It is always wise to look back before moving forward. History has much to teach those who are moving into the future. (ISC)² has an annual (ISC)² Chapter Report that they have available to members and there is a wealth of information within! The report gives stats and annual reports from chapters all over the world. But it also offers advice to those that wish to start a new local chapter. Here is what the report has to say:
In the chapter reports, officers offered advice to help new chapters meet their challenges. Below is a summary of their suggestions:
Organization: Develop long and short-term business plans that include the vision and mission of the chapter. Understand and budget for operating and activity costs. Establish a formal process to help gauge success and progress. Establish an open channel of communication among chapter leaders. Hold regular, in-person meetings of chapter officers and provide written copies of agendas at the meetings to establish structure and set expectations. Set goals and follow-up action items at the end of each meeting. And lastly, promote chapter events well in advance.
Growth: As the chapter grows, the number of committee chairs and support volunteers should grow in order to ease the burden on chapter officers and utilize additional resources to organize new initiatives and events for chapter members. It also provides leadership opportunities and encourages member involvement.
Support: New chapters should reach out to more established chapters to learn from their successes and leverage their ideas. Also, chapters should collaborate on initiatives to share resources and generate interest among members. [Chapter contact information can be found in the (ISC)2 Chapter Directory at www.isc2.org/ch-directory.] Also, chapters should seek support from members’ employers or local companies to assist with the chapter’s activities when appropriate.
Leadership: Elect members to leadership positions who are enthusiastic and active. Leaders should understand the objectives and share the vision of their chapters and be willing to work to make their chapters successful. Involvement should not be based on self-serving purposes, such as seeking visibility, building one’s resume or earning CPEs. Officers should realize the amount of time and level of commitment required to help build a chapter. Lastly, candidates should be recruited throughout the year.
Overall, the key message was to be patient. It takes a great deal of time and effort into developing a chapter to ensure its success. It is important to understand the duties and responsibilities involved and find people who are willing to make the commitment and are enthusiastic about the vast opportunities available to the chapter and the local community.