New Chapter Charter Process Preparation
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, state that you are the “Forming XYZ Chapter of AFP” until the AFP Board of Directors has officially chartered you.
New Chapter Checklist
- Schedule a second meeting to promote chapter organization and AFP. The Organizing Committee should handle all arrangements. Secure a speaker of interest to provide attendees with an educational program.
- Bring AFP Membership Information to the meeting
- 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 organizing committee will have determined the slate of officers, which will be ratified at the first official meeting of the newly chartered chapter.)
- Bring membership information to the meeting.
- Adopt the set of standardized AFP Chapter Bylaws. All chapters must adopt the standardized bylaws unless local, state/provincial, or federal law presents an obstacle. In such a case, authorization to change the standardized bylaws must be obtained from the international headquarters
- Elect a slate of officers according to the provisions of the chapter bylaws and complete the Chapter Leadership Form
- The elected slate of officers will continue the process by: having the President sign the Warranty Statement and Conformance to Bylaws
- Develop and approve a budget for the new chapter for its first year
- Develop a program schedule for the first year.
- Gather your members’ applications:
- Collect completed membership applications with payments. Submit all the applications and payments to AFP International Headquarters with all the additional charter application documents.
- Collect letters from all current 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 once the AFP Board of Directors charters it.
- All members wishing to appear as charter members must be in the “Professional” membership category.
- As soon as 50 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
- 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
- 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 thrice yearly (Spring, Summer, and Fall).
- 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.
- Once your chapter has been approved, you must incorporate and execute the Chapter Affiliation Agreement.
- Sign the Sample Articles of Incorporation for U.S. or Canadian chapters