Step #1: Reach out to the PA FBLA state office and let us know you are interested in becoming part of PA FBLA
- Please complete this online form and let us know that you are interested. We’ll help guide you through the process and keep things moving. Chapter Interest Form: https://pafbla.wufoo.com/forms/z24mt4e16nyqf2/
- During the 2021-2022 year, chapters will have the ability to participate in PA FBLA activities in any one or combination of the following: (1) totally remote, (2) totally in-person, or (3) in a combined hybrid (remote and in-person) format. As in prior years, middle-level chapters may participate at the in-person State Leadership Workshop, but nearly all other events for ML are remote/virtual.
- Students, if there is no active chapter at a school, may file an application to be part of the PA FBLA Virtual Chapter. If an active chapter is established, membership will be transferred from the virtual chapter to the newly chartered or reactivated chapter at a school. The virtual chapter application for students in Grades 9-12: https://pafbla.wufoo.com/forms/w1am64d40nbq1el/. There is no virtual chapter for students in grades 5-8 at this time.
- Once the state office determines your interest in forming an FBLA chapter, the PA FBLA Executive Director will request account access to the national FBLA and FBLA-ML membership system for you. Once that is established by the national office, you will receive “welcome” emails from National FBLA.
Step #2: Make sure you have received all necessary approvals to start an FBLA chapter
- Speak to staff members who might be willing to serve as a chapter adviser. Each local chapter is required to have an adviser. An adviser can be a school administrator, a teacher, or any faculty member. The adviser may not be a parent unless he/she is a school staff member.
- Schedule to meet with the school principal about your desire to start an FBLA chapter.
- Be ready to meet with the school superintendent and possibly the School Board.
- Prepare a packet of materials about FBLA for the principal, superintendent, and School Board (if necessary); be prepared to make a presentation about FBLA to each.
Step #3: Recruit at Least 3 Chapter Members / Elect Officers or Establish an Executive Board
Step #4: Gather necessary student demographic information for entry into the membership system
- Create an online form (such as a Google form) to collect the following required student information: (1) first name, (2) last name, (3) gender, (4) grade level, (5) email address (a unique email address is REQUIRED for each student; it is suggested that it be a personal email address rather than a school email address UNLESS it is an absolute guarantee that the school system will permit email from National FBLA and Pennsylvania FBLA).
- Using the National FBLA login credentials, enter names into the National FBLA membership system; generate an invoice; and send a check for state and national membership dues (or pay by credit card, if you wish). More information about where to send the check is in Step #7.
- Download the New Chapter Toolkit from the National FBLA website: Toolkit Link Here
Step #5: Complete the sample chapter bylaws found below
Step #6: Complete the New Chapter Adviser Registration Form
- Each new adviser will be put on the Pennsylvania FBLA advisers’ mailing list to receive regular FBLA mailings. Use this form to register with the state office.
Step #7: Process one check for membership dues
- Make the check payable to: FBLA-PBL. (do not mail any dues to PA FBLA)
- Mail the dues check to the National FBLA lockbox:
- National Membership Dues
Payable to: FBLA-PBL
PO Box 79063
Baltimore, MD 21279
- National Membership Dues
- Dues are $12 per student ($6 state dues and $6 national dues) for students in Grades 9-12.
- Dues are $9 per student ($3 state dues and $6 national dues) for students in Grades 5-8.
- Dues are unified. A member must pay both state and national dues.
- Dues are not refundable or transferable to another student once they are processed at the national office.
- If you need a W-9 for FBLA-PBL to present to your school business office, click this link: https://www.fbla-pbl.org/media/2021/07/FBLA-Payment-Lockbox-2021-W-9.pdf
Step #8: Process additional memberships after you submit your initial membership
- Logon to the National FBLA website to add additional members.
- You may add new members at any time AND as many times as you would like during the year.
Step #9: For all questions regarding Pennsylvania FBLA and for support, contact:
State Office Mailing Address:
Mr. Bruce E. Boncal
PA FBLA Executive Director
PO Box 5085
Jersey Shore, PA 17740
For Middle-Level Support:
Mrs. Michele Sites
PA FBLA Middle-Level Coordinator
234 Village Drive
Canonsburg, PA 15317
The Role of an Adviser
The success of FBLA-PBL rests on the shoulders of student members. However, without the guidance of the local chapter advisers, no success would be possible. The adviser is instrumental in organizing and stimulating chapter development. They gain the support of the school administration and community.
Regularly refer to the PA FBLA website (www.pafbla.org), the PA FBLA Adviser Leadership Community, and any PA FBLA direct emails for regular information about competitive events, programs, and events occurring in Pennsylvania.
The local chapter adviser should:
- Be knowledgeable about the history, bylaws and programs of the national organization for active operation of the local chapter.
- Direct, chaperone, and coordinate supervision of chapter activities.
- Organize the selection process for chapter officers and provide officer training.
- Encourage civic responsibility.
- Assist in the maintenance of necessary chapter records.
- Establish rules and guidelines that will help students lead themselves while remaining consistent with school policies and state and national bylaws.
- Hold regular chapter meetings and see that they are conducted in a business-like manner.
- Assist members and officers in developing an annual program of work, which includes a budget, calendar, and committee assignments.
- Assist members in planning, collecting, preparing, and arranging materials to promote the chapter and its activities.
- Ensure school administrators, faculty, students, and the public are informed of chapter activities and outstanding student achievements.
- Be knowledgeable of the guidelines for district/regional, state, and national competitive events and activities and coordinate participation at all levels.
- Oversee financial development projects and supervise the receipt, recording, depositing, and expenditure of chapter funds.
Why Recruit Chapter Members?
The most important resource any organization has is its membership. The more dependable, enthusiastic members you attract—the more you can accomplish. Make your chapter stronger by keeping these points in mind.
- A large and diverse membership makes for rich brainstorming sessions, unique projects, and lightened individual workloads.
- Bigger is better—when it means that you have resources to dedicate to many worthy activities.
- FBLA-PBL’s recognition and influence are assured when a larger portion of your student body and, by extension, your community is involved in your activities.
- Your members enhance the chapter as a whole—while the chapter enriches your members.
- FBLA offers students the following benefits and advantages:
- Possible internship opportunities
- Putting your skills to the test with 60 + competitive events
- Rewards, scholarships, and recognition opportunities
- Travel opportunities
Chapter Officers/Executive Board
It is suggested that each executive board includes the following offices:
- Vice President
Bylaws are the rules by which a chapter regulates its affairs and the behavior of its members. FBLA-PBL strongly recommends that each local chapter creates bylaws for its chapter to abide by.
Create a Program of Work
The Program of Work is the action plan of a chapter. Strong Programs of Work include well-defined goals and objectives, deadlines, and assigned tasks. The Program of Work is important because it ensures careful planning and a detailed layout for the fiscal year.
Schedule Chapter Meetings/Establish Agendas
Many successful chapters layout dates and locations of each other their meetings in the beginning of the year. This ensures the chapter has a meeting place and the dates and locations can be published and publicized to members and prospective members. In addition, they create agendas that layout exactly what is to be discussed at each meeting.