How can I start a Project HEAL Chapter?
- Before filling out an application to start a Chapter, we encourage you to make sure there are no Chapters already established in your area. If there are no Chapters within about an hour from where you are located (or if you are interested in starting a Chapter at your school that currently does not have any Chapters), please review our application period and submit an application to start a chapter.
Application periods for 2017:
- Chapter applications submitted between July 3rd-September 1st will be reviewed, interviewed, and on-boarded (when applicable) by October 1st.
What kind of time commitment is involved with starting/running a Chapter?
- In our experience, running a Project HEAL Chapter can take anywhere from 10-15 hours per week of your time. As your team of volunteers continues to grow, the time commitment and/or task load may decrease, but that is something that differs from Chapter to Chapter.
- Managing a Chapter is also a year round commitment. While we absolutely understand and encourage taking time to enjoy holiday’s and vacations, we also require all Chapters remain active during such times, by planning ahead (e.g. have other team members manage social media and e-mail accounts while the Chapter leader is away; utilize certain times of the year to assess achievement of past Chapter goals and create new ones [i.e. Summer or December]; have a general outline of your Chapter events and goals created for both 6 months ahead and 12 months ahead).
Are there any requirements to start a Chapter?
- You must be at least 16 years old to start a Project HEAL Chapter.
- If you have ever struggled with an eating disorder, we look for applicants that have been in an active recovery for a minimum of 2 years (e.g. always striving to recover, while encountering some lapses and making mistakes along the way).
- Once applicants have submitted an application, completed an interview with a member of our National Chapter Board, and have received approval to move forward with starting your Chapter, applicants are asked to fundraise a minimum of $500 to be donated to our treatment grant program, before they are on-boarded. As fundraising in an important part of managing a Chapter, we find it helpful to have applicants use this as an opportunity to assess their fundraising skills, as well as the interest level within their community. Applicants generally have about 2-3 months to raise those funds. Any funds raised over $500 are for the Chapter to use as initial seed funding.
What if I am not 100% sure I should start a Chapter?
- The best way to get a “feel” for how our Chapters are structured and operate is to volunteer with an already established Chapter, either locally or remotely (see the subsection on volunteering with a Chapter below for more information).
- Additionally, in early 2017, we established a new high-level volunteer role for individuals interested in starting a Chapter but are unable to do so for reasons such as not having enough time to commit (or for those who are outside of the US and are not ready to commit to registering as a nonprofit in your country/province which is required to start a Chapter outside of the US), where they can do many of the same things as our Chapters but at a lower intensity within their community. This role is our Ambassador role and involves a combination of fundraising and awareness/education that individuals bring to their community that does not have a Project HEAL presence.
What if I missed the new Chapter deadline?
- If you missed the deadline to start a Chapter, but still want to get involved we recommend completing the volunteer application to get involved with a current chapter or ambassador application (if that is something you might be interested in), as well as completing an application to start a Project HEAL Chapter during the next application period.
Any additional insight, information, or suggestions about starting a Chapter?
- Experience with fundraising, though not required, is preferred. Do not worry if you have minimal fundraising experience and still want to start a Chapter—you will be able to obtain useful insight and knowledge as you fundraise the initial $500.
- It is best to start a Chapter when you know you have a few people interested in volunteering with your chapter. Although some Chapter leaders have been able to recruit volunteers to fill all Chapter positions, it is ideal to have at least 2-4 people ready and willing to help your new Chapter flourish.
- You are never alone in running your cChapter! Project HEAL has an entire National Board committed to helping our Chapters succeed in all of their endeavors, in addition to the support and feedback provided by other Chapter leaders.
Who can I contact if I have any other questions about starting a Project HEAL Chapter or other volunteer opportunities?
- Please contact Project HEAL’s Director of Volunteer Services, Ali Hougnou (firstname.lastname@example.org), with any/all questions.