In creating fourteen districts, the number of chapters and alumnae associations supported in each district is more manageable than our current regional structure and allows for solid relationships to be built within the district. The fourteen districts are closely aligned with the 16 provinces that currently exist and remove all but one state division. Each district will have an average of 22 alumnae associations and 10 chapters. The district model better ensures that all members are receiving the same message in regards to the content developed and shared by the various specialists.
Why are we increasing staff?
We are and always will be a volunteer-directed organization. In order to stay relevant and able to meet the ever-evolving needs of our organization and the higher education environment, we must increase our paid staff. The overarching goal of this change is so that volunteers can focus on fitting their volunteer roles into their busy schedules while focusing on the direction of the Fraternity.
The addition of paid staff is in great part due to the changing higher education landscape. Universities expect to pick up the phone and call someone at an organization’s headquarters who can answer their questions immediately. This day-to-day responsibility is difficult when trying to contact volunteers who have a family, a job or other obligations. This is the reason 95 percent of NPC organizations have a chapter services department. To read more about the changing higher education landscape, click here.
The new structure proposes 27 new volunteer roles. In this past biennium, the Fraternity has reorganized staff positions to allow for a better distribution of workloads causing Headquarters to hire four new employees but eliminate two staff positions, for a net gain of two employees. In the new biennium, the Fraternity proposes hiring four more positions for a total of six new positions between 2014–2018.
The breakdown of volunteers and staff can be seen below:
In the proposed structure, there will be 27 new volunteer positions and four total staff positions hired between 2016-2018 resulting in a 5:1 ratio of volunteers to staff.
If we include all new Content Specialists and all Official Family volunteers, there will be 257 volunteers and 46 staff positions (including Leadership Consultants) resulting in a 6:1 ratio of volunteers to staff.
If we include all advisers, House Boards and alumnae association officers, there will be 3,701 volunteers and 46 staff positions (including Leadership Consultants) resulting in a 80:1 ratio of volunteers to staff.
With this model, we will be able to be nimble and quick to respond to issues on a chapter or alumnae association level.
How are alumnae associations different today?
Today, we have only 9.5 percent of alumnae active in their associations versus 10 years ago when 13.5 percent of alumnae were active in their associations. This comes out to one in every seven Kappa alumnae were active in associations 10 years ago, compared to today’s one in 11 alumnae active in associations.
Additionally, 28 years ago, there were 4,000 more paid alumnae in our database than there are today, and we have significantly increased in membership over those years.
In conclusion, we’re seeing a drop-off in total engagement which leads to alumnae associations struggling to fill officer roles. Without leaders in these organizations, we struggle to engage our membership which threatens the future of our alumnae associations.
In the proposed structure, we will have more volunteers that can individually focus on alumnae association needs. Specialist areas will include anything from recruitment of new alumna members to helping associations with officer transitions. With this help, our alumnae associations can focus on membership development by making connections with new alumnae, encouraging lifelong learning and creating mentoring programs to facilitate relationships. In the new structure, we will have more support for associations for their day-to-day needs so they can focus on sustaining their connection to the Fraternity.
Will there be additional support for House Boards?
In our current structure, the Chapter Support Committee supports the advisers in day-to-day operations and also helps House Boards maintain chapter facilities. The Long-Range Planning Task Force, with the help of the Coordinators of Chapter Support, was able to identify the level of variance between these subject matters and has determined it best to split this committee into the Advisory Board Specialist Team and the House Board Standing Committee. The House Board Standing Committee will now be able to focus solely on chapter facilities, without the additional workload of day-to-day operations and supporting advisers.
Will there still be the opportunity to volunteer for multiple roles? (e.g., adviser and a Content Specialist)
Yes and no. Yes, volunteers will be able to serve in a Fraternity volunteer role such as Content Specialist and as a local adviser at the same time. This type of dual-volunteerism has occurred for a long time and has been at the discretion of the volunteer. However, we will not be appointing individuals for multiple Fraternity volunteer roles to keep the workload manageable for our volunteers. For example, we will be avoiding having a standards adviser for a chapter also serve as the Standards Specialist for the same chapter.
How many volunteers do we need in the new structure, and how are we going to get so many new volunteers?
In 2012, when the Convention resolution regarding the volunteer structure was put forth, there were eight Fraternity Council positions, 14 Regional Directors, 70 Province Directors, 46 Standing and Special Committee chairmen (including 16 Coordinators of Chapter Support) and 11 Fraternity Council assistants, for a total of 149 volunteers.
Kappa's Long-Range Planning Task Force is proposing six Fraternity Council positions, 14 District Directors, 11 Content Directors, 140 Content Specialists and 16 Standing and Special Committee chairmen, for a total of 187 volunteers.
While we are increasing the number of volunteers needed, the new roles will be more focused, more manageable and require less time commitment from our volunteers. Whether a member has three hours or 30 hours to dedicate to Kappa, there will be an opportunity for her to share her skills and talents with the organization. The proposed organizational structure will lead to a more fulfilling, manageable and exciting volunteer experience.
In addition, a more strategic effort is being placed on recruiting, developing and retaining talented Kappas to fill these volunteer opportunities. For more information about the volunteer experience or to express your interest in joining our team of volunteers, visit www.kappa.org/volunteers.
How will the Association and Chapter Development Committee be different from the proposed Alumna Relations Specialist position on the proposed organizational wheel?
The Association and Chapter Development Committee is intended to serve the needs of alumnae associations and chapters who need focused assistance in a specific area or areas. This committee will provide concentrated, extended support and attention to both at-risk alumnae associations and chapters who are at a critical juncture. For example, if an alumnae association is struggling to recruit new members, find new leadership and pay their per capita fees, the Association and Chapter Development Committee would step in and offer one-on-one mentorship. This would allow the District Specialists to continue to work with their associations and chapters without being pulled in too many directions and get the association the attention and care it needs. In the proposed structure, the Alumna Relations Specialist provides general guidance and resources to associations that are generally well-functioning.
Will Content Specialists remain even if the Long-Range Plan does not pass?
Yes. As of today, there are six Content Specialist teams appointed for this academic year. They are working with alumnae associations and chapters to provide additional support and make improvements in the content areas of standards, membership, Panhellenic, history and ritual, philanthropy and academic excellence. These are areas of the Fraternity where a team was already in place and or where additional support was needed due to the increased workload and overextension of current volunteers. We were able to implement these teams prior to the proposed Fraternity Bylaws vote because they are not new teams, but an extension of already existing teams and content areas.
How is the Greek-life environment changing?
Today’s undergraduate student is looking to maximize her college experience. Students desire more inclusivity on campus and within organizations, greater accountability and are unwilling to accept tradition or “the way it’s always been” as an answer. Students demand more from their membership experience and from their organizations. They want to be involved, have a voice and are calling upon organizations to reflect today’s culture and demonstrate relevance. Similarly, higher education institutions are demanding partnership, immediate response and accountability for members.
In order to stay abreast of these changes, Greek organizations need internal structures that meet the demands of our campus partners, in addition to the needs of our members.
Will there be term limits for Kappa volunteers?
Yes, absolutely! Here's what the Long-Range Planning Task Force is proposing:
What is the timing of these appointments and who is going to make them?
Fraternity Council and District Directors will be elected in even years at Kappa's General Convention. Content Directors will be appointed by Fraternity Council immediately following Convention. Content Specialists will be appointed in the spring of the odd years following Convention.
Content Directors will propose names for Content Specialist appointments.
Fraternity Council will approve all appointments.
I'm interested in volunteering, how do I put my name in?
We're so glad to hear this!
Anyone who is interested in volunteering for Kappa can login to www.kappa.org/members and complete the Volunteer Interest Form. The Director of Talent Management will reach out to help you identify the best roles for your life and talents.
If you're interested in an elected position visit www.kappa.org/members, log in and navigate to the Nomination page.
Do the District Director and Content Specialists have to live in their district?
No. The Long-Range Planning Task Force is recommending that our volunteers do not have to live in the district they are serving, allowing us to best match our members’ skills and talents. If you're a sports fan it's similar to how an all-star team is selected; all-star teams are not selected on the basis of where athletes play, but rather by their skills and strengths.
What will reporting lines look like?
Currently, we have a top-down communications structure. With the new structure, we want reporting to be more fluid, coming from the local level as well as from Fraternity Council. This will allow our members to be aware of Fraternity Council’s vision and strategic plan, in addition to providing Council with feedback from the local level, helping members and Council to be more efficiently informed.
We have proposed reporting lines in the new structure such as:
Fraternity Council Reporting to Membership
Fraternity Council, acting as a visionary entity, will provide a quarterly report to the membership on the Fraternity’s strategic plan, initiatives and budget implications.
Content Directors and District Directors will report formally to Fraternity Council.
Content Specialists will report trends and statistics monthly to Content and District Directors.
Content Directors will provide updates quarterly on trends, gaps, solutions, education and a continual status on their content area.
District Directors will provide updates quarterly on trends, gaps, solutions, education and continual status on alumnae associations and chapters within their district.
District Directors will be divided up amongst the Vice Presidents for communication purposes.
Informal reporting will also occur in several positions in the new structure.
Content Directors: Will bring issues of immediate concern to Fraternity Council.
District Directors: Will provide continuous reporting of immediate concerns to their assigned Vice President.
Content Specialists: Will provide a monthly update to both their Content Director and District Director on what is happening with the alumnae associations and chapters in their district.
The vision for these lines is a very fluid system where a chapter or alumnae association officer will have a District Director for day-to-day operational questions, in addition to Content Specialists to assist with specific content issues. Content Directors will communicate with Fraternity Council, Content Specialists, relevant committee chairman and more. This communication structure is less hierarchical and more agile and fluid.
Will there be the same number of meetings and trainings?
General Convention and the Regional Leadership Conferences will continue to take place.
Associate Council Seminar will continue to be held in June of the odd year. Content Specialists, Content Directors, District Directors and some Committee Chairmen will attend ACS, along with Fraternity Council.
I heard some Content Specialists were being appointed now. How will we find out who has been appointed and to what teams?
Yes, six specialist teams are currently being appointed for the 2015-2017 term.
Standards, Membership, Panhellenic, Ritual/History, Philanthropy and Academic Excellence are existing areas of the Fraternity. In many cases an assistant team already exists, but additional support is needed now as current volunteer leaders are working significant hours to meet the need. These changes were to occur regardless of the proposed Fraternity Bylaws vote.
As Fraternity Council appoints these Content Specialists, they will be listed in the Yellow Pages at www.kappa.org/members.
What if the proposed amendments do not pass?
If the Convention body does not pass the proposed Fraternity Bylaws to move to a new structure, the content teams that have been appointed will continue to serve as volunteers. This will provide alumnae associations and chapters with an additional level of support. Province Directors elected in 2015 would then continue to serve until 2017.
Not implementing a new structure will halt our organization. It will limit Kappas ability to support our chapters and alumnae due to declining numbers of volunteers, negatively impact our extension potential and prevent us from being the proactive, strategic and innovative organization we are known to be. We have not made a major update to our organizational structure since 1990 with the addition of Regional Directors.
How do the number of volunteers compare in each structure?
In 2012 when the Convention Resolution regarding the volunteer structure was put forth, there were eight Fraternity Council positions, 14 Regional Directors, 70 Province Directors, 46 Chairmen (including 16 Coordinators of Chapter Support) and 11 Fraternity Council Assistants, for a total of 150 volunteers.
Kappa's Long-Range Planning Task Force is proposing six Fraternity Council positions, 14 District Directors, 11 Content Directors, 140 District Specialists, 16 Chairmen and 3 Fraternity Assistants, for a total of 184 volunteers.
How will this impact existing roles and structures such as the budget?
A. Impact to the Current Province Directors
If the proposed Fraternity Bylaws are passed, members currently serving in Province Director roles will have completed their term as of June 30, 2016. Many current Province Directors may transition into appointed roles in the new structure if they are interested. (See above guidance on expressing interest in one of these roles).
There will be nine Content Directors and three Content Specialist teams, Alumna Relations, Leadership Development and Programming, as well as Standing and Special Committee Chairmen appointed by Fraternity Council directly following Convention. The six Content Specialist teams currently in operation will sustain through 2017.
B. Impact to the Volunteer Opportunities
As stated above, the restructure will increase our Fraternity volunteer roles as well as maintain the local volunteer needs we have for our chapters and alumnae associations. Kappa will also be looking to create new project-based volunteer roles which contribute to our organization. As members have shared–their time is limited, and yet their desire to be involved is strong. We will work hard to meet their needs for both.
C. Fiscal Impact to Kappa
As we make adjustments to our organization, we will be spending time considering the fiscal implications of this change. The Long-Range Planning Task Force included budgetary implications in its report. That information will be used when developing the proposed biennial budgets next spring: one for the existing structure and one for the proposed structure. As these implications are realized, they will be communicated to the membership.
D. Impact to our Headquarters Staff
Kappa Kappa Gamma is most successful in areas where volunteers can partner with Headquarters staff to conduct and complete the work of the Fraternity. Additional staff members will be added to join the volunteers in meeting the needs of our members. This will allow the operational demands on volunteer time to decrease, thus increasing their capacity for visioning, innovation and expansion.