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Chapter Organization


Use what one Chapter calls "stamp bucks" to award its members for attending meetings, giving presentations, volunteering at the show, and so on. Then the accumulated stamp bucks are issued to members at the show and can be spent with show dealers at a specific exchange rate (the club ultimately redeems them for cash). “Stamp bucks” can also be used for an annual club auction.

Question on how to get tax-exempt status for accepting donations of stamps. Answer from Ken Martin, COO at APS: Clubs working to obtain nonprofit status should expect at least $1,000 in fees and 18 months or more for IRS approval and even then may not be able to obtain 501(c)(3) status.

Emphasize the club as an educational organization and must be emphasized and detailed in the constitution, by-laws, and 501(c)(3) application narrative. Your newsletter should be available to the public on your web pages and it should contain articles that are of an educational nature - not just member news and updates. If you have an annual show, emphasize that it is free to the public, has exhibits and a beginner’s area with free stamps and lots of free advice, which are all educational in nature. Clubs that just meet and swap probably could be 501(c)(7) status, but not 501(c)(3). It must be renewed annually. Visit the August 2017 Ambassador E-newsletter addressing this issue.

Consider having an e-mail address that is specific to the Chapter to avoid privacy issues when using one member’s address. The same can be said about a Chapter having a Chapter-specific mailing address.

Recognize the work Chapter members do for Chapter events, but also for what they do at the regional and national levels. The APS has various volunteer awards available. The Sparkplug Award is determined and presented by the Chapter.

Solicit help and support for the Chapter newsletters. Consider entering the APS newsletter contests to get some feedback on developing better communications with your Chapter members.

The American Philatelist is a good tool to keep your members informed about happenings at APS. It can be used for the APS Ambassador’s Minute at meetings.

Each Chapter should consider having an active and changing website.

Each Chapter should file an annual Chapter report, mailed each spring, with APS to keep the Chapter information current on the APS website, to qualify for free dues for the year and to be eligible for the Chapter Champions Award.

Working with other Chapters in the vicinity can provide ideas for running a successful Chapter.

One city has a large Chapter that has split itself into three branches for closer, more local meetings and then the three have a unified meeting a couple times a year.

If there is overlap in membership between Chapters, try to coordinate meeting times and events.

Night time meetings may be a problem for those who do not want to drive at night. Some Chapters schedule additional meetings on Saturday mornings. Some have found a different mix of members at the night and day meetings.

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