However, the chapter model is not without risk. Poorly organized or poorly managed local chapters can quickly destroy the reputation of the senior organization, reduce the time and energy of its staff, and eventually make the organization accountable for chapter activities. Minimizing these risks and establishing a chapter structure that takes time requires preparation, communication and an agreement of belonging to the well-developed chapter (sometimes called the Charter of Chapters Convention). Affiliates, chapters, agencies, satellite sites, related entities, associated groups – no matter what you call them, local iterations of national non-profit organizations help carry out major missions at the community level. Accounting and financial reporting – The chosen compositional structure may affect the type of accounting and financial reporting systems required. Decisions must be made as to where contributions and payments are accepted and processed. Invoice payments and credit relationships could be done locally or at the national level, depending on what is useful for both the chapters and the National Office. The agreements should specify the scope of access to cloud-based financial information, which is granted to local offices in relation to the national office. There is a movement towards national non-profit consolidation, but what is good for one organization may not be good for another. There are some factors that need to be taken into account in this regard. Most chapter attachment agreements indicate a particular area in which the chapter will be active.
Sometimes the status of the chapter is exclusively in this area. This helps to avoid competition between chapters and duplicate fundraising efforts, although the unlimited nature of online fundraising has made this issue difficult in recent years. Technology standards and security systems – connections of all kinds can generate efficiency and cost savings by working together in IT and cloud-based applications. As with all components of any membership agreement, the issue of local control and decision-making must be agreed in relation to national agreements. Intellectual property rights associated with data should also be considered. That is the heart of the chapter membership agreement. The chapter is granted a limited right to use the name, logo and other marks of the parent organization and to qualify as the parent`s “chapter,” subject to various national conditions defined in the agreement. In order to ensure consistency of branding and messaging, the reference organization should be prepared to provide detailed information about its name and use it on the chapter`s website and other promotional materials. Other national organizations meet only on behalf of local entities, which work with great independence.