How to Start an Alumni Chapter

The Alumni Association offers a broad range of resources to volunteers motivated to assist the university in developing new alumni chapters and clubs. Alumni chapters generally begin with a small group of dedicated graduates with similar interests and support from a campus department, program or region. An alumni chapter can do many different things.  It can provide networking and professional development opportunities for alumni and current students in the field, raise funds and awareness in the community or serve as a social outlet for fellow Matadors. 

Helpful Documents and Processes

How to start a chapter 

Volunteer Agreement Form

CSUN Alumni Association Chapter Petition

Chapter Overview

Sample Charter

Chapter Job Description

Chapter Succession

Policies and Procedures for Alumni Chapters


Chapters can be organized around academic affiliation, special interest, cultural identity or geographic region. The CSUN Alumni Association supports chartered chapters with funds paid by Association memberships. The following steps outline the process for starting an alumni chapter:

STEP 1: Contact your friends and their friends

Get in touch with 10-15 alumni you know through business or personal contacts who are interested in providing volunteer leadership for the chapter. Members of the advisory committee will serve as the chapter officers until formal elections can take place the following cycle. The role of the committee is to:

1. Generate chapter interest and membership
2. Set the vision and direction for the chapter
3. Slate volunteers to serve as officers and committee chairs
3. Plan the initial programs
4. Complete the necessary paperwork to officially charter

Contact the Office of Alumni Relations for support in generating interest among those in your selected constituency group and to help set a date, time and place to hold a meeting.

STEP 2: Establish your mission and goals

There are many reasons why people want to come together and connect with each other and the university. The group needs to develop their unique purpose and mission for the new chapter. Who do you serve? Why should I join? What activities will the chapter sponsor? These are all questions that will be asked by your future members that need to be answered before you start.  Guidelines and sample constitutions are available for review. See sidebar for samples.

STEP 3: Complete some paperwork

Groups must identify a chapter president and include a minimum of 10 chapter leaders who are dues paying members of the CSUN Alumni Association and who have agreed to serve a one year term on the chapter executive board. Complete the official charter petition form including 10 signatures and roster of chapter board members.

STEP 4: Official recognition!

Upon review, the Alumni Association will convene a committee to review the charter petition and make a recommendation to the Board of Directors in the granting of a charter. The petitioning chapter will be afforded the opportunity to speak on their own behalf before the formal vote of recognition by Alumni Association.

Charters will be reviewed on congruence with the mission and values of the university and of the Alumni Association and established chapter rules and regulations. A two-thirds vote is required of the Alumni Association Board of Directors for recognition. Formal privileges and responsibilities will commence.