Tools & Templates Chapter Leader Resource Guide

New Chapter Charter Process Preparation

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September 19, 2018

Some forming chapters spend up to a year holding meetings and collecting membership applications before applying to the AFP Board of Directors for full chapter status. Other forming chapters--especially those that are spin-offs of larger chapters—may be able to apply after only a few months' time. When promoting local educational programs or events, be sure to state that you are the “Forming XYZ Chapter of AFP” until you have been officially chartered by the AFP Board of Directors.

New Chapter Checklist

  1. Schedule a second meeting to promote chapter organization and AFP. All arrangements should be handled by the Organizing Committee. Secure a speaker of interest to provide attendees with an educational program.
  2. Bring AFP Membership Information to the meeting
  3. Invite all those who attended the exploratory meeting, and encourage them to bring a friend who might also be interested in joining. In addition to introductions, stating the meeting’s purpose (with a recap of the exploratory meeting outcomes) and an educational program, the agenda for this meeting should include having the attendees vote to adopt the standardized AFP chapter bylaws and to elect the slate of officers. (The slate of officers will have been determined by the organizing committee and will be ratified at the first official meeting of the newly chartered chapter.)
  4. Bring membership information to the meeting.
  5. Adopt the set of standardized AFP Chapter Bylaws. All chapters are required to adopt the standardized bylaws unless local, state/provincial or federal law shall present an obstacle. In such a case, authorization to change the standardized bylaws must be obtained from international headquarters
  6. Elect a slate of officers according to the provisions of the chapter bylaws and complete the Chapter Leadership Form
  7. The elected slate of officers will continue the process by: having the President sign the Warranty Statement and Conformance to Bylaws
  8. Develop and approve a budget for the new chapter for its first year 
  9. Develop a program schedule for the first year.
  10. Gather your members’ applications:
    • Collect completed membership applications with payments. Submit all the applications and payments together to AFP International Headquarters with all the additional charter application documents.
    • Collect letters from all those who are currently AFP members who wish to transfer into the new chapter and submit them with the applications for new members. All members will be transferred into your chapter as soon as it is chartered by the AFP Board of Directors.
    • All members wishing to appear as charter members must be in the “Professional” category of membership.
  11. As soon as 20 Professional-category paid members have completed their membership applications or membership transfers, submit the application to AFP International Headquarters along with all of the additional required materials
  12. U.S. Chapters Only - Prepare a letter to be submitted to the AFP Board of Directors requesting that your chapter be included on AFP’s Group Exemption and granted 501 (c)(3) status.
    • Sample Letter

What Happens Next   

  1. The Charter Application will be presented for a vote of approval at the next meeting of the Membership Services Division of the AFP Board of Directors and then submitted to the AFP Board. The AFP Board of Directors meets three times a year (Spring, Summer, and Fall).
  2. After the chapter has been approved, a letter announcing the news will be sent to the chapter, along with instructions on how to obtain additional membership applications and free membership marketing materials from AFP’s on-demand printing site and other next steps.
  3. Once your chapter has been approved you will need to incorporate and execute the Chapter Affiliation Agreement.
  4. Sign the Sample Articles of Incorporation for U.S. or Canadian chapters
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