Chapter Annual Report Archive
The annual survey provides members a snapshot of the best practices of active, successful chapters. The results also provide Society leaders and Central Office staff with feedback about how best to support and serve our members and chapters.
Now with several years of comparable data, a pattern has begun to emerge that paints a picture of the typical Sigma Tau Delta chapter. In general, our chapters:
- Hold meetings at least once every other month;
- Induct somewhere between 5 and 15 new members each year;
- Elect new officers every spring; and
- Have a positive reputation on campus.
Other notable trends include:
Almost all chapters participate in activities during the year, creating engagement, providing enrichment, developing fellowship, and generating an incentive to join.
- By far the most common activity is a new member induction ceremony. Over 95% of chapters hold such ceremonies at least once a year.
- Nearly 75% of all chapters also host at least one social event during the year, such as a party, movie viewing, or book discussion.
- Equally popular are events to recruit new members.
- More than half of all chapters conduct at least one service project and hold at least one fundraiser.
- Over 60% of chapters engage in writing and publishing activities. The most popular activity is publishing a chapter Facebook page or website. Other popular writing activities include producing a campus literary journal; submitting papers to the Sigma Tau Delta journals, regional conferences, and annual convention; and workshopping scholarship essays.
- Almost 50% of chapters go on at least one field trip. The most popular destination is the annual convention, with regional and local conferences and events coming in a close second.
For more information about popular chapter activities, visit the Chapter Life section of this website, and in particular the Noteworthy Activity Database, which showcases the most interesting and original activities undertaken by chapters over the last few years.
Information and Communications
- Over 90% of chapters get information about Sigma Tau Delta events and opportunities from the English.org website.
- More than 50% of chapters also enter their members' email addresses into Write Away, making it possible for all members to directly receive eNews and other timely Society information.
- Over 95% of chapters use email to communicate with their members, and about 50% use social media for this purpose.
- All chapters have undergraduate members; some chapters also have graduate students, associate or social members (students not yet eligible for full membership), faculty (beyond the Chapter Sponsor), and even active alumni members.
- Most members are English (or English-related) majors or minors; about 10% of chapters have members from other majors and minors.
From Ordinary to Outstanding
The survey also reveals some interesting things about Sigma Tau Delta's most outstanding chapters—they are not necessarily large or well-funded, but they do routinely go above and beyond to stay informed, to remain active, and to take advantage of the opportunities and resources available to them. In addition to the standard practices highlighted above, outstanding chapters generally:
- Follow Sigma Tau Delta social media, especially the WORDY by Nature blog and the official Facebook page, which provide useful advice and valuable resources;
- Join their regional Facebook group to connect with their student leaders and other chapters in their area;
- Make service a chapter priority;
- Inspire members to read the Common Reader and then organize a related event;
- Promote opportunities for scholarships, internships, and individual awards;
- Encourage submissions to the annual Sigma Tau Delta convention and the Sigma Tau Delta journals; and
- Share their ideas, their accomplishments, and what they learned from their experiences by posting in the Facebook groups, emailing their student leaders, filling out the Chapter Annual Report, and applying for chapter awards.
Following on the success of previous years, the 2011-2012 Chapter Annual Report/Survey was once again offered as a quick, multiple-choice, online survey. Survey results provide chapters with a snapshot of the best practices of active and successful chapters. The results also provide Society leaders and Central Office staff with feedback about how to best support and serve our members and chapters.
Chapters engage in a wide variety of interesting activities, from socializing to service. Last year:
- 96.2% inducted new members with a formal ceremony
- 73.9% held a gathering for fun, fellowship, and/or learning
- 71.8% hosted a campaign to boost new member recruitment
- 60.9% engaged in a service project
- 59.8% held at least one fundraiser
Targeted membership drives (e.g., email, letter, or personal invitations to qualified students) were by far the most popular way to recruit new members (67.2%).
Better World Books campus book drives were the most common service project (32.2%).
Book drives and sales also remain the most often reported form of fundraising (57.7%).
The survey shows that, unfortunately, most chapters are still not reading much of the information that is provided for them.
- 52.5% read the eNews and other broadcast emails
- 40.1% read The Sigma Tau Delta Newsletter
- 14.5% follow the Sigma Tau Delta Facebook page
- 6.7% read the WORDY by Nature blog
These helpful resources should not be overlooked. The Newsletter and eNews provide up-to-date details on Sigma Tau Delta events, important reminders about deadlines, and interesting articles about the Society. The Facebook page and blog offer activity ideas, publication opportunities, and useful links, as well as opportunities to network with student leaders and other chapters.
As with last year's survey, the 2011 survey was multiple-choice, quick and easy, and a great source of ideas. Survey results offer a virtual blueprint for achievement, definitively answering the question, "What do successful chapters do?" In fact, Outstanding Chapter Award applicants are required to submit a copy of their Annual Chapter Report as a synopsis of the previous year's activities.
This year's results remained consistent with those from previous years. Most chapters meet at least once a month (50.8%). Book drives/sales remain the most popular fundraiser (60.4%), and a literary theme is still preferred for social gatherings (55.6%). A few things have changed: Email has surpassed flyers as the preferred recruitment tool (55.5%), and "ideas for chapter activities" has become the type of assistance chapters request most.
The survey also revealed that chapters are not utilizing many of the resources available to them. While most check the website (95.1%), fewer than half read The Sigma Tau Delta Newsletter (46.6%) or eNews and other broadcast email (41.7%). Even fewer chapters read the official Sigma Tau Delta Facebook page (13.9%) or the Student Leadership News blog (3.6%), and only 6.7% have contacted their regional representatives. All of these are excellent resources for chapters and should not be overlooked. The Newsletter and eNews provide up-to-date details on Sigma Tau Delta events, important reminders about deadlines, and interesting articles about the Society. The new Facebook page and blog offer helpful information, such as activity ideas, publication opportunities, and useful links, as well as opportunities to network with student leaders and other chapters. The blog even offers customizable subscription options so that members can get the news they want delivered right to their inbox. As always, chapters are also encouraged to contact Student Leadership, either via email or on the Facebook page or blog, any time they have questions or could use a little help.
Additional survey highlights and a link to the full report are provided below:
Links to Most Requested Guidance/Assistance
Winner of 2011 Participant Drawing
Montana State University Billings
Mu Sigma Chapter
Rachel Schaffer, Sponsor
Survey submission date: May 16, 2011
At-A-Glance Overview of Most Popular Responses
- Survey Respondent: 76.1% were completed by a Chapter Sponsor
- Chapter Meetings: 37.1% meet monthly
- Officer Meetings: 28.7% meet monthly
- Induction Ceremonies: 79.6% are held in the spring
- New Members: 50.6% inducted 6-15 members last year
- Minimum GPA: 64.9% require a 3.0 GPA for undergraduate membership
- Local Dues-No: 59.8% do not collect local dues
- Local Dues-Yes: 63.9% collect local dues one time only; 33.5% collect $6-10
- Chapter Image-In Department: 50.1% excellent
- Chapter Image-On Campus: 60.6% somewhat known outside department
- Chapter Officers: 53% require retiring officers to meet with new officers
- Chapter Officers-Write Away: 34.5 % have not entered new officers in Write Away
- Chapter Activities: 8.8% of respondents reported no chapter activities for this time period
- Ceremonies: 93.8% hold a new member induction
- Fundraising: 60.8% have book drives/book sales
- Gatherings: 59.1% have a literary theme
- Literary: 56.1% have on-campus readings
- Partnerships: 66.2% have on-campus partnerships
- Recruitment: 53.9% have a promotional hand-out
- Service: 35.3% hold Better World Book campus book drives
- Writing and Publishing: 42.2% have a chapter Facebook page
- Most Noteworthy Activity: 56% shared an experience (watch for a future summary)
- Future Plans: 80.7% have started planning 2010-2011 activities
- Sigma Tau Delta Resources: 80.4% rely on the Chapter Sponsor for Society news/information
- Guidance: 53.1% would like help promoting Sigma Tau Delta scholarship and award opportunities
Links to Most Requested Guidance/Assistance
- 53.1% - Promoting Sigma Tau Delta scholarship and award opportunities
- 52.3% - Chapter activity ideas
- 48.9% - Promoting Sigma Tau Delta publishing opportunities
Winner of 2010 Participant Drawing
SUNY College at Old Westbury
Alpha Kappa Beta Chapter
Old Westbury, NY
Margaret Torrell, Chapter Sponsor