Chapter Administrative Management

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Chapter Administrative Management

2009 Chapter Directory

Click here to view STMA's 2009 Chapter Directory


Chapter Administrative Management
Successful management of a chapter may seem to be a daunting task, but the STMA is here to provide the resources needed for chapter leaders to ensure its chapters are in sound health. These tools are designed to help chapter leaders manage better in every arena, from marketing and sponsorships to governance and finances. Just click on one of the eight topics to find helpful resources. 
 Every STMA chapter is structured in a similar fashion and is governed by an overarching body of rules and standards set forth by the association. Learn how to implement these standards at your chapter with these examples and samples. 

a. Bylaws & Articles of Incorporation – Each chapter should be incorporated and the process to do so varies by state. Check your Secretary of State’s website to find out the specific steps to become incorporated and your yearly responsibilities to stay in good standing. Typically, the state requires a copy of your bylaws. Here is an example of Bylaws you can customize. 

b. STMA Chapter Affiliation agreement 

c. Components of a Well-functioning Board

1. Job description – Make it clear what is expected of each board member with a job description document. These samples of board member job descriptions can help you formulate your own. 

2. Ethics - Confirm board members’ commitment to ethical activities and operations with a pledge. See this sample for an example of how to craft your own pledge. As chapter officers, it is important to avoid situations that may give the appearance of favoritism or conflict of interest. To help chapters avoid any misperceptions, STMA has developed a document defining Conflict of Interest with examples. 

 3. Conducting Meetings -- Meetings can be held in person or by teleconference. Be sure to create an agenda prior to the beginning of the meeting, and make those documents available to all board members in advance. Outcomes from each board meeting with assignments are very important. However, when creating outcomes, it is not necessary to capture ‘who said what’. Click here to see an example of a board meeting Agenda and a format to produce meeting outcomes.

d. Recruiting for Leadership

e. Hiring a Chapter Executive -- It is the board’s responsibility to oversee the management of the chapter, either by volunteer leaders or by a paid executive. Those who are association managers have a unique skill set and some have been highly trained in the profession. Others may have not been specifically trained as association managers, but all who manage associations should have very good organizational skills and meeting planning experience. The American Society of Association Executives has a large network of chapters that you can contact if you are in need of hiring an association manager. The ASAE website is Check with other organizations in your area that are in the green industry to investigate sharing an association executive.

f. Nomination and Voting Process -- Official election should be held in the fourth quarter of each year so the officers take office for the following fiscal year Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, and so they can attend the Chapter Officers Training Session (COTS) held at the annual conference.

g. STMA Reporting Requirements. For historical purposes, each chapter should have a copy of their Articles of Incorporation from their Secretary of State’s office, and STMA would like to keep a copy on file for your chapter. Because chapters are affiliated with STMA, in order to limit liability, each year STMA needs:  

  • validation that the chapter is in good standing with its Secretary of State's office as a corporation;
  • a current copy of the chapter's bylaws (if there are no changes, the proir year's submitted bylaws are fine)
  • a current list of Board Officers; and
  • a year-end financial report. This report does not need to be audited and the purpose is to make certain the chapter is in the black and does not present liability to STMA.


Financial Management

 Managing your chapter’s finances requires fiscal responsibility. Follow these procedures to ensure you’re taking the necessary measures to be good stewards of your group’s financial resources. Tools include board responsibility, financial recordkeeping and materials needed to stay on top of reporting requirements.

a. Board Responsibility – The Treasurer or Secretary/Treasurer in particular is responsible for reporting the chapter’s financial status to the board and membership.

b. Financial Recordkeeping - The Treasurer or Secretary/Treasurer should work with the chapter leadership on the collection, use and investment of funds. You may want to hire an accountant to file the chapter’s taxes and establish an audit committee to conduct an annual review of chapter assets. Click here for instructions on how a finance and audit committee and chair should function. Most chapters rely on the outgoing Treasurer or Secretary/Treasurer to train the incoming Treasurer and to be available throughout the year. Because finances are reviewed at the Board meetings, the incoming Treasurer usually has been exposed to the process.

c. Financial Reporting – Detailed financial reports should be prepared for the board and simplified versions to the membership annually. Quick Books and Quicken are useful tools for those executives who are charged with managing the budget and providing financial reports to the Board.Present financial information in a clear, accurate and complete manner. Click here to see the three types and purposes of financial statements. 

d. Financial reporting to IRS - The IRS changed its reporting requirements beginning with the 2008 tax return filing. For an overview of those requirements, click here.

e. STMA Reporting Requirements -- STMA asks for a simple end-of-the-year balance sheet or Profit and Loss statement from each chapter to be in compliance with the chapter affiliation agreement. The information provided to the membership at the annual meeting would be appropriate. 


Chapter Management Duties

Following are helpful tips to managing membership records and handling the renewal processes and retention. 


a. Managing Membership Records -- Chapter executives primarily use Excel or Microsoft Access for membership recordkeeping. Access has easy to use features, and a basic free version is available at CyZap, the STMA membership recordkeeping database, is also available for chapters to use and headquarters provides training over the phone.

b. Membership Retention & Maintenance – To help chapters maintain the required minimum membership base of 25 active members and desired 25 practitioner and/or academic members, STMA offers the following tips on how to retain and maintain chapter membership. You’ll find strategies on how to recruit members, sample letters and a promotional mailing.

Your Membership Committee should take an active role in helping to retain your membership. Here are three easy ways your Membership Committee can help. 


Educational and Event Planning

Event planning is one of the most prominent and important features of a chapter. Learn helpful tips on how to plan successful events and meetings, and find suggestions on maximizing event attendance.

a. Program Planning and Follow-Up

b. Speakers, Site Visits & Panels

c. Choosing Meeting Times 

d. Choosing a Location 

e. Charging for Programs 

f. Promoting Your Meeting 

g. Managing Your Meeting 


Sponsorship and Commercial Partners

Sponsors and partners deliver much of the revenue needed to help a chapter remain viable. Learn about how to optimize income from commercial partners as well as another important revenue-driver – new member recruitment.

a. Commercial Member Sponsorship


Member Services

Scholarships, awards and other member programs are an integral part of chapter programming. Learn from these examples on how to implement such programs at your chapter.

a. Scholarship Programs – The National Scholarship Providers Association offers these tips on how to establish a scholarship program. 

b. Awards Programs


Member Communication

Reaching out to members about all chapter activities is imperative. Distribute information through several avenues — including newsletters, a web site and a magazine — to ensure all chapter members can readily access the information they need.

a. Electronic Communication -- E-mail is a primary communication tool between Chapter Executives and their memberships. It may be helpful to ask members to send an email to headquarters (via a telephone conversation or in printed materials). This will verify that the email address is correct. Also, ask members to add the headquarters email address to their address books to alleviate blocks.

b. Newsletters, Magazines, Website



International Resources