Editorial Freelancers Association
Chapter Development Information
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. The EFA central office will provide chapter organizers with membership lists of EFA members in your state/region. 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 organizer 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. If the chapter hosts a booth on behalf of the EFA at a local or regional publishing event, costs for that will be paid out of a separate events budget, not the chapter budget. Events reimbursements requests follow the same procedure.
“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, Facebook Group or Google group 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: 1) Discussion of information and benefits of EFA international and chapter membership by using material provided by the EFA central office; 2) Mention of local chapter goals. 3) 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 interests. 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. He or she must also announce and post meetings to official EFA outlets (website, discussion list) and check and respond to chapter emails. He or she 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 IS RESPONSIBLE FOR COMPLIANCE WITH ALL LOCAL LAWS.
He/she is 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 November 13, 2015
By Robin Martin, Chapter Development Chairperson