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 Larry Ahearn. 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.
Send an email copy to the VP of Chapters :
Include a list of members and a report on any events already held with your chapter application.
Or send a paper copy to the VP for Chapters:
Larry Ahearn, NSS VP Chapters
610 W 47th Pl
Chicago, IL 60609-4423
Email a copy to headquarters at:
National Space Society, Att: Chapters
1155 15th Street NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20005
E-mail: nsshq @ nss.org
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.