Editorial Freelancers Association
We thank you for your interest in and efforts toward EFA’s chapter development.
You can have a regional chapter once you have established interest and commitment from a recommended five to six active EFA members in your region. You can start by reaching out via the Discussion List (on Groups.io) to assess interest. The EFA central office will provide chapter organizers with a list of EFA members in your state/region. If you generate a comma-delineated list of zip codes in your region, we can generate a very specific list of members.
We will also help in your initial organizing efforts in our bimonthly newsletter, The Freelancer, on EFA’s e-mail discussion lists, EFA’s Facebook page, on Twitter, and on our Web site (www.the-efa.org).
The initial chapter formation efforts usually take from 30 to 90 days; actual chapter development time may vary.
The EFA Chapter Development Chair will provide assistance as needed to each chapter organizer and/or advisory board.
New Chapter FAQs
What should our meetings be about?” Chapter meetings can be of an informal, networking-only nature or focused on a formal topic or speaker that will help continue the education of editorial freelancers.
“Where should we meet?” Free or nominal-cost meeting sites can be found by inquiring at your local churches, synagogues, public libraries, schools, universities, colleges, and community centers. Co-working spaces are another option in many cities. Cafes can be busy, but sometimes have meeting rooms. Chapter meetings can be held on a formal or informal basis according to the chapter coordinator’s and chapter membership’s needs.
“How often should we meet?” This is up to the needs of the chapter coordinator and members, but in order to maintain active chapter status, regional chapters meet a minimum of twice a year.
“Does the chapter have a budget for expenses?” Upon submission of receipts and a reimbursement form, the EFA central office will subsidize each chapter
coordinator up to $800.00 annually (per fiscal years ending August 31; the EFA Board may consider requests for additional funding on a chapter-by-chapter basis) for costs including honorariums to speakers at meetings or teachers for local workshops/seminars/classes, room rentals, printing and copying, modest refreshments, and other chapter-related costs.
Some details regarding chapter budgets*:
- If the featured speaker is a member of the EFA, they may not receive an honorarium over $75 value, either as a gift or
- If any single meeting or event will cost greater than one-quarter of the annual chapter budget, those costs must be pre-approved by the chapter development chairperson before the expenditure is
- If the chapter hosts a booth or table on behalf of the EFA at a local or regional publishing or trade show event, costs for that will be paid out of a separate events budget, not the chapter budget. Events reimbursements requests follow the same
- Door prizes and other swag are covered in chapter budgets (at $30 per meeting).
- As of April 1, 2019, if the chapter hosts an event that falls under the category of a “diversity themed event,” the costs of that event may be reimbursed by the Diversity Initiative Chapter coordinators should contact the chair of the Diversity committee prior to their event to set this up.
*As of October 2019, reimbursement requests must be submitted no more than 3 months after the date the expenses were incurred.
“How do I get people to attend?” Each chapter, once established, has its own webpage on the EFA site, and each organizer/coordinator will have access to it and be expected to post events on this site. Once a time, date, place, topic, and speaker are selected, post the event to the EFA Facebook page, post it on your chapter website, send it out to the local EFA members and the public however you have determined is the best way for you to do this. Meetups are a good way. Local newspapers and bulletin boards (at libraries, bookstores, schools, colleges, and local cafés where writers and other editorial professionals congregate) while old-school, still work to spread the word about your meetings. Don’t forget to tweet it @EFAFreelancers: #EFAChat #EFAMember etc. Your regional chapter may have its own Yahoo Group, Twitter Hashtag, Google group, or other means for internal communication.
“How do I run a meeting?” Each coordinator will have his or her own style, but all meetings should include a sign in sheet to collect names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and membership status (EFA member or guest). Each agenda should always include these three items in addition to the scheduled speaker/activity:
- Discussion of information and benefits of EFA international and chapter membership by using material provided by the EFA central
- Mention of local chapter
- Introduction of the key members/organizers, with their professional backgrounds, to the prospective membership; in turn, have those present briefly introduce themselves and their editorial
You do not have to keep official minutes of any meeting.
You may not charge EFA members to attend a regular meeting, however, you may charge a nominal fee to non-members in order to encourage them to join the organization. This fee may serve as an honorarium to the speaker or as reimbursement for costs associated with the meeting instead of submitting a reimbursement request from the chapter budget.
What are the Chapter Coordinator’s Responsibilities?
The chapter coordinator works to provide learning, networking, and socializing opportunities for EFA members in a specific region. The position generally requires fewer than ten hours per month.
Most of the coordinator’s time is dedicated to planning meetings and events— communicating with potential/actual speakers or facilitators of meetings and workshops, booking and arranging the meeting room, and providing refreshments.
They must also announce and post meetings to official EFA outlets (website, discussion list) and check and respond to chapter emails. They may consider organizing representation for the EFA at local events or conferences where participation would be beneficial to freelance editors and this organization.
The chapter coordinator must join the EFA’s official communication channel and participate in the forum, insofar as they receive notifications and important administrative information and communicate with the chapter development coordinator. Currently, the official forum for this is Vanilla Forums, and the chapter coordinator will receive access to this site.
THE CHAPTER COORDINATOR IS RESPONSIBLE FOR COMPLIANCE WITH ALL LOCAL LAWS.
They are responsible for moderating the chapter’s discussion list. The chapter coordinator is responsible for making a concerted effort to keep topics and discussions professional, inclusive, and appropriate, and to always keep larger EFA interests and image in mind.
You’re embarking on a new venture and the members of the EFA Board of Governors are eager to help. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of further assistance; we encourage your input. Good luck and success in your chapter development efforts and in all your personal endeavors.
Updated May 29, 2019