How to Create an AAUW Affiliate
We are thrilled that you are interested in starting a new AAUW affiliate! This is your chance to join a grassroots movement led by local communities and campuses, make an impact through mission-based programming in your community, and lift up women’s voices worldwide.
We use the term affiliate to describe AAUW branches, states, Younger Women’s Task Force chapters. Follow these steps to establish AAUW in your community.
First, collect information for the AAUW national office.
1. Become a member by joining online.
2. Recruit board members. Your affiliate will need to identify a president or administrator as well as a treasurer. We recommend having a secretary or someone else designated to record meeting minutes as well.
4. Contact AAUW staff. Contact the branch relations staff to let them know about your plans so they can best guide you through launching your affiliate.
5. Apply. Download and submit the Request for Formation of an Affiliate Form. From there your form will be reviewed by the AAUW Board of Directors for approval. If for some reason the application is denied, you will receive notice as to why as well as required changes in order to move forward, if applicable.
6. Submit your paperwork. Once you have received board approval you will receive an official letter and a request for an officers form, dues, and the signed Affiliate Agreement. At this point you should also begin the process of obtaining your IRS Employee Identification Number (EIN) and bank account. (Learn more about these forms in the following section.)
7. Develop your bylaws. Your branch will also have to develop bylaws, which must be finalized within three months of receipt of your recognition letter. Use the AAUW model bylaws as a guide.
8. Recruit members. This is the fun part! Begin building your membership. AAUW staff will work with you every step of the way to plan and execute your first recruitment event, and we will also provide a small stipend to assist with your launch. Don’t forget to review the many recruitment resources on the website.
Need help? Contact the branch relations staff and they will connect you with the appropriate person.
Next, it’s launch time!
AAUW staff and the Membership Committee will help acclimate your new affiliate within the national organization and introduce you to other member leaders. You will be assigned an AAUW staff member who will work with you throughout your first year. The staff member will be available to help with affiliate affairs, including making sure that your affiliate is in compliance with AAUW’s policies and bylaws, sending recruitment materials, and assisting with initial board training and succession planning. Staff will also help you set objectives for your launch day activities.
Below is a time line of what you’ll need to accomplish in the first three months after founding your affiliate.
Within 30 Days
- Keep an eye out for recruitment materials from AAUW in the mail.
- Submit your national dues and develop financial record-keeping processes. For more information, see the Finance section below.
- Submit your officer list. This leadership list must include a president or administrator and a treasurer. Based on the goals and vision of your individual affiliate, you may also have other designations such as secretary, membership vice president, programming chair, or others.
- Plan for your initial launch event using the Six Steps to Diverse, Engaging Programs resource. Brainstorm potential sponsors and collaborators who can help integrate your affiliate into the community. Sponsors can also help offset the costs of putting on programs and events — more on that in our guide.
- Obtain an IRS Employee Identification Number and notify AAUW of the number.
- Open a bank account for your affiliate.
- Return your completed Affiliate Agreement.
Within 60 Days
- Hold a launch/recruitment event to promote your affiliate and AAUW.
- Continue recruiting board members if you have not finalized your board already and schedule a training for your board members with AAUW staff.
Within 90 Days
- Hold a board meeting to strategize about your affiliate’s goals and objectives.
- Build a six-month calendar of events. Check out AAUW’s Programs in a Box for step-by-step instructions for programs you can hold on issues such as work-life balance, sexual harassment, and pay equity.
- Contact AAUW Site Resources to set up your website.
- Write your affiliate bylaws.
After 90 Days
- Continue to recruit new members on a regular basis.
- Establish an integration process for new members.
- Create a succession plan for your board.
- Continue to develop relationships with local media, colleges and universities, potential sponsors, and collaborators.
- Hold regular programs that will help you recruit new members and involve your community.
- Participate in AAUW national webinars and events to get insight from other affiliates and member leaders.
- Sign up for the Membership Matters newsletter for updates.
Finally, make sure you’re following financial procedure.
It is important to establish a strong foundation for collecting dues and keeping records. Make sure you follow the rules below.
- All members of AAUW affiliates must be dues-paying members of AAUW who meet the eligibility criteria.
- For the first year of membership, all new AAUW national member dues are $24.50. After the second year national membership dues are $49 annually, of which $46 is tax deductible by the individual member; the remaining $3 is not tax deductible because it will be used to support the AAUW Action Fund’s 501(c)(4) activities (Lobby Corps and election-related activities). Your affiliate is free to set a local dues amount, which can be paid in conjunction with your national dues and state dues. Once your affiliate’s systems and bank account have been set up, the local dues can then be transferred directly into your account.
- The fiscal year (July 1–June 30) of the affiliate shall correspond to that of AAUW.
- The organization shall set and maintain policies and procedures to control financial records consistent with generally accepted accounting principles and federal, state, and local laws.
- AAUW recommends the use of the Membership Payment Program (MPP) as a convenient and efficient way to pay, collect, and manage dues and membership records. The AAUW Membership Department will provide technical support.
Follow AAUWs policies and have bylaws that enable you to carry out your work.
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