Note: the following is a condensed version of some of the information in the online Chapter Startup Kit. Note: All of the links on this page are being updated. To receive the Chapter Startup Kit send an email to Candace.Pankanin@nss.org. In the Subject line type New Chapter Startup Kit. Thank You.
Creating a New Chapter of the National Space Society
NSS chapters may serve a local area ("Peoria") or have a topical focus ("space trivia"). Chapters are the peripheral organs of the society, organizing events, communicating with the public, and inspiring new generations of space activists.
If you're interested in forming a new chapter, the basic steps are as follows:
- Find 3 NSS members in the area (including yourself) who are willing to help organize the chapter
- Decide on a name - see the NSS Rules (chapters section) for guidelines on naming and other issues (the rules may be waived if you have a good reason)
- Decide on a democratic set of bylaws - basic sample bylaws
- Fill out a chapter application form identifying your contact information and names of chapter officers
- US chapters not intending to file separately with the IRS should also complete the Authorization form.
- Send the chapter application, group exemption form (if needed) and chapter bylaws to the Vice president for chapters either by email or by US mail as a paper copy and one paper copy to the National Space Society headquarters.
To send an email copy to the VP include New Chapter in Subject line and send to:
It is appreciated if you can also include a list of members and a report on any events already held with your chapter application.
To send a paper copy to the VP for Chapters, send to:
NSS VP Chapters
300 Gorge Rd , 66
Clilffside Pk, NJ 07010
Send a paper copy to headquarters at:
National Space Society, Att: Chapters
1620 I (Eye) Street NW, Suite 210
Washington, DC 20006, USA
A valid chapter application will receive the following from NSS headquarters and chapter VP:
If this doesn't happen when you expect it, please follow up - and remember even the national organization is largely run by volunteers!
- A chapter code - this number is used to track rebates and member-chapter relations: your chapter will receive half the amount paid by new members joining because of your chapter.
- Listing on the chapters web site and in Ad Astra magazine.
- Inclusion in the chapter-leaders mailing list
- A chapter certificate
Active chapters are eligible to receive a number of resources regularly supplied by NSS; for example chapters may establish a web site on chapters.nss.org - see the resources section here for more information. Physical resources such as NSS banners, copies of Ad Astra, membership brochures and the like are provided to chapters on an ad hoc basis, usually upon request via the chapters committee.
For more information and ideas on running a chapter, check out the NSS chapters handbook; the handbook is now on a "wiki" system so you can even contribute your ideas to it.
An existing organization may decide to become an NSS chapter if it meets the criteria outlined in the chapter rules (some of which may be waived in special cases). To do this, simply complete the chapter application as outlined above.
An alternative is to be designated an NSS affiliate. This would be appropriate for organizations that share many but not all of NSS's goals for space settlement, who wish to be work with NSS members on projects and other areas of common interest. Affiliates are listed in Ad Astra and on the web site, but do not normally receive other chapter resources.
To establish your organization as an NSS affiliate, the following documents are needed:
The letter of agreement would need to be jointly agreed to and signed by NSS and the new affiliate.
- A list of contact information and organization officers - the chapter information form , or some equivalent list, may be used.
- A short history and description of the organization
- A letter of agreement, describing how the affiliate and NSS will work together on areas of common interest.