Responsibilities of a Chapter

  • Maintain a membership of a certain level or higher as set by the Board (currently 15 dues-paying members)
  • Hold at least three chapter meetings per year, at which at least six members are present. Maintain minutes of all meetings.
  • Have an annual fundraising plan and hold at least one fundraising event per year. Annual chapter fundraising goals are set at $1,000 a year, minimum.
  • Set goals on local issues and work to meet them

Chapters are also strongly encouraged to:

  • Increase membership by at least 5% every year
  • Allot at least one member to serve on SOCM’s standing committees during the first year, two for the second year, and three for the third and succeeding years
  • Encourage at least three members to attend the SOCM Annual Meeting
  • Follow an issue adoption process. At least six members must be willing to be active on an issue and at least one willing to provide leadership (i.e. call and chair meetings, etc.) on that issue before the chapter takes on the issue.

Chapter Leadership Positions

  • Helps schedule meetings and works with members to craft agenda
  • Facilitates meetings and sees that agenda is followed.
  • Assists in the delegation of tasks and supports the chapter’s work
  • Acts as a liaison to SOCM staff to coordinate activities
  • Serves as a contact for people to voice concerns
  • Seeks and assigns subcommittee chairs
  • Bottom line person (responsible for making sure the Chapter carries out its responsibilities such as fundraising and recruiting, and for making sure that other leaders are doing their jobs)
  • Ensures all members are heard that want to speak
  • Serves as a representative of the Chapter on the Board of Directors
  • Attends Board Meetings and is present on Board conference calls
  • Reports the results of Board meetings to the chapter
  • Discusses administrative and policy-related topics with the chapter
  • Brings Chapter concerns to the Board
  • Takes action if Chapter is not carrying out Board directives
  • Analyzes and takes action on outside requests for SOCM support from Chapter.  Responsible for bringing request to chapter and responding to request and alerting staff of decision
  • Works with staff to create and implement fundraising plan
  • Pulls together fundraising team and coordinates fundraising activities
  • Helps coordinate volunteers for phone-a-thons
  • Coordinates with the SOCM Director of Development and counterparts in other chapters during statewide fundraising campaigns
  • Responsible for meeting Chapter fundraising goal
  • Initiates phone tree for Chapter meetings and works to ensure high attendance of meetings
  • Works to recruit new members and coordinate membership drives for the Chapter
  • Aides in membership retention by reminding existing members to renew their dues
  • Identifies events with potential for recruiting and involving more people (tabling, conferences, etc.)
  • Relays names of new or potential members garnered at events to main office and follows up with new or potential members
  • Maintains supply of membership materials and distributes as needed to new or potential members
  • Relay any change in membership information to main office
  • Liaison to Communications Coordinator (CC) and works with CC on member communications and publicity for Chapter
  • Writes period blog posts about the Chapter to be published on the SOCM blog
  • Works with the CC and Organizers to write articles for E-News and The Sentinel or recruit potential writers for the articles
  • Works with CC on press releases and serves as local contact for the media
  • Serves as the Chapter’s media spokesperson
  • Helps craft social media marketing campaigns for the Chaper and coordinates with the CC to manage SOCM’s online presence
  • Keeps CC updated about upcoming events
  • Works with Chair and other coordinators on logistics for events that the Chapter hosts
  • Helps to delegate tasks to members to assist in the implementation of events
  • Recruits volunteers to work at Chapter events
  • Creates a budget for the event and provides copies of the budget to Chapter membership for approval

Qualities Of An Effective Chapter

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Mission, Vision, Values

  • Your chapter should be committed to the broader vision of SOCM, not just a particular issue
  • Identify common goals among membership
  • Ensure all activities conform to SOCM’s organizational values

Issues, Strategies, Actions

  • Successful chapters are multi-issue and acknowledge the interconnectedness of problems facing our communities
  • Adopt an issue selection system to identify issues that members want to work on and focus efforts
  • Choose issues that build membership and advance the chapter’s long term efforts
  • Utilize direct action and public events to draw attention to your chapter, build support, and empower your community

Build Relationships

  • Always be working to build the chapter’s membership, ensuring intergenerational support and diverse backgrounds of members
  • Provide avenues for people of different skills and talents to contribute to the chapter’s work
  • Build a sense of community

Leadership Development

  • Always be working to build the chapter’s membership, ensuring intergenerational support and diverse backgrounds of members
  • Provide avenues for people of different skills and talents to contribute to the chapter’s work
  • Ensure young people of the chapter have the chance to take up leadership roles
  • Build a sense of community

Fundraising

  • Form a committee to develop your yearly fundraising plan and have the plan done by February of each year
  • Have consistent focus on raising money through membership drives, sales, and events
  • Be creative in designing your fundraising events
  • Utilize fundraising events to connect to the community and grow your membership

Commitment to Democracy

  • Being committed to democracy means being committed to giving everyone equal say in the activities and decisions of the chapter
  • Ensure that all voices are heard and respected
  • Try to come to a consensus in chapter decisions, avoiding majority votes if possible

Media Management and Communications

  • Develop efficient internal communication systems to keep members informed and active
  • Build relationships with local media representatives to get visibility for the chapter
  • Take advantage of modern technology to ease communications, especially social media tools
  • Become citizen journalists, utilizing Facebook, Twitter, and the SOCM blog to bypass traditional media

Research, Planning, and Measurement

  • Research issues and see where power lies
  • Develop strategies by examining successful case studies and best practices
  • Identify metrics to measure the success of campaigns and periodically evaluate the progress of the chapter’s work
  • Evaluate and learn along the way

Have Fun!

  • Make sure chapter meetings include a social element to build friendships between members
  • Provide opportunities for members to gather outside of formal meetings
  • Celebrate everyone’s efforts and contributions on a regular basis
  • Try to have food and drinks for people at meetings