Starting a New Chapter

(Adapted from "Chapter Starter", a publication of Model A Ford Club of America)

The Model A Ford Club of America (MAFCA) owes its phenomenal growth and success to the achievements of individual chapters. It is the chapter that puts club membership on a personal level.

The policy of the National organization toward chapters is fairly simple. Except for requiring all chapter officers or governing body to be National members, the National club will not interfere with the internal affairs of any chapter club. Each chapter has its own ideas concerning the Model A hobby and therefore is more capable of managing its own affairs according to the needs of its membership.

However, this attitude on the part of the National club does not mean it has no interest in the welfare of the chapter once it is organized. On the contrary, the National club takes a great deal of interest in the activities of its chapters, offering assistance whenever needed. There is a continuous exchange of ideas between chapters, stimulated by the National club through the publication of chapter news in The Restorer. The position of Chapter Coordinator is maintained on the National Board of Directors to help the formation of new chapters and the revitalization of sagging ones.

What are the reasons for forming a chapter?
A person doesn't have to join a chapter to restore a Model A, but he will miss much of the fun. The Model A Ford is a fun car, and the Model A Ford Club is a fun club.

The reasons go deeper than that, however. Every Model A owner has certain basic needs. He has physical needs such as sources for parts and help with his restoration problems. He has intangible needs such as security, belonging, and worth. It is for the fulfillment of these needs that chapters form. They provide a means of family recreation, individual recognition and prestige, and companionship and competition. Chapters are the instruments through which the goals of the Model A Ford Club of America are accomplished.

How is a chapter formed?
Most simply, a chapter is formed when a charter is granted to five petitioning members by the Board of Directors. If starting from scratch, obviously, some effort must be spent on getting local Model A owners together. One way is to look in the MAFCA Membership Roster. Another might be to place an ad in the local paper; and it might even be possible to talk the editor into running a short picture story on the Model A. One slow but effective way is to drive the Model A every day, and flag down other A's as they go chugging by.

Regardless of the method used, spark enthusiasm. Everyone should be excited about the Model A and the Model A Ford Club of America.

After a minimum of five (5) current National MAFCA members have decided to form a chapter, they may submit a petition requesting a chapter charter. Charters will not be granted unless all the signatories have paid their National dues (which may accompany the petition).
View the MAFCA Policy -- View a New Chapter Petition.

Upon acceptance of the group as a chapter, a charter is issued by the Board of Directors. This charter is an official document and is marked with the corporate seal.

What next?
One of the first matters of business for the fledgling chapter, although not required, should be the rental of a post office box. The advantages of a central location for the receipt of mail will become obvious when officers change from year to year.

Another matter of importance is the adoption of a set of by-laws. This is not absolutely necessary, however by-laws provide a guide for the operation of the chapter. Each chapter may want to create them to meet their special needs. Click here to download Sample Bylaws in Microsoft Word format.

A question that may arise early in the growth of the chapter is that of incorporation. Some chapters have found it advantageous to incorporate as non-profit organizations within their operating state. A decision like this should be based on the size and needs of the membership and after obtaining professional legal advice.

For help starting a chapter, you may write to the MAFCA Chapter Coordinator for tips and advice.

Last Updated: 02/08/2009