Starting your own Club

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Here are a few guide lines to think about before you start any group. It is not meant to be all inclusive, but a pretty good place to start.

  • What is purpose of your organization? Is it educational, support or play oriented?
  • What makes your group different than other groups? Why would people join your group? Why would they spend "resources" with your group instead of someone else?
  • What will the name of the group be? Will the name be geographical, descriptive of your function, or an arcane name?
  • Where will you meet: in a dedicated building, members homes, or a public meeting space like a restaurant. Will the group have an office separate from the meeting place, and how will it paid for?
  • How often will you be holding meetings? Will you have “work meetings” before “play events” or at a different place and time?
  • Who will be allowed to join? Will your group be gay, straight, lesbian? Will your group be couples only, and if so, what happens if the couple breaks up? Is there a minimum or maximum age for members?
  • Do you have plans for legal and/or financial counsel?
  • Will there be disciplinary procedures and when, how and who will those decisions be made? Is there any way to insure the rules are being enforced in a fair manner, not capriciously? Will there be an Ombudsman to work out differences between members, and between members and board members?
  • How will you screen your members, perhaps by holding orientation meetings?
  • Will your group have a newsletter online or in print? How about a website? Again, how does it get paid for?
  • How will you contact the membership? Will your membership list be available to other members, the ‘mailing committee’ or just club officers?
  • Who will be allowed to be an officer in the group, and how will they be chosen: electoral board, general membership elections, etc.? If an officer leaves the group, how are they to be replaced? Will they be paid for their work, and if so, where will the money come from?
  • Will you be charging membership dues, and what does the member get for their ‘donation’? Where will funds collected be kept? Will there be a ‘Treasurer’, how will they be appointed? When, where, and under what conditions will there be an audit of funds?
  • Will your group have reciprocity with other groups, and under what conditions?
  • Will your group eventually plan to incorporate?

Like I said this is not a complete list, but is designed to give you some things to think about.

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