisterhood to the next level, or who are compelled to leave a lasting legacy that impacts both women and the world, or who want to network at a personal level with similarly dedicated Phi Sigma Sigma sisters in their communities and beyond – this is their exclusive chance to distinguish themselves as alumnae. This is a unique opportunity to join a select group of sisters who choose to say – as women, mothers, professionals and community leaders – “I am a Phi Sigma Sigma.” That, ultimately, is the incentive to participate.
I heard that only dues-paying members would receive The Sphinx magazine going forward. Is that true?
For the time being, all sisters will continue to receive copies of The Sphinx. Research is underway about how best to manage future subscriptions for the magazine. As costs for printing and postage continue to rise exponentially, it may not be possible to continue mailing the publication free of charge to all sisters without impacting other important aspects of our sorority. We’re working hard to identify solutions, and we promise to keep you posted well in advance of any changes.
What are the costs associated with participating?
Voluntary alumnae dues are just $35 annually – with the option to select recurring, automatic payments at that same price between now and our Centennial in 2013. Recent graduates and new alumnae pay just $25 for their first year, a 30% savings.
Is there a deadline?
Yes! Alumnae dues must be paid by June 30 for sisters to be eligible to vote for new officers in advance of Convention 2009! You’ll be provided with details about the nomination process and candidates, so you’ll be able to decide, cast your votes and have them counted. Among the many reasons why you should act today!
I’m interested, so how do I join?
Click here, then look for links at the bottom of the page that allow you to log onto the secure part of our site. Not sure how to log on? Contact our technical staff at firstname.lastname@example.org. All forms of payment are accepted, including check, money order and credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.
I have additional questions. Whom may I contact?
Call Alumnae Relations Coordinator Jennifer Feicht at 724-659-5093 or e-mail her at email@example.com.