By Darryl Gecelter
We built Crowded to make the lives of treasurers easier. Crowded is a platform where treasurers can collect dues, track chapter spending, issue digital debit cards (no more reimbursements!) and more. Everything is digital and on-demand.
Fraternity chapters make up the majority of our clients. From the national to the chapter level, we simplify financial management for these fraternities. Keep reading to hear about how our partnership with NIC member, Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) transformed their ability to manage their chapter’s finances. Spoiler – DKE saves $48,000 each year on fees since they switched to Crowded.
Before DKE’s partnership with Crowded:
DKE’s banking and tax compliance were scattered and needed unification.
As a national organization with around 50 chapters, DKE did not have an official banking partner. Each DKE chapter maintained its own local bank account. Oftentimes, these accounts were at local credit unions or regional banks with no modern banking tools or online banking options.
DKE treasurers had some run-of-the-mill fraternity woes:
- Managing treasurer officer handovers
- Chapter funds commingling with personal through peer-to-peer payment apps
- Chasing members for dues collection
- Dealing with reimbursements and receipts
As a registered 501(c)(7) nonprofit, DKE has tax-exempt status for their entire organization – a group exemption. However, with both frequent officer turnover and the officer transition happening around the same time as tax filing season, tax compliance sometimes fell between the cracks. Chapters weren’t sure which EIN they should be using and how to file the correct 990 form. Answers to these questions along with general banking questions and support are not given by your typical brick and mortar banks.
DKE was searching for a better way to manage their compliance and finances. They also were looking for a platform that eased the financial stress on their chapter treasurers. Even more so, the lack of insight over their chapters’ finances, inconsistent group exemption usage, treasurer handovers etc. had serious financial implications for the national organization.
Crowded’s partnership with DKE helps them manage their finances and compliance
Unified chapter banking with Crowded
After DKE partnered with Crowded and encouraged their chapters to sign up, they felt better positioned to support their chapters. With all the DKE chapters unified under Crowded, DKE nationals are able to assist treasurers with transactions, tax filings and fraud assistance. They can ensure that funds aren’t trapped in dormant accounts. With Crowded, DKE can monitor their subsidiary chapter finances and can step in when necessary.
Complete compliance with IRS regulations
DKE’s partnership with Crowded allowed for total compliance with IRS regulations regarding nonprofit tax-exempt status. Crowded assisted DKE in creating dozens of EINS for chapters who did not have one, and added many chapters to their group exemption.
Compared to online providers or accountants who charge hundreds of dollars per annual tax filing, Crowded files the annual forms for DKE in a cost-effective way.
DKE is saving thousands of dollars per year, from the funds saved from tax exemptions to using Crowded to provide them with annual 990 forms and manage their group exemption.
Collecting dues with Crowded
DKE chapters collect dues online from their members with just a few clicks with Crowded Collect. Chapter treasurers can track who has and hasn’t paid, and send reminders from the Crowded platform. When chapters host events or fundraisers, they can collect funds for supplies or accept donations with Crowded.
Compared to their previous dues collection provider who charged a fee per member, per semester, DKE saves $48,000 per year using Crowded.
If you’re curious, here’s a short demo of the Crowded platform:
Convenience of Digital Banking
For the busy university student treasurers, managing their chapter’s banking digitally is a huge benefit. Everything from account setup, to maintenance, to handing over ownership can be done online. For new DKE chapters, it used to take weeks to get a bank account set up and start collecting funds – from coordinating schedules to physically go to the bank to filling out lots of paperwork. With Crowded, it only takes a few days! When it comes to the end of the year, outgoing treasurers can hand over their account in a few simple steps. No need to coordinate schedules to go to the bank and fill out more paperwork.
“Since our guys are young volunteers gaining experience, it’s awesome to partner with a company that has tools to fit their needs. Things like transition assistance between officers or digital cards (the physical frat card always goes missing!) keep our guys focused on their mission and not bogged down administratively.” Turner, Director Of Administrative Services, Delta Kappa Epsilon
Spending chapter funds with Crowded digital debit cards
After DKE chapter treasurers collect dues and other funds from their members, they use Crowded’s Visa digital debit cards to spend the money. Treasurers can issue digital debit cards on demand for their members to make purchases on behalf of the chapter. Treasurers receive a digital receipt for all goods bought, and best of all, there is no need for them to do any reimbursements! They save, all together, 6,000 hours a year on reimbursements.
DKE leverages Crowded Rewards to fundraise
The Rampant Lion Foundation is the 501(c)3 nonprofit arm of DKE that assists members with scholarship assistance. This foundation was previously using Amazon Smile to generate donations, but when that program shut down, they turned to Crowded Rewards as their alternative. Similar to Amazon Smile, DKE supporters can do their regular shopping through Crowded Rewards and generate donations for The Rampant Lion Foundation. But, with Crowded Rewards, DKE supporters also get cashback – making it a win-win!