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Chapter Finances and Information Due

Back to School Information - Spring 2023

Please pay careful attention to the following information about chapter finances and treasury management for the spring 2022 term. As you review, please contact the Associate Director of Chapter Finance, Anthony Tornini, at anthony.tornini@sigmanu.org or (540) 600-3011‬ with any questions or concerns.

Members Area

As you now know, the General Fraternity has transitioned to a new Members Area platform. Instructions for Commander and Recorders can be found in your officer resources on Sigmanu.org. 

During the consultation with your Leadership Consultant, you will be provided with an in-depth walkthrough and training on the new platform and its benefits. While this consultation is still a few weeks away, we have provided instructions for the New Members Area below. Please review these instructions carefully, as the New Members Area has key differences from the previous platform.

Additionally, if your chapter has already or will induct Candidates prior to your Consultation, please follow the instructions on how to register those Candidates in the New Members Area. Please pay close attention to the instructions, as there are changes that will affect this process. Most notably, there will be a 3-business day delay after registration to process the sign-up request into the system before you will be able to approve the registration. We recommend that you instruct Candidates to register at least 3 business days prior to the Candidate Ceremony (e.g. if you plan to hold the Ceremony on Saturday or Sunday, please have them register by the prior Tuesday close of business). Ideally, you should instruct Candidates to register and pay their Candidate Fee immediately upon accepting their bid.

Maintaining your chapter’s information in the Members Area directly affects the billing of Initiate Dues and Risk Management Assessment. Per The Law of Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc., all chapters are to update their membership information (i.e., roster) by January 15th, or 15 days after the start of school, whichever is later. This update will ensure that the chapter is billed accurately. Both the Commander and Recorder can update the chapter’s membership information on the Members Area.

For step-by-step instructions on updating the roster, review the officer resource How To Update the Roster in the Members Area.

Important Due Dates

As a friendly reminder, the first Installment of the Risk Management Assessment and the signed Risk Reduction Affidavit via DocuSign are due to the General Fraternity by February 15th. For more important due dates, review the officer resource Important Due Dates. Take some time to look through this resource to ensure that the chapter is making payments and submissions on time.

The Risk Reduction Affidavit will be administered solely through DocuSign. Chapter officers and advisors responsible for signing the affidavit will receive an email to do so. To ensure the Risk Reduction Affidavit is sent to the correct officers, please make sure the Officer Information is up-to-date in the Members Area, and officers check that their contact information is correct.

**NOTE – For schools that have not begun the fall academic term by February 15th, the deadline to Complete the Risk Reduction Affidavit is March 15th. There is no change in the due date of the first installment of the Risk Management Assessment.

What You Can Expect to be Billed

Risk Management Assessment

Risk Management Assessments (RMA) are mandatory assessments to fund the Fraternity’s proactive and reactive health and safety initiatives, risk reduction programs, and liability insurance coverages for chapter officers, chapter members, your chapter, alumni volunteers, other related alumni entities, and where applicable, the house corporation that owns and/or operates your chapter home. Maintaining such coverages is imperative to the continuity of your chapter and the entire Fraternity.

After several years of industry-wide increases in insurance costs, we are presently seeing some moderate stability in the marketplace.  This improvement, combined with favorable development in claims history and overall membership, has allowed the rate for the 2022-2023 academic year to be lower than last year.  In the fall, we indicated an estimated annual tier 1 rate of $325.00.  Upon reviewing the actual billings from the fall and anticipated billings for the spring, we have concluded that spring rates could be reduced by a further $10.00 ($5.00 per installment for the spring).  Therefore the annual tier 1 rate will be $315.00 instead of the estimated $325.00.  All changes in rates are outlined in the following table.

   Fall 2022 Spring 2023
Tier Annual Total 10/1/2022 11/1/2022 2/15/2023 3/15/2023
1 $315.00 $81.25 $81.25 $76.25 $76.25
2 $365.00 $93.75 $93.75 $88.75 $88.75
3 $405.00 $103.75 $103.75 $98.75 $98.75
4 $425.00 $108.75 $108.75 $103.75 $103.75
5 $475.00 $121.25 $121.25 $116.25 $116.25

For your individual chapter’s RMA rates, please see the first page of the monthly Chapter Statement under Schedule of Fees and Information Due.

Initiate Dues

Initiated members who have departed school, either by graduation or leaving for some other reason, are to be marked as either Alumni-Graduated or Alumni-Left School. Initiated members who are studying abroad for a semester should be marked as Alumni-Left School until their return.

It is important to remember that there is no such thing as “INACTIVE” or “EARLY ALUMNI” in Sigma Nu Fraternity. If a member is a matriculate of the host institution (i.e., enrolled at the college/university), then they are to be listed on the chapter’s roster.

Initiate Dues are $72.50 per initiate, per semester, and your chapter will be billed for Initiate Dues after updating its membership information in the Members Area.

Conclave Fee

The Conclave Fee specifically goes toward the expense incurred for Grand Chapter and College of Chapters and includes lodging, program, and some meal costs. The chapter is separately responsible for travel-related costs to and from the conclaves, as well as meals and incidental costs during travel and for meals not covered as part of the conclave.

Prior to the start of the pandemic, the Conclave Fee was $1,400 per semester and was planned to increase further as the costs of conclaves continue to increase. As the pandemic forced the 2021 College of Chapters and the 69th Grand Chapter to be held virtually, the Conclave Fee was reduced for several semesters.

As expected, and previously communicated, the Conclave Fee for the 2022-2023 Academic year will return to pre-pandemic levels. For the spring term, the Conclave Fee is also $1,400.00 and is due in two installments of $700.00, due on March 1st and April 1st.

Candidate Fees and Initiation Fees

All new candidates must register in the Members Area and be verified by the Commander or Recorder following their participation in the Candidate Ceremony. Each candidate must pay a one-time fee of $100.00 for the Candidate Fee, either online or directly to the chapter. This fee should be paid before the prospective member goes through the Candidate Ceremony. The chapter will be assessed a $5.00 late fee per new Candidate, per day, if not reported within three (3) days from the Candidate Ceremony.

Candidates being initiated must be verified by the Commander or Recorder following their participation in the Initiation Ceremony. The Initiation Fee is a one-time fee of $230.00 and can be paid either online or directly to the chapter. This fee should be paid prior to the candidate going through the Initiation Ceremony. The chapter will be assessed a $5.00 late fee per new Initiate, per day, if not reported within three (3) days from the Initiation Ceremony.

One of the main reasons chapters become financially delinquent with the General Fraternity is by not collecting, or confirming payment of, the Candidate and/or Initiation Fees prior to individuals going through the respective ceremony. Candidate and Initiation Fees collected by the chapter are to be remitted to the General Fraternity immediately following the ceremony.

How to Make Payments

There are two options you have when making payments to the General Fraternity Headquarters. The first option is by check, and the other option is by making the payment online.

If you choose to send in a check, it will need be made out to Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc., with a description of the payment on the memo line (e.g., Conclave 1st installment) or include the invoice stub. Payments by check should be mailed to:

Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc.
P.O. Box 1869
Lexington, VA 24450

To make a payment online, via a debit/credit card, go to www.sigmanu.org/payhq. If you are making a payment online not pertaining to Candidate and Initiate Fees, you should select “Pay Other Fee(s)” and include the payment amount and instructions on how the payment should be applied.

How to Use Your Role for Success

Budgeting: Strategic Importance

Establishing a vision and goals is an important experience for all Sigma Nu chapters but is pointless if there is no plan to achieve those goals. Establishing a realistic budget is a process by which a Chapter sets its plan to achieve its goals.

A simple five-step budgeting process has proven to be incredibly effective for collegiate chapters. This process is known as zero-based budgeting and is both efficient and effective for cash-based businesses like fraternity chapters. Essentially, this budgeting model calls for each budgetary cycle to begin at “zero” and is built according to the following steps.

  1. Officer Budget Requests – These are the functional expenses that the chapter controls. These expenses would include but are not limited to Recruitment, Alumni Relations, Brotherhood, Educational Programming, Social Programming, etc.
  2. Operational Expense Estimates – These expenses are those costs that the chapter does NOT control but must be paid to ensure the chapter’s existence/recognition. These expenses include: Risk Management Assessment, Initiate Dues, Conclave Fee, IFC dues, etc.
  3. Revenue Estimates – Revenue means income paid by the chapter members (i.e., member dues). The simplest calculation to estimate a chapter’s revenue is Total Expenses (Functional + Operational) divided by Initiates.
  4. Budgetary Adjustments – This step is a vital piece of the budgeting process. It is in this step that a chapter may reallocate financial resources from one functional area to another, either because of chapter priorities/goals or because the budget is showing a deficit. Deficit budgeting/spending is not an option available to cash businesses.
  5. Proposal to the Chapter – For each budgetary cycle, whether that is an academic term or academic/calendar year, the budget must be put forward to the chapter for discussion and approval. Members of the chapter pay dues, and it is important that they are made aware of the chapter’s plan for those funds.

Collections: Reminders to be Successful

The collection of chapter member dues is one of the more challenging aspects of a Treasurer’s and Finance Committee’s role. That said, it is vital to the health and stability of a collegiate chapter that members are held accountable to their financial obligations. To that end, the following are important policies and best practices to assist in the effort of collections.

Important Policies You NEED to Know

Zero Tolerance Enforcement Policy of the High Council - If a chapter fails to meet its financial and reporting obligations to the General Fraternity within 30 days of such obligations being due, that chapter’s operations will be suspended until such obligations are met in full. If such delinquency continues for 90 days, the High Council will consider the suspension or revocation of that chapter’s charter.

Check Signing - Use of dual signature checks to ensure no one person has complete access to the chapter funds. Per The Law of Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc. (Article Seven, Sections 5.2F, and 5.5F), the Treasurer may not sign checks. Checks are to be signed by the Commander and Recorder, while the Treasurer maintains the checkbook.

Late Reporting Policy of the High Council - Chapters shall report all new Candidates and Initiates, along with all required information, on the Members Area of the General Fraternity’s website within three (3) days of the Ritual Ceremony. The chapter will be assessed a $5.00 late fee per new Candidate or Initiate, per day, beyond the three (3) day reporting grace period. Candidate and Initiation Fees not paid within thirty (30) days from the report date will be assessed a finance charge at an annual rate of 18% (1.5% per month).

Treasurer’s Report to the Chapter - The Treasurer must have a substantive report to the chapter at each business meeting. While this report does not have to be long in duration, the members must be fully informed on the financial activity of the chapter. The following is a suggested format for the Treasurer’s report:

  1. Report the chapter’s expenses and revenues from the previous week.
  2. Report the chapter’s available cash on hand.
  3. Report the chapter’s expected expenses and revenues for the upcoming week.
  4. Report the chapter’s budget to actual for year/term to date.
  5. Report on collection matters, as appropriate.

Taxes – Filing the 990

The Internal Revenue Code of the United States, most commonly associated with the collegiate, fraternity/sorority community, is the 501(c)(7) classification – social and recreational clubs. This classification, 501(c)(7), establishes that these organizations are exempt from paying federal income taxes, and all 501(c)(7) organizations are required to file an annual return to maintain this tax-exempt status.

The form to be filed annually, for 501(c)(7) organizations, is the Form 990. There are three versions of the Form 990, and established thresholds that determine which version a 501(c)(7) organization must use based on its gross receipts. For additional information, review the officer resource Federal Tax and Form 990 Filing Guide.

Other Links to Useful Resources

Below are links to additional resources that will likely prove helpful to you and your chapter.

Please reach out to Associate Director of Chapter Finance Anthony J. Tornini at (540) 600-3011‬ or via email at anthony.tornini@sigmanu.org with any questions or assistance your chapter might need in your financial planning for the upcoming year.

© 2015-2022 Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc.
9 North Lewis Street, P.O. Box 1869, Lexington, Virginia 24450
Phone: (540) 463-1869 | Fax: (540) 463-1669 | Email: headquarters@sigmanu.org

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