New MECDA Chapters
Join a MECDA Chapter or Start One in Your Area!
MECDA has over 600 members across the country, and a few around the world! MECDA and chapter members take advantage of special discounts, stay in tune with what’s Happening locally, and benefit from local Chapter events. Join one today!!
Form a New MECDA Chapter
Welcome to All Interested in Forming a MECDA Regional Chapter! Here are the “official” steps for starting and operating a MECDA Regional Chapter! The wording is pretty technical – because MECDA funds, supports, and is responsible for all Chapters’ taxes and financial reports to the government and everyone else. So, we need to be sure everything is clear and correct. Chapters are simply a manifestation of MECDA in a specific region – we hope to bring national focus to what’s going on in your area through many venues. We provide initial funding, printing and publicity and insurance coverage for MECDA Chapter sponsored events. We support our chapters in every possible way. MECDA members living in an area with a regional chapter do NOT need to join that group – they may remain Members-at-Large if they wish. Correspondingly, members outside of the regional areas MAY become Chapter members of any chapter if they desire; it is their choice. An important point for any individual to keep in mind is that it does “take a village” to begin this process. It’s really important to have (or create) a network of MECDA members in your area to assist in starting a Chapter – no one wants to shoulder all the effort, because long-term Chapter goals and achievements are created through teamwork and a sharing of responsibility. We CAN make sure that everyone knows what is going on everywhere, and help to create more events and interest in your specific area! It’s what we do, and we’d love your help. SUBJECT: MECDA Regional Chapters The following procedure is in effect as of October 2003 A MECDA Chapter is defined as a ‘local area group’ within the overall framework of the Central MECDA organization. A Chapter is formed under the auspices of the Central Organization to provide the means for MECDA members to produce workshops, parties, and dance related activities within their own specific areas. Members of Chapters are MECDA members with an additional affiliation to the regional group. Officers of Chapters and Chapter Representatives are accountable to Central MECDA in matters regarding financial and administrative activities.
- Those wishing to form a chapter will request from MECDA an information list of members in the desired area, in order to contact them and generate interest in the new chapter.
- Submit a letter/Email to Central MECDA requesting permission to form a local area chapter. This list must include a list of at least five members interested in supporting the new chapter, and in keeping it functioning. A contact person(s) must be named.
- Set up an interim Board of Officers of at least four members to oversee the establishment of the chapter. These members should be from those included in the original Chapter request. This committee will complete the necessary steps to begin the chapter and keep it running.
- After acknowledgment by Central MECDA (in the Board meeting following receipt of the request) the committee will plan, organize and conduct a kick-off event to raise funds for the chapter treasury. Planning this event includes the responsibilities of finding a site, hiring instructors and/or entertainers, designing the flyer, etc. and submitting to Central MECDA an itemized cost estimate, keeping costs as minimal as possible. Upon Central Board approval, MECDA will provide agreed funding. The success of this event will determine the viability of the proposed chapter.
- Central MECDA will provide initial funding, advice, and promotional support (flyer printing, stationary, mailing if needed and inclusion of a flyer in MECDA publications). Central MECDA will also provide chapter flyers for six months if deemed appropriate by the Board. Additionally, MECDA will also place announcements informing members of the proposed Chapter in MECDA publications, and ask interested members to contact the Interim Committee if they wish to be affiliated with the new Chapter.
- Since Central MECDA advances payment for the event costs, all proceeds from this event along with an itemized income and expense statement will be submitted immediately to Central MECDA. After deduction of payments advanced, the balance of the proceeds will be remitted to the Chapter as the basis of the Chapter treasury.
- Central MECDA will not provide funding for subsequent Chapter events. Any special circumstances must be submitted to and approved by the Central Board.
- Chapter Treasurer is to establish an interest-bearing savings account or a no-charge checking account in the Chapter’s name (i.e., MECDA – Inland Empire Chapter). Signatories are to be: Chapter Treasurer, Chapter President, and Central Board Treasurer.
- With a potential treasury in place, and a minimum of fifteen members establishing their interest in Chapter membership (within the first year), elections will be held during the usual Chapter Elections process in the Autumn to form a permanent Chapter Board consisting of: President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary. Office terms begin January 1, and are for the period of one (1) year. The offices and duties are similar to those of the Central Board, applying solely to the Chapter. Voting privileges for a Chapter are given to Chapter members only.
- Upon formation of an interim Chapter Board, the new Chapter will be supplied with MECDA handbooks, membership forms, MECDA guides, and related material
- Chapters may organize a local function a maximum of four (4) times per year. These functions will be coordinated through Central MECDA at least three months in advance, so no conflicts arise with other Chapter or with Central events. All income from Chapter events is deposited in the Chapter treasury. All events require a profit/loss statement be remitted to Central MECDA immediately for review. See Continuing Activities, Item 8, second paragraph.
- A review of the first six (6) months of Chapter activity will be completed by the Central Board to determine the proper function of the Chapter within the MECDA framework, and to ensure the Chapter is self sustaining. A Chapter Representative will attend the Central Board meeting once per quarter, or email a report. The rep may be a Chapter Officer, or any appointed person who is a Chapter member. Attendance at the meeting is the only way timely information may be exchanged between the Central Board and the Chapters. This representative is entitled to one (1) vote at Central Board meetings. Minutes of the Central meeting will be sent to the Chapter Secretary, and to other officers who request them. Chapters that are too distant may submit printed reports (email, fax or mail); they must be received by noon the preceding day to the meeting. Agendas will be sent to all Chapters so they may comment (or vote) on any upcoming item item they wish. Additionally, Chapters may submit items for the agenda that they would like to bring before the Central Board. These items must be submitted two (2) weeks before the meeting.
- MECDA membership dues are paid directly to Central MECDA. Central MECDA will issue a portion of the initial membership fee to the Chapters as determined by the Central Board (currently $5.00) for each member that chooses that new Chapter affiliation. This will be done on a annual basis. A remittal letter detailing the amount, and number of new members will be sent to the chapter.
- Chapters are required to take an active part in the planning and preparation of the two major MECDA events of the year: The Cairo Caravan and the Anniversary Party (when celebrated). This includes providing volunteers, working with the committees, and assisting prior to, during, and after the event (this item is contingent upon the ability of the chapter to participate, given distance parameters).
- Elections for Chapter officers are held in the autumn. Ideally, nomination forms go out in September, ballots (one per individual or family membership) in October with a deadline of November first for return. In this way, the new officers will be elected in time to be announced at the Anniversary Party.
- MECDA’s fiscal year is from May 1 to April 30 of the following year. An annual Chapter profit/loss statement is to be submitted to Central MECDA by May 30 of each year for the prior fiscal year.
- Chapter meetings should be held once a month (or as deemed necessary by the Chapter) to discuss Chapter business and to relay information from the Central Board meetings. A copy of meeting minutes is to be forwarded to Central MECDA when it is completed and issued to Chapter officers. The minutes should include the treasurer’s report and a copy of the bank statement. Withdrawals and deposits must be described on the statement so that the Central Treasurer may allocate funds properly on profit/loss statements. Payments/disbursements from the Chapter treasury are governed by the same rules that apply to any MECDA reimbursement. Disbursements must be accompanied by a MECDA reimbursement form and receipts. Please see Reimbursement Policy.
Dissolution Of Chapter
- If a Chapter ceases to function for any reason (i.e., lack of members, leadership, activities, etc.) A letter/Email must be submitted to Central MECDA stating that the Chapter wishes to dissolve, and stating the reasons. It must be signed by the Chapter officers. The bank account must be closed and funds remitted to Central MECDA. In the event the Chapter successfully starts up again, these funds will be made available to the reformed Chapter.