Local chapters are key to increase the impact and visibility of our organization on a local level. However, managing and empowering these units can be tricky. We’ve gathered a series of tips and processes to open new units and manage them properly.

Most of the principles are the same regardless of size and structures. We hope this provides both a framework to build on and an incentive to get started enhancing your AFS Units! 

Opening new AFS Units:


Step 1. Identify Viability

Analize the community in order to guarantee there is viability to start developing a new AFS Unit.

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Step 2. Define Goals

Based on their current reality, set challenging but not unachievable goals that will keep them motivated.

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Step 3. Identify the Right Leadership

Find people with potential to lead and help them develop their leadership abilities.

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Step 4. Define Clear Roles and Tasks

Define with them a structure that will move the unit forward, and match tasks with the right person.

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Establishing the Units:


Step 5. Support and Training

Without proper support and training the new local unit can’t be sustainable. Having the right system in place is key to guarantee their success.

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Step 6. Make Strategic Partnerships

Recognizing key stakeholders in the community and approaching them correctly will increase the impact of your local unit.

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Step 7. Recognize the New AFS Unit

It’s very important to recognize the new units as they meet their goals and have consistent check-ins with them so they feel supported. 

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Now that you have a chapter, what is needed for it to function well?

First things first, right? They need to organize in-person meetings for their volunteers!  Discover some tips to organize fun and effective meetings:

Organize engaging Chapter Meetings

Growing your local chapters

A great number of trained and motivated volunteers is key to generating program growth and increasing our social impact. Discover how you can expand the number and diversity of local volunteers!

Make a Recruitment Plan

How do you prepare new local leaders?

Local chapter leaders have an intriguing but challenging role: managing a team and growing your local chapter’s capacity is no easy feat! AFS leaders are unique individuals who drive the work of volunteers, as well as operations on the local level.

We’ve gathered a series of resources to help them reflect on their role and pick up best practices to improve in their AFS roles.

Read them here