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Creating a New U.S. Chapter of the National Space Society

NSS chapters may serve a local area ("Indianapolis, IN") or have a topical focus ("lunar bases").  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:

  1. Get a copy of the NSS Chapter Starter Kit.
    • Download the PDF version, or
    • Download the Microsoft Word version, or
    • If you would like to have a Starter Kit sent electronically to you:
      • Send an email to
      • Include your contact information (name, address, phone) and the area that you are interested in starting the local chapter.
      • In the Subject line type "New Chapter Startup Kit".
      • If you have questions about starting a chapter, call 202-429-1600 and leave a number where you can be reached.  NSS will return your call as soon as possible.
      • Your chapter will receive a rebate of half the dues paid by new members joining who credit your chapter.
      • See the NSS Chapters Rules for details.
  2. Find at least two other NSS members in the area who are willing to help organize the chapter.
    • The Chapters Organizer in your Region can help you find such NSS members.
  3. Decide on a chapter name -- Example: "NSS Indianapolis."
  4. Decide on a democratic set of bylaws for your chapter.
    • Basic sample bylaws can be obtained here.
  5. Fill out a Chapter Application Form as found in the Starter Kit.
    • Identify your contact information and names of chapter officers via this form.
  6. Complete the NSS Group Exemption Authorization Form.
    • This signed form is required in order for NSS to claim your chapter as a "subordinate organization" to the IRS.
    • If your new chapter is an existing non-profit organization that independently files with the IRS, you may skip this step.
  7. Assemble the following electronic or paper items into your chapter application package:
    • Proposed Chapter Bylaws (see Item 4 above).
    • Chapter Application Form (see Item 5 above).
    • Group Exemption Authorization Form (see Item 6 above) -- if needed
    • A list of any additional current chapter members.
    • A short summary report on any chapter events already held.
  8. Send your chapter application package to the NSS Vice President for Chapters.
    • Electronic files may be sent by email (put "New Chapter" in subject line) to: 
    • Paper files may be sent by postal mail to:
          Larry Ahearn
          NSS Vice President for Chapters
          610 W 47th Place
          Chicago, IL 60609
    • If you have questions about delivery, you may telephone VP Larry Ahearn at (773) 373-0349.
  9. Once approved as a U.S. NSS chapter, your new chapter will receive:
    • A Chapter Certificate showing your chapter in good standing.  Congratulations!
    • Listing on the Chapters Web site and in Ad Astra magazine.
    • Inclusion in the Chapter Leaders email list.
    • A free hosting site for your chapter Web site (if desired).
    • Resources to help your chapter with educational outreach and projects.
    • A Chapter Recruiter Code -- a unique number used to track rebates and member-chapter relations.
      • Your chapter will receive a rebate of half the dues paid by new members joining who credit your chapter.
      • See the NSS Chapters Rules for details.
  10. Following approval, your chapter must obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.
    • An IRS EIN is required in order for your chapter to be included as an NSS subordinate organization.
    • The process to obtain an IRS EIN takes only minutes if you follow these instructions.
    • If your new chapter is an existing non-profit organization that independently files with the IRS, you may skip this step.

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Updated Sunday, 06-Apr-2014 13:10:40 EDT
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