ACACIAconnect

ChapterSpot / ACACIAconnect Demo Videos

In an effort to continue to provide relevant educational materials to our chapters, the team at ChapterSpot has hired another member that will be totally focused on educating chapters that have signed up for the service, which of course includes all Acacia Fraternity Chapters. The videos, accessible at the link below, were created with a general ChapterSpot account, so it will not look exactly like ACACIAconnect, but it is very similar.

Communications Web Video: http://www.screenr.com/8ys8 Dues Part 1: http://www.screenr.com/GNT8 Dues Part 2: http://www.screenr.com/FNT8 Dues Part 3: http://www.screenr.com/TMT8 Events: http://www.screenr.com/3Vs8 Reports: http://www.screenr.com/fVs8 Docushare: http://www.screenr.com/59s8 Polls and Surveys: http://www.screenr.com/J9s8

Links specific to ACACIAconnect: MyCornerstones function on ACACIAconnect: http://youtu.be/v07R6dmy-Ec Service Hours function on ACACIAconnect: http://youtu.be/Jsdn0-ObLpo

Please let Acacia Headquarters know if there are any other videos that would be helpful for you in learning about and demonstrating ACACIAconnect by emailing to cornerstones@acacia.org.

ACACIAconnect Financial Features

Dues Processing & Merchant Account -

There have been a few points of confusion related to this service during fall 2011. This post will clear up those points.

This aspect of the service is different from the others in that the rest of the features are available for free through your chapter’s affiliation with Acacia International Fraternity, whereas there are some costs involved with the Dues Processing Service. Here is a link to ChapterSpot page regarding finances.

Here is a video that demonstrates how to Link Your Chapter Bank Account to ACACIAconnect.

Please note:

  1. this part of the service is NOT mandatory or required - if your chapter is using a service that you are happy with, you can continue to use that service, or you may consider using this service
  2. your chapter CAN use the other features of ACACIAconnect without using the Dues Processing service

ACACIA Fraternity Headquarters recommends that your chapter:

  • weigh all reasonable & expedient options and choose what works best for your members
  • at least setup the Merchant Account to link to chapter bank account & setup a donation goal that your alumni members or parents can support

Regarding Credit Card Processing

Here is a pdf that outlines the costs for processing payments via credit card.

In an email from Joe McMenamon, Director of Business Operations, he informed me of the following points:

“Our Credit Card Processing fees are very straight forward. For chapters that collect payments online there will be a set 3.89% and $0.35 fee removed from each payment collected. These fees include the Visa/MasterCard fees and Corduro’s card processing fees so there are no extra fees other then what is listed below (on the pdf link above).

In addition to the per transaction fees there are a few per occurrence fees listed below. The $25 fee for each chargeback and ACH Reject fee usually draws the most questions. These occur infrequently, but we recommend that these fees be passed through to the member in these occurrences. Please let me know if you have any further questions.”

In addition, there are a few other points to be clarified:

1) Confusion about a fee that Joe McMenamon mentioned at ALA.

  • He did NOT say that Acacia Chapters would have the 35 cent per transaction fee waived
  • He DID say the $5.00 per month fee for using Dues Payment service would be waived.
  • Joe wanted me to reiterate that "if you sign up for the Dues Payment service, even if you don't use it, your chapter will not get charged the $5 per month fee."

2) ChapterSpot encourages you to setup your Merchant Account, even if you're not using the Dues Payment service for all of your financial transactions. Here is a list of benefits to completing the Merchant Application and linking it to a chapter bank account:

  • collections for merchandise can be facilitated by the Merchant Account (i.e. tshirts, hoodies, anything that the chapter orders on behalf of its members)
  • ability to use the Donation Goal function to collect donations from alumni or parents for any fundraising drives
  • If you do use the Dues Payment feature, you are eliminating the relevance of the following excuses for members not getting their dues paid:
  • "I don't have my checkbook so I can't make payment...", or "My parents are paying for me so I don't know when they will cut the check...", or "I would pay but I don't know how much I owe..."

3) ChapterSpot does want to make you aware of one difference from some of the competing services that are available:

  • if you use the Dues Payment feature on ACACIAconnect to track or document a payment made via check or cash (as opposed to using the online payment feature at ACACIAconnect), the chapter keeps 100% of those payments; in other words: if a member doesn't use the credit card processing system to make the payment, then neither the member or the chapter pays the credit card processing or transaction fee; a chapter member with Finance Admin controls simply updates the amount of dues still owed for that member
  • this is different from some of their competition, in that if you collect cash or check (even without using the online payment option), some services charge you a fee regardless

Link to ChapterSpot page regarding finances: https://www.chapterspot.com/finances.htm

ACACIAconnect Overview

During the 2011 Acacia Leadership Academy, one of the featured presenters was Joe McMenamon, Director of Business Operations for ChapterSpot, which is an innovative company we’ve been working with during 2011.

Joe demonstrated a new resource created in conjunction with Acacia Headquarters, called ACACIAconnect.

ACACIAconnect offers two main resources to our chapters. First, an intern

al, chapter management & communications network. Second, an easy-to-update public chapter website.

Chapter Management & Communications Network

Included as part of the service, our chapter members have the following abilities via ACACIAconnect:

  • personal dashboard upon login
  • Facebook app (members can utilize ACACIAconnect without leaving Facebook)
  • member database with multiple statuses (Active, Pledge, Alumni, Parents, etc.)
  • send mass text messages (to chapter, recruitment prospects, alumni, etc.)
  • utilize mulitple email listserve accounts
  • event calendar
  • sign-up-lists (i.e. intramural teams, t-shirts, formal dance, etc.)
  • setup groups (i.e. Exec, Recruitment Team, ACACIA Claus committee, Engineering Majors, etc.)
  • create forums
  • surveys & polls
  • Recruitment database function
  • track & record Human Service hours
  • individual MyCornerstones account to participate in Cornerstones
  • create reports
  • dues processing ability (separate from the basic offering of ACACIAconnect, chapters may utilize if they decide to *see paragraph below)
    • accept donations via Merchant Account
    • sell merchandise
    • collect dues from members
  • See the ChapterSpot.com website for further explanation of communications features


Public Chapter Website

Included as part of the service, our chapter members have the following abilities via ACACIAconnect:


Helpful Links:

Acacia YouTube video: Service Hours function: http://youtu.be/Jsdn0-ObLpo

Acacia YouTube video: Cornerstones function: http://youtu.be/v07R6dmy-Ec

About ChapterSpot: https://www.chapterspot.com/about.htm

ChapterSpot support webpage: https://www.chapterspot.com/support.htm

Email ChapterSpot support : support@chapterspot.com

ChapterSpot Communications Features: https://www.chapterspot.com/communication.htm

ChapterSpot Website Features: https://www.chapterspot.com/websites.htm

Chapter Utilization

Many of our chapters have begun using ACACIAconnect to make chapter management easier in many ways. There are some chapters that have not yet utilized this resource. If you are in a chapter that has not started using ACACIAconnect - email Patrick McGovern at pmcgovern@acacia.org .

3 Steps to Engaging Alumni on ACACIAconnect

3 Steps (and 3 tips!) to Engaging Alumni on ACACIAConnect
In working with over 1,200 chapters, ChapterSpot has seen a lot of active chapters successfully re-energize their alumni base. By following these 3 steps, we (the team at ChapterSpot) guarantee that your alumni base will be the strongest it’s been in years.

Step 1: Register your alumni
Email your alumni roster to support@chapterspot.com .
We’ll register them and send them activation links.
*Tip: Just like Constant Contact, your alumni need to opt-in by clicking on the activation link. Don’t worry if this doesn’t happen right away because you can send them up to 2 more reminders! Simply click "# Unactivated Members" under the "Members" tab to re-send activation reminders.

Step 2: Get your website ready for alumni visitors
- Create an Alumni page if you don’t have one (explain that you are making a new initiative to communicate with all alumni)

- Place an Events widget showing upcoming Alumni events

- Place an Alumni registration form on your Alumni page/Homepage

Step 3: Post Alumni Updates!! (this is the fun/important part)
The trick is posting often and posting consistently.

1. Pick an alumni you know well, call them, and ask them to answer a simple survey
What’s your occupation:
Where do you live?
Describe your average Friday night:
Any other alumni/actives living close to you?
Are you Married/Girlfriend/Boyfriend/Single?
What’s your favorite undergraduate memory?
What Alumni should I interview next?
What do you think of our new website?
Have you posted a link to our new website on your Facebook?

2. Post the survey as a News post on your Website (make sure you have a News widget on your homepage and on the Alumni Page)

3. Send a Message to all your Alumni
"Alumni – We just posted our interview with Brother John Doe. To see what John says he does on his Friday nights, click here to visit our Alumni page on our new website: [YOUR ALUMNI PAGE LINK HERE].  We’ll also tell you who John asked us to interview next week! New interviews are posted every Friday!"
4. Post the same message on Facebook/Twitter in case some Alumni aren’t in your email system (*that’s why you need the alumni registration form)
5. Reach out to the next Alumni and continue the trend!

Tips:
- Keep to your routine! Make sure to have a post every Friday no matter what. Once you miss posts, you lose reliability.
- Collect surveys whenever you can! Ran into an alumni at a BBQ? Survey them, save the responses in your phone and when mid-terms come up, you’ll have a interviews saved up.
- Things moving along quickly? Great – start thinking about featuring Alumni businesses!
- Check your database before calling to make sure you have their latest contact details

Questions! (Leave comments below) 
Brothers: What survey questions do you think would be good to ask?
Alumni: How should Actives grab your interest?