It’s that time of year again! That’s right chapter officers, time for the processes you’ve all been dreading. Collecting dues, t-shirts, fundraising, recruiting… Yup, all that fun stuff. Well, while I can’t do all this work for you, I can offer tips on these various topics. Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” I would like this theme to reflect in this blog, as it is important to remember as you approach the many obstacles that will come your way that you are part of an officer team, and they are there to support you.
Florida DECA members are required to pay eight dollars for national dues, six dollars for chartered association dues, and various amounts for different district’s dues. It is then important to build in other costs, such as t-shirts and any other luxury your chapter would like to offer. The collection gets tricky. One recommendation I have is to primarily attempt to set up collection of dues online. Using a simple form, perhaps through your individual school’s website, you have the ability to collect everyone’s information, put it in a database, and allow them to pay all within a couple clicks. This is often very helpful in eliminating the clutter and randomness of checks, cash, and forms strewn across an advisor’s desk.
DECA shirts are highly admired by members. While it’s true that extremely involved members receive a plenty sufficient amount of DECA shirts each year, the chapter shirt is the only DECA shirt some students receive throughout the school year. A good shirt idea encourages club spirit and can really provide a bonding aid to your chapter. One idea is to allow a contest among your members to submit t-shirt designs and then vote. This gets the members involved instantly and promotes the fun and creativity DECA entails. Once a shirt design is decided upon, make sure you have figured out an affordable vendor! Dealing with overpriced t-shirts is NOT a concern you want to have to begin your school year.
Every chapter has their own way of fundraising. Some sell baked goods, candy, host a carwash, etc. The funds you produce from these events are extremely valuable to your chapter, as they have the ability to significantly lower the price of conferences for your members, which often encourages significantly more to attend than otherwise would. It is in your best wishes for your chapter that you do not allow the price of a conference to be a deterrent from chasing the DECA dream. Not only will it lower these prices, but it also gives your chapter some extra money to save or spend. Perhaps your school’s DECA room isn’t quite decorated as much as you’d like… Just sell hard, and you’ll be able to make some changes!
You have many tools at your disposal for recruitment. Some ideas would be: if your school has a “rush week” get a DECA table and have some chapter officers run it. Talk to the kids that walk by and try to appeal to the fun and competitive nature of our organization. You could even go on DECA.org and purchase some pencils or pins to give out to members who are interested. The more “DECA” is spoken around your school, the better off your chapter is. Another selling point is ELS. If your chapter has previously attended, pull up some pictures and show them off. Explain how much fun DECA members experience on these conferences. Lastly, if you have a neighboring middle school, see if you can work out a visit to the eighth graders. These are the majority of incoming possible first year members, and they should be your target audience. Again, explain our competition, conferences, and above all else, FUN!