Starting a BIG Chapter
Blacks In Governments
Summary Chapter Start-Up
Interest Groups initially review all information contained in this package or on the web site www.bignet.org to ensure compliance with Blacks In Government’s (BIG) Policy 1:20 and set up a planning session with a Regional Representative to get an organizational overview. The overview consists of organizational structure, goals and objectives, current programmatic initiatives, national training conference briefing and questions and answer session. It is important to coordinate all start-up activities with the appropriate assistance of the Regional body and Board of Director (BOD) Representatives. Once the Interest Group determines to become a Chartered Chapter in BIG, the below protocol must be followed:
Establish interim officers by vote or volunteers. At a minimum, include:
President; Vice President; Secretary, & Treasurer.
- To be considered a financial Chapter with the National BIG Organization, a minimum of ten (10) regular financial memberships must be secured at the time of start-up by paying the current annual national dues. The Interest Group should inquire with the Regional representative to determine the affiliate Region to assess the appropriate dues. Then determine (by vote) the amount of proposed chapter dues to assess. This will give you your initial total financial obligation at start-up (national plus chapter dues). These funds must be deposited in a financial institution based upon the name your group chooses for the chapter.
- A Letter of Intent (LOI) must be drafted to the National BIG Organization outlining the city, county, and state of the proposed Chapter’s estimated membership, signature of the petitioning persons, and any other information pertinent to the proposed Chapter (i.e., designate interim officers).
- A set of Bylaws must be drafted governing the operational aspect of the proposed Chapter, ratified by the members, and signed by the interim Secretary and President. (NOTE: The Start-up Kit has a model set of bylaws and it is also available on the BIG web site.)
- (NOTE: The Start-up Kit has a model set of bylaws and it is also available on the BIG web site.)
- As a 501 (c)3 IRS Tax Code Not-for-profit organization, it is a requirement of IRS that each chapter of BIG complete an IRS SS4 form. This form must be included with your start-up package, and the instructions on “How to Apply” & “Where to Apply” are provided on the form. Submit the form to IRS and provide EIN letter as part of your start up package.
- A Letter of Recognition (LOR) should be forwarded to your agency head stating that a proposed BIG Chapter will be forming at the agency.
(NOTE: A positive response from agency head is a plus, and we will make every effort to ensure such.)
- Once 3 and 4 above has been completed, put together the proposed Chapter Formation Package (CFP), consisting of, 1) Formal LOI, 2) Check in the amount of at least $350.00 covering minimum requirement of 10 regular members, 3) Bylaws, 4) IRS SS-4 Form.
- Letter of Recognition. The proposed CFP should be processed in accordance with BIG’s BOD Policy 1:20. The Region and BOD Representative will review package prior to forwarding to BIG’s National Office.
- At the next convening BOD’s meeting the Regional Director will submit your proposed CFP to the Board for approval.
- While waiting for receipt of notice of the proposed Chapter status from the National President, your Interest Group may attend Regional Council Meetings (RCM) as “Regular At-Large Members”. All sessions attended, will be for information only and overview of the RCM. Your attendance at the RCM entitles you to receive all literature disseminated to use as support information for your proposed Chapter meetings.
- Upon receipt of the official notice from the National President of BIG recognizing your Chapter as a financial Chartered Chapter within the National Organization of BIG, pursuant to the National Constitution of BIG, Article IX, Section 2a, you may then elect a maximum of three (3) regional representatives authorized to vote at the RCM. Regional Councils may assess regional dues as stipulated by the Regional Council Bylaws. Please inquire as to the financial obligation of the chapter as specified by the Region.
- Again, assistance will be provided by the Region to execute all the above-defined steps.