To create a charter for your school’s new FFA alumni affiliate group, all you need is 10 dues-paying members who agree on a constitution and bylaws. But if you’re unsure how to ever get to that point, FFA can help.
“The best way to start a program is to talk with someone who already has one,” says Bob Barton, an active alumnus in Hermiston, Ore. He also added that national FFA Alumni and each state organization can put teachers in touch with other teachers who are currently running successful alumni affiliates. “FFA has information on their website to help you get started. And if you can find a few alumni and get together with them to help them understand their role and what you need as a teacher, it works well. The next thing is to get everyone active, keep everyone involved. Then soon the alumni aren’t extra work, but they’re extra help at your beck and call.”
Some of the information on ffa.org includes a clear-cut action plan for starting an alumni affiliate. Here’s a sample of that plan:
- Identify some potential community members, parents and alumni. (Your alumni affiliate members need not be former FFA members.) Have a start-up “nucleus” meeting with three to five of them.
- Develop a tentative constitution and bylaws before the nucleus meeting. (Use resources available on ffa.org.)
- Hold a nucleus meeting
- Review the purpose and benefits of a local affiliate and how it will help local FFA chapter members.
- Discuss the procedure for chartering a local affiliate.
- Review your draft FFA alumni bylaws, constitution and application for local charter.
- Appoint a chairperson to assign duties.
- Make a list of potential members and divide the responsibility of contacting each prospect.
- Set and publicize an organizational meeting open to the public.
- Announce the meeting date with a news release delivered to local media.
- Have FFA members send handwritten invitations to parents, administrators and community leaders.
- Contact potential members in person or by phone. Ask everyone to tell at least five people about the meeting.
- Hold the organizational meeting.
- Present the purpose of the meeting.
- Use FFA alumni promotional materials.
- Arrange for an FFA alumni or member of the state or national council to help present the purpose and objectives of an alumni affiliate.
- Temporary chairperson asks for a motion to form an affiliate. With an affirmative vote, chairperson moves on to pass constitution and elect officers.
- Establish local dues and set the next meeting.
This list and much more is available to you at ffa.org, where you can also learn about alumni affiliates and how to form them or help them to grow. In addition, you may contact the National FFA Alumni Association at 317-802-6060 for more details. Most of all, just take a deep breath and do it. You’ll find that, once you start an alumni affiliate, you’ll soon be wondering how you ever got along without one.