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- What is a CMN Chapter?
A CMN Chapter is a body of people in local branches in multiple areas across Canada, who share the same mission, extension of philosophy and commitment to follow The Collective Music Nation Inc., Objects.
A CMN Chapter is part of a nonprofit organization, operating using the policies and procedures of CMN Guidelines. Just like a for-profit business, the parent organization will copyright its name and create an affiliation agreement with the chapter, who will then work to carry out our mission, find new members, and other day-to-day operations in their region.
A CMN Chapter is established under the umbrella of The Collective Music Nation . They will have their own board, and operate within the by-laws of CMN, while keeping their own entity. It is expected that direction and activities need to be communicated to the parent organization and may want to have more or less say in the way these activities are handled.
- What are the Advantages of Starting a CMN Chapter
Working with an already existing nonprofit has a few advantages that you won’t get if you’re starting your own. Here are the three main ones:
A. Not being the new kid in town.
Imagine you’re visiting a new town and you see two burger joints. Would you be more likely to go to the McDonald’s you recognize, or the unknown one? Most of us would choose the McDonald’s simply because it’s familiar, and this same principle applies for nonprofit chapters. Working with a well-known nonprofit can make it a lot easier for you to get donations, employees and volunteers. Your audience will already be familiar with your mission, and since they already know what to expect, they’ll be ready to jump in and help.
B. Not having to write your own rules.
Establishing policies to cover every situation your nonprofit could face is a daunting task, particularly since you might not even be able to imagine some of the things you’ll have to account for right off the bat. That’s why having a standardized policies and procedures document from Collective Music Nation, the parent organization that already covers existing chapters, will save you a lot of time.
C. Getting a leg up.
New nonprofits face a lot of challenges, from getting funding to finding members. However, if you start a chapter of an organization that already exists instead, you’ll get help from a well-established parent organization who will help guide you through the early days.
- How to Start Your CMN Chapter
Once you’ve decided you want to start a chapter, it’s time for the fun part: actually getting your chapter off the ground! All parent organizations will have different requirements, but there are a few things you can expect to do when you’re starting out. First, you’ll need to agree on a chapter affiliation agreement with the CMN parent organization, outlining all of the expectations is key to avoiding misunderstandings down the line.
Some critical provisions to include are:
- Legal requirements, such as how the chapter will be incorporated with the parent organization
- What kind of trademarks the parent organization is allowing you to use
- What geographical area your chapter covers
- Reporting and recording requirements for the chapter
- How much your chapter will owe the parent organization in fees and dues
- Activities your chapter is and isn’t permitted to do
- The assistance the parent organization will provide to your chapter (such as training)
- Why your chapter status might be revoked
There are a few other steps that are key to getting your chapter off the ground. These will vary depending on your parent organization’s support, and how big your chapter will be.
- Do I Need Recruit Board Members
Getting board members is one of the most important steps in any nonprofit’s journey. We’ve seen the difference having an engaged board makes. The Board can help build connections within your community, raise funds, and govern your chapter much more effectively than you could yourself.
To reach out to the most likely candidates, try these sources:
- Ask your parent organization if they know of any contenders.
- Reach out to the chamber of commerce in your area, as well as local leadership programs or incubators.
- Ask other volunteer-based organizations with similar missions how they found their board members, and if they know of anyone else who might be interested.
- Join nonprofit LinkedIn or Facebook groups to reach out to candidates.
- Do I Need to Recruit Other Employees
Running a nonprofit chapter isn’t a one-person job. To achieve your goals, you’ll need to fill a variety of positions. These will vary depending on your mission, but some common postings you might want to look for to start are:
- Volunteer manager
- Communications and marketing manager
- Events manager
- Executive director (unless that’s you!)
- Fundraising manager
- Development officer
- Accounting and finance manager
- Membership manager
- Do I Need to Set up a Chapter’s Office
Although you might have started out in your home office, the time will surely come when your chapter needs to move into a proper office. Some things to consider are:
- How much space will you need?
- What kind of office equipment is required?
- What’s your budget for acquiring supplies?
- What kind of assistance will your parent organization provide?
You may be able to get donated office space — so if you’re beginning to build connections in your community, it’s worth asking to see if any businesses have space available.
- Should I Set up a Chapter Website and Social Media Channels
Building up your online presence is one of the easiest ways to increase your chapter’s visibility and attract new members to your cause. Including pages that describe your mission, having an events calendar, and any other information that new members or donors would want to know is key to show that you’re a reputable organization and are ready to execute on your mission.
CMN parent organization will probably also have guidelines to follow, or even a template that you can use when creating your website.
- How to Attract new members who are just as passionate about our mission
Members will be the lifeblood of your chapter… but when you’re just getting started, recruiting them can seem impossible.
However, never fear: if you have enough determination and are ready to provide value to your community, you should have no problem recruiting the right members.
Some cost-effective ways to reach out to your audience include:
- Reaching out to your friends and family and asking them to spread the word
- Connecting with other chapters of your organization to ask how they found members
- Hosting an open-house event at your new office space
- Asking the CMN parent organization to promote your chapter on their website and social media
- Partnering with other local organizations to offer services or run events
- Putting up posters at libraries, coffee shops, and community centres
- Reaching out to local newspapers or bloggers and asking them for coverage
- How to Keep Your Chapter Organization Running Smoothly
If you’re worried about the administrative upkeep of running your chapter, CMN parent organization has a membership management software.
The Chapter management software can help you stay aligned with your parent organization’s mission and keep your database organized, as well as help you stay on top of common administrative tasks like:
- Managing your members’ registrations and renewals
- Customizing your website to match the other chapters of your organization
- Creating events and accepting registrations and payments