The New Chapter OS: Why We Opted In
YNPN Birmingham is pumped to be one of the seven pilot chapters for the new national operating system. Just as YNPN National was announcing that a new chapter OS would be coming soon, YNPN Birmingham was struggling with questions of legal status, a bank account, accounting software, and a membership program. Is it better to file locally as a nonprofit or as a LLC? What are the requirements for the bank account? How are we going to be responsible financially? How do we start a membership program without funds but how do we get funds without paying members?
And like a gift from the heavens, we heard about the opportunity to become a pilot chapter. As a newer chapter, we knew that we were willing to be the guinea pig for what the experience would be like for new chapters with a clean slate to start the system. Although we realized we would be adding work to our already ambitious agenda, we knew would be receiving technical assistance and a much needed boost to our capacity with little startup costs—a great relief to our non-existent budget.
We were confident we could manage being a pilot chapter given the background of our leadership with different database systems and our variety of expertise. For example, the chair of our Membership Committee is the database manager for her organization that functions as a local chapter of a large national organization. Other board members include a communications expert, an accountant, and individuals with a strong framework for governance that would help us manage building and launching the OS while pursuing our legal status and hosting events for our members.
We won’t lie about the fact that sometimes we think we are in over our heads. But, we are truly excited for all the possibilities that the new chapter OS will bring to YNPN Birmingham, our members, and community. As we move through the project we look forward to hearing shared ideas from established chapters, while giving a fresh perspective from our ‘newbie’ knowledge.