Forming a New Chapter
A charter can only be granted to a new chapter with the approval of the Board of Directors (BOD) of RIMS. In order to gain BOD consideration, a proposed chapter must go through a minimum requirement of completing the following steps, which may or may not occur in this order and may happen concurrently.
Membership & Constituent Services Department to assist during the formation process. Please contact chapterservices@RIMS.org to inform RIMS of your intent to form a chapter and to request assistance.
CHAPTER FORMATION REQUIREMENTS
Speak to local risk managers and determine whether or not there is a need and interest in forming a local RIMS Chapter. If there is a desire to form a local chapter, contact RIMS Chapter Services at chapterservices@RIMS.org to receive guidance.
Recruit at least 10 Charter Organizational Members, that must include at least 20 Professional Members. Consideration will be given to exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Chapter charter members must be Organizational Members and can fall into one of three categories:
- Member company of an existing chapter, which transfers to the new chapter (Members transferring to the new chapter must do so in writing on their company letterhead).
- Member company not affiliated with a chapter.
- Newly recruited member. [Note: This will take place once dues are set. If a company will only join upon the formation of a chapter, a letter of commitment can be included with the group’s letter of request for the Board of Directors.]
Information regarding RIMS Membership Categories is available on RIMS Web site.
In order for the proposed chapter to function efficiently, it will need leaders willing to do the work necessary to ensure your chapter's success. At a minimum, the proposed chapter should designate a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and RIMS Delegate. The RIMS Delegate serves on RIMS House of Delegates and is your chapter’s voice in the Society. In addition to these positions, the proposed chapter may also designate several other board members to serve as directors at large. Sample position descriptions are available on RIMS Web site.
Select A Chapter Name
Any new chapter must select a name for itself. RIMS requests that you choose a chapter name that is recognizable or unique to your geographic area. The name of the main city in the area or an internationally recognized landmark works best as a chapter name (i.e. Manitoba Chapter, Detroit Chapter, Golden Gate Chapter).
Set Chapter Dues
The amount of chapter dues varies widely from chapter to chapter. Dues range from $10 to $100 per professional member for organizational representatives. Some chapters set low dues in order to attract members. Other chapters have high dues, which allow them to subsidize monthly meetings and events. In addition to Organizational/Professional Member dues, you must also set dues amounts (if any) for Associates of the Society, Educational, Student, Retired, and Affiliate Members.
North American based chapters have a choice to either collect chapter dues directly or have RIMS handle the billing of chapter dues at the same time that Society dues are collected. When RIMS collects the dues, the dues will be returned to your chapter as soon as possible (no later than 30 days after receipt).
Your direction on how your chapter dues will be collected should be reflected in your Chapter’s Constitution and Bylaws. Chapter dues are collected in addition to the Society dues. Before deciding on a dues rate, some thought should be given to your expected annual expenses. Your chapter dues rate may be changed annually, but only at one specific time per year. A request will be sent out annually to your chapter’s Treasurer to determine if dues will remain the same or change. This notice will be sent out only one time per year and will need to be returned by the deadline indicated in order to make the dues change for the following year.
Prepare Chapter Constitution and Bylaws
For your convenience, RIMS has provided a "Model Chapter Constitution and Bylaws" on the RIMS website.
The sample Constitution and Bylaws are consistent with the RIMS Constitution and Bylaws. Occasionally, the Board of Directors amends the RIMS Constitution and Bylaws. Whenever the Society's Constitution is amended, your chapter's Bylaws should also be amended. Your chapter’s Constitution and Bylaws may be narrower than the Society's but it may not be broader.
Your chapter should choose a RIMS Delegate who will be able to attend the one in-person meeting at the RIMS Annual Conference. Your RIMS Delegate should keep you informed of all changes made. Since the Bylaws is the guiding document of your chapter, all charter members and future chapter officers should familiarize themselves with this document.
Set Up a Meeting with Board of Directors Liaison or RIMS Staff Member
Set up a face-to-face meeting or teleconference with a member of the Board of Directors, coordinated by a RIMS Staff member and the selected chapter officers to discuss the formation of your new chapter. This will give you a chance to ask important questions, settle outstanding issues, and review the final steps of applying for a charter. At this time you should also discuss the Board’s commitment to membership development for your chapter.
Create Membership Development Plan
There is a direct link between membership development, membership retention and the success of a local chapter. In order for your chapter to see long-term success it is necessary to have the Board focus on membership development for your chapter. In order for a new chapter charter to be considered by the Board of Directors, a Membership Development Plan must be submitted along with the letter of request.
This plan should explain the intent of the Board to solicit new members and to retain existing members, as well as provide a few examples of how you plan on meeting these membership development goals. RIMS Chapter Services should be used as a resource throughout the process of requesting a chapter charter.
A potential for growth is important in order to keep up the momentum of the new chapter; however, flexibility is an important factor in any membership development plan. It is important to pursue all possible leads for your chapter through both retention and recruitment efforts. Membership development is essential to succession planning and the ongoing success of your chapter’s programs and events.
Involve other RIMS member categories
Look for ways to make sure that you are including all of the members (Associates of the Society, Educational, Student, Affiliate, and Retired) in your chapter. Although these other member types may not hold all of the same benefits as RIMS Professional members, they can still provide value to your chapter. For example, these members can act as board advisors, committee members, speakers, chapter administrators, Webmasters, etc.
Submit a Letter of Request
A letter must be written to the President of RIMS, asking to be accepted as a newly formed chapter 60 days prior to the Board of Directors meeting in which the request will be reviewed. The Board of Directors meets approximately 10 times per year. A list of names of the charter members with membership applications or letters of commitment, a list of the Board of Directors, a list of prospective members, a copy of the membership development plan for your chapter, and a copy of the new chapter's Constitution and Bylaws must be submitted for approval.
When your proposed chapter has completed the items above, your bid for a charter will be put before RIMS Board of Directors. RIMS Membership and Chapter Services Department will notify your proposed chapter regarding the Board of Directors’ decision.
Upon approval of your chapter’s new charter, it is important to remain connected to RIMS. This will help to ensure the long-term success of your chapter. Your chapter will be assigned a RIMS Board of Directors Liaison each year in order to assist your chapter on a peer-to-peer level. It is also important to stay in touch with RIMS Chapter Relations Manager with updates for your Board, Bylaws, meetings, etc.
The Chapter Relations Manager can assist your chapter with ideas on speakers, programming, leadership issues, etc.
Contact chapterservices@RIMS.org or call +1 (212) 655-6033.