Forming a New State Chapter

Steps to formation:

  1. Contact the Chairman of the Chapters Council or the Membership and Chapter Development Department of ASAM at (301) 656-3920.
  2. Use the Chapter Formation Kit (online) as a guide.
  3. Plan the first organizational meeting:
    1. Contact ASAM for an Excel file list of state members.
    2. Send out an announcement of the meeting along with a proposed agenda. Include a return envelope and an RSVP request to calculate attendance. ASAM staff can assist with this
  4. Conduct the first meeting:
    1. Designate someone to keep written minutes of the meeting.
    2. Discuss Chapter formation. Note the benefits and objectives:
      1. Representation
      2. Budgetary assistance through chapter dues
      3. Public Policy
      4. Communication with local members
  5. Vote on Chapter Formation.
  6. Review the following documents:
    1. Chapter Agreement (revised 6-2003; modified August 21, 2003).
    2. Legal Overview for ASAM Chapters.
    3. ASAM Constitution and Bylaws, particularly:
      1. Article VI of the ASAM Constitution
      2. Chapter VII of the ASAM Bylaws
  7. Discuss Chapter Activities including schedule of future meetings. It is recommended to hold a business meeting quarterly and at least one CME meeting annually. One membership meeting must be held annually.
  8. Elect Officers and establish a Steering Committee: Officers and committee members must be ASAM members.
    1. President, Vice President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer.
    2. Designate a work group to develop proposed Chapter Constitution & Bylaws (This group may use the sample Constitution & Bylaws template from the ASAM Office.).
  9. Designate a central Chapter Office.
    1. Physical location.
    2. Staff (not necessarily members of ASAM): Executive Director and/or Chapter Manager.
  10. Initiate process of incorporation. Designate an individual to oversee this process and report back to the Steering Committee.
  11. Establish a Dues Structure. Determine dues amounts and categories for the chapter (Remember: the national office will collect and disburse dues for the chapter).
  12. Forward completed “Application and Petition for Charter as a Chapter”, with ten (10) signatures to the Chairman of the Chapters Council with a copy (to ASAM) to the ASAM office.
  13. Obtain initial ASAM Board approval of the "Application and Petition for Charter as a Chapter". ASAM staff will assist with obtaining Board approval.
  14. Send out ballots (from ASAM Secretary with the request that ballots be returned to the ASAM office), to all current ASAM members in the state to determine interest in forming a Chapter. (A majority must be in favor.)
  15. Apprise the ASAM Secretary of the balloting results.
  16. If a majority concurs with chapter formation, the ASAM Board votes, through mail or email ballot, to grant chapter status.
  17. If the ASAM Board votes approval, the chapter will receive its charter.

Updated: April 2020