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Every chapter has an elected Board that determines policies and guidelines for the chapter. As a Board member, it’s essential that you review the governing documents that were created and revised by your predecessors to ensure they accurately reflect the current needs of your chapter.
This page has all the information you need to effectively govern your NIGP chapter, from creating officer and volunteer job descriptions to developing, implementing, and monitoring a strategic plan for your chapter’s future.
Bylaws are the fundamental rules that define your chapter. Unlike a policy manual or strategic plans, Bylaws have a specific order to follow. They must be accurate as they are a legal document.
Ten Most Common Bylaw Pitfalls
While the specific information included in your chapter’s Bylaws will be unique, the Bylaws should include these articles in the following order:
You can use this sample Bylaws template to create new Bylaws or revise old ones.
Bylaws should be revisited and revised regularly to make sure they reflect the current standing of the chapter.
The backbone of every successful chapter is made up of the Board of Directors and chapter committees. In addition to leading meetings, events, and programs, these two groups set chapter policy and give counsel and guidance to the chapter in all its social, financial, educational, and membership operations.
To maximize the effectiveness of the organization, all volunteers need to have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities. The best way to do this is to have a job/position description for all volunteer positions.
There is no correct list of positions within a chapter. Positions should be formed around the unique needs of each individual chapter. Below is a recommended committee list.
A policy manual is a key element of good governance and management for your chapter. It should be regularly updated to ensure policies and procedures are current and relevant to the chapter's needs.
A policy manual is a document that contains written rules, operations, procedures, or policy that governs conduct within your chapter. In best use situations, policies play a strategic role in a chapter. Policy manuals are developed in light of a chapter's mission and objectives.
While some chapters create separate procedure and policy manuals, it is OK to combine these into one document for your chapter by first creating your policy and then documenting the procedure for it.
Effective policies lead to chapter success. If your chapter has an existing policy manual, revisit it often to add new policies that are relevant to your chapter's current needs and remove or adapt policies that are no longer relevant.
Here are some tips to follow when creating or updating your chapter’s manual:
Here are samples of policy manuals from select NIGP chapters. Use them as a guide to create or revise your chapter's policy manual. While every chapter's policy manual will have information that is unique to the chapter, these samples can help you format and structure your policy manual.
Succession planning is a systematic effort and process of identifying and developing candidates for key chapter leadership positions to ensure the continuity of the chapter. Succession planning is critical to a chapter's success. When done successfully, it creates a process for recognizing, developing, and retaining top leadership talent within your chapter.
Succession planning is accomplished by identifying individuals with high leadership potential and ensuring they are given the necessary experience and training to prepare them to assume higher-level leadership positions in the future.
When done well, succession planning enables chapters to:
A key benefit of having 72 chapters nationwide is that you have plenty of resources available to help you with your leadership succession planning. Here are a few helpful resources from NIGP chapters.
Discover a proven method to develop your succession plan by downloading this helpful NIGP succession planning toolkit.
Newly elected officers should be installed at a chapter meeting. When a new officer is installed in a chapter, the NIGP National office or a Board representative will use this NIGP installation script
Strategic planning is an organizational tool that provides a chapter with a big picture view of what it is now, what it hopes to be in the future, and what steps it will take to get there. Strategic planning involves a series of steps designed to help a chapter define its future.
Keep in mind that strategic planning is a constantly evolving process as a chapter changes and grows. You will need to go through the process on a regular basis to ensure that your chapter is meeting its objectives and taking the necessary steps to grow and succeed.
A strategic plan gives Board members and general members a clear vision of the chapter's goals for now and the future. Specific benefits of creating and using a strategic plan include the following:
You can create a strategic plan for your chapter in three steps. As you are creating it, make sure you consider how you will implement the strategic plan into your chapter. Implementation can be the most difficult stage of a strategic plan. Chapter leadership must demonstrate a strong commitment to the strategic plan and clearly communicate the plan’s values and importance. To ensure progress, establish and monitor benchmarks and timelines.
Ask the question, “Who are we and what do we really want?”
To answer that question a chapter must focus on itself by looking at the following areas:
Ask the questions, “Who else is out there? What do they really want? Can we work together? Do we have similar views, values?”
To determine these answers a chapter must focus on an environmental assessment. A way of doing this is by doing a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis assesses:
Ask the questions, “How are we going to get there, what do we need to do, and with whom?”
To answer these questions focus on the following:
Use the samples below to guide the creation of your chapter's strategic plan.
Rocky Mountain Governmental Purchasing Assoc. – Handbook and Awards
Maryland Public Purchasing Assoc. – Awards Program
Oregon Public Purchasing – Officer Roles and Volunteers
Washington DC Chapter - Committees and Awards
= Best Practices from the Outstanding Chapter Awards