How do I become a member of a Chapter?

Membership in the state association is a prerequisite to membership in a local chapter. Active and Affiliate members join a local chapter in the area that encompasses their school district. To join a local Chapter, please contact the Chapter President in your area or call State Association headquarters and we will be happy to assist you, 800-359-SBGA.

As a Chapter, what are we responsible for?

Each Chapter plans local networking events, meetings, professional development programs and chapter workshops throughout the year. Chapters post these event schedules to the State Association's website, or in some cases to their chapter websites. What follows is a list of actions chapter leaders take throughout the year.


  • State Legislature commences the first Wednesday after the first Monday of the New Year.
  • Promote Advocacy Day. Respond to calls for action. Stay involved!


  • Fred Hack Scholarship applications accepted; promote state scholarship program at your chapter meetings.
  • Promote Advocacy Day.


  • Annual Advocacy Day. Chapter Presidents coordinate participants from their area.
  • SFA Executive Committee Meeting meeting held in conjunction with Advocacy Day.


  • Leadership Weekend for Officers, State Directors, Chapter Presidents, and SFMI Board. All Chapters must be represented.
  • Chapter elections take place (this may vary).
  • May 31: Third Vice President Candidate nominations are DUE to the State Association.
  • Conference promotion, registration materials available.
  • State dues collection begins. (REMINDER: All chapter members must first be a member of the state association before joining a chapter; and participants in the annual conference must be members in good-standing).


  • Chapter Financial Reports due to the State Association.
  • Executive Committee meets with Coalition Partners.


  • Provide the State Office with dates, locations and times of chapter events for the year. Events will be posted to the state website.


  • Annual Conference (SFA & SFMI Boards meet/SFA Chapter Presidents meet)


  • Executive Committee and SFMI Boards meet to plan for the coming year.


  • State Director Elections take place by no later than December 31.


  • The association is insured to protect against liability and protect Board activity. Coverage is not available for any chapter serving alcoholic beverages. In most cases the host district has insurance coverage. The chapter planning committee should confirm the extent of that coverage.
  • Requests for insurance certificates must include date, location, duration of program, the number of attendees expected and contact person. This information must be filed four weeks before the event. There is no charge to the chapter.
  • Chapters which are incorporated are required to obtain insurance independently to cover workshops and local chapter events.

What financial matters are Chapters responsible for?

  • A nonprofit organization is a business and must be run as one. Fiscal policy and procedure are established by the State Association's Board of Directors and maintained by the Executive Director with the Treasurer and President. Each Chapter has the same obligation at the local level.
  • Financial statements of income and expenses are prepared by an accountant on retainer and additional reports are prepared by the State and Chapter Treasurers. All bills and receipts are reviewed by the treasurer.
  • State Association member dues are invoiced from the central office and information is compiled and maintained in a central database. Chapter dues are collected and recorded at the local level.
  • Since dues alone cannot grow an organization, the association depends upon the success of the annual conference/trade show. The cooperation of all members and committees to encourage associate member exhibitors and active member attendees is critical to success. Chapters also hold local meetings, networking events and offer professional development opportunities for their members. Some local chapters also hold local trade shows in conjunction with their events.
  • Non-dues generated income such as educational workshops or special events have strong financial implications on maintaining a solid fiscal base and providing member benefits.
  • A carefully planned investment policy has been established for reserve funds. The Executive Committee reviews all transactions and reports results to the Board.

Each chapter must prepare an annual financial report for the state Association that is due back to the State office by mid-August. These Chapter reports are part of the State Association's annual audit.

How to participate in a meeting and accomplish your goals:

  • Member Obtains The Floor — member (when no one else has the floor) rises, raises his hand or stands at a microphone and awaits recognition.
  • Chair Recognizes Member — Chair calls member's name, points or nods to member or identifies microphone giving permission to speak.
  • Member Makes Motion — Member makes the motion by saying "I move that" — NOT "I make the motion that" (Do not say "I so move." The assembly needs to hear the proposed motion).
  • Another Member Seconds The Motion — Another member without seeking permission to speak seconds the motion by saying "I second the motion" or "Second."
    A motion that does not receive a second is not considered. The chair can ask "Is there a second to the motion?" If none is forthcoming, the chair proceeds to the next item of business.
  • Chair States The Motion — The chair states the motion and calls for debate (discussion). "It is moved and seconded that are you ready for the question (is there any discussion)?"
    The motion may be changed or withdrawn by the maker only before it is stated by the chair or withdrawn only after permission of the assembly.
  • Assembly Discusses Motion — Members wishing to speak must first obtain the floor (Steps 1 and 2).
    The maker, if he claims the right, may speak first. He cannot speak against the motion but he may vote against it.
    Remarks must be addressed to the chair and confined to the motion being discussed. Avoid using member's name — use title or say "the previous speaker" or "the speaker who."
    Time limits to observe if previous limits have not been established are:
    1. Ten minutes per speech
    2. No more than two speeches per member per motion on the same day
    3. No second speech if another member is seeking to give his first one.
      The motion may be postponed indefinitely (killed), amended (changed), committed (sent to a committee), postponed to another time, or tabled (set aside temporarily while other necessary business is considered).
      Discussion is stopped by use of the motion Previous Question. This motion requires recognition, a second and a 2/3 vote to adopt. A member calling out "question" does not stop discussion.
  • Chair Calls For The Vote — When discussion has been stopped or no member is seeking to speak, the chair calls for the vote. "Are you ready for the question? The question is on the adoption of the motion that(repeat the motion). Those in favor say 'Aye' (pause). Those opposed say 'No'."
    If two-thirds vote is needed, the chair must take a standing vote. "Those in favor will stand. (pause) Be seated. Those opposed will stand. (pause) Be seated."
  • Chair Announces The Results Of The Vote - The chair announces the results. "The ayes (noes) have it, the motion is adopted (lost), and (state the outcome — what was decided)."
    If there is doubt, a standing vote may be demanded by calling out "Division."
    A member who is dissatisfied with the announcement of a standing vote may move to have the vote counted.
    A tie vote rejects the motion. The chair may vote (if he has not already voted) when his vote will make a difference.

Chapter Elections

Pursuant to State Association bylaws and its policy and procedures manual, please note:

Chapter President

  • May serve for a term of one or two years to be decided by members.
  • The president is required to attend the annual leadership weekend determined by the Board of Directors. Housing and mileage are paid by the Association.

Chapter Vice-President

  • Serves in absence of President and assists with duties.

Chapter Treasurer

  • Responsible for collection of local chapter dues and fiscal activity related to prudent governance of chapter.
  • Responsibilities include filing annual fiscal reports requested by central office for tax reporting.

How do the Chapter and State Association communicate with each other?

In addition to the State Association's regular written communication, chapter presidents, and regional training programs andother events, local chapter members elect a State Director, who represents their Chapter before the State Association.


Election of chapter officers usually take place by May of each year to align with the state requirements. Elections for Chapter representation on the state Board of Directors (State Director) take place by December of each year. State Directors serve for a term of three years.

State Director Terms

State Directors are elected representatives from each local chapter. State Directors shall serve a term of three years and may be elected for more than one term. State Director Elections shall be held by the chapter by December 31 of each year. Vacancies in the position of State Director shall be filled by vote of the local chapter. State Directors must have served as a chapter officer or chairperson of a state association committee. The Board member is required to attend meetings held at annual conference and the leadership weekend.

Central Western :: Genesee Valley :: Mid Hudson :: Nassau :: Niagara Frontier :: Rockland

 2020 Capital District :: Mid-State :: Northern Catskill :: Oswego :: Southern Finger Lakes :: Southern Tier :: Wayne Finger Lakes

Central :: Chautauqua :: North Country :: Southeastern :: Suffolk


State Association Third Vice President & Treasurer Elections

According to the State Association bylaws, the third vice president and treasurer shall be elected by a majority vote of the membership at the annual conference. Nominations for the position of third vice president and treasurer must be submitted in writing to the State Nominating Committee no later than May 30 each year. Service as a State Director for a minimum of one year and/or President of a local chapter who attended at least one leadership conference are prerequisites to service as an officer.