How to Start a Chapter
To start a chapter, please see below requirements and fill out the forms and email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Chapter Requirements
- Chapter Officer and Director List
- Apply for Federal Employee Identification Number (FEIN) Form
For more information on incorporating your chapter in Illinois, please visit the Secretary of State website.
Requirements and Policies
- Apra chapters must have a minimum of 10 members, with no limit on the maximum.
- Each chapter must maintain a local bank account.
- Each chapter must hold a minimum of two meetings per year. Chapters may designate one of the two required meetings as the chapter’s annual business meeting.
- Chapters may hold programs or other meetings annually.
- Chapters must incorporate in Illinois.
- Some states require a Certificate of Authority to conduct business; contact your Secretary of State’s office to verify.
- Submit a copy of foreign registration incorporation, if required.
- Secure a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).
- Use APRA’s 501(c)(6) group exemption status and adopt the fiscal year of January 1–December 31.
- Submit roster of chapter members annually
- Submit officer roster annually
- Submit year-end financial statement annually
- Submit proof of 990N filing annually
Officers & Directors
- A minimum of three people who are Apra International members in good standing serve as the leadership core: President, Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer.
- Board of Directors must include representation from two or more organizations or institutions.
- Any other chapter Officers must also be Apra International members in good standing. The number of officers and directors is determined by the chapters' bylaws.
- Other chapter leaders, called directors, need not be Apra International members.
- Each chapter will establish the composition of its leadership and clearly define this in the chapter bylaws.
- Chapters may designate one director with membership and organizational responsibilities and
- Another director may manage communication for the chapter and be designated as the recipient for required reporting information to Apra HQ.
- Chapters are required to annual inform Apra headquarters of changes in chapter leadership & contact information.
- The chapter will formulate bylaws and provide a copy of its bylaws to Apra headquarters.
- Bylaws created by new chapters will be reviewed to assess compliance with the requirements.
- Chapter board members should review their chapter’s bylaws periodically and update them when necessary.
- A chapter must choose a unique name, typically based on its region.
- Recognized chapters must use Apra as part of their name, such as "Apra Illinois". A chapter may not use “Apra” only to describe the chapter.
- The chapter must always clearly identify itself as an official chapter of Apra.
- The Apra Board of Directors may take action necessary to enforce the policies related to the use of the Apra name.
- The Apra Board of Directors must approve the chapter name, and any changes to that name.
- Chapters may have their own logos or letterheads. An Apra logo with the chapter name included is available from Apra headquarters.
- Click here to view the Procedures for Changing Chapter Names.
Benefits of Incorporating
- Incorporating protects the chapter members from personal liability for chapter obligations. Individuals acting on behalf of an unincorporated chapter may be held personally responsible for the activities of the chapter.
- Incorporation allows for the perpetual life of the chapter and to give the chapter a fixed organizational structure.
- Apra headquarters staff acts as the Illinois registered agent for chapters, making sure that the annual report for the Illinois Secretary of State is filed to Maintain good standing.
- Click here to access the Articles of Incorporation for Illinois form.
- Read instructions on how to fill out the Articles of Incorporation for Illinois.
Requirement for Federal Employee Identification Number (FEIN) SS-4 Form
- All chapters must complete an SS-4 form.
- All chapters must complete the 990N form
- Click here to view Apra instructions on preparing the form.
- Click here to view government instructions on preparing the form.
Benefits of Participating in the Apra Group Exemption (Nonprofit Status)
- Incorporation with Apra results in no legal fees for the incorporation process.
- Participation in the Apra group exemption provides 501(c)(6) status without the paperwork and legal expenses.
- Apra Group Exemption Request Form
- Letter of Authorization
- Letter of Resolution
Chapter in Good Standing
- When a chapter has submitted its current Statement of Financial Position, Statement of Activities, Chapter Officer and Director List, Foreign Incorporation Forms (if required) and membership roster to the Apra office, it is considered to be a chapter in good standing
- Apra International provides Directors and Officers (D&O) Liability Insurance for chapter officers and directors for its chapters in good standing. Click here to learn more.
- Chapters may not enter into any contracts or purchase anything in excess of $10,000 without prior approval of Apra Headquarters.
- If your Chapter wishes to enter into such a contract or purchase, your request must be sent to the Apra Executive Director. Your request will be processed and approved as quickly as possible.
- Dissolution of a chapter must take place in compliance with the chapter’s bylaws
- Apra International may take action to cause the dissolution of a chapter if the chapter does not annually submit to Apra HQ required documentation and filings with government agencies.
- Noncompliance with Apra’s filing and reporting requirements will be interpreted as a move to end the chapter’s affiliation with Apra International.
- Per the Apra International bylaws: "At such time as the Board of Directors feels it is appropriate, by a majority vote of the board and membership, to dissolve (Chapter Name) due to lack of membership, diminished interest, or other reasons, all funds remaining in the treasury after payment of debts will be given to Apra International or another Apra Chapter for scholarships and/or programming."
- Chapters need to include this language in their bylaws.