We are honored that you are interested in becoming an FBLA adviser and starting or reactivating an FBLA chapter at your school. Here are the suggested steps to follow to activate your chapter.
Step #1: Reach out to the state office/national office and let us know you are interested in becoming part of 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. Please complete this New or Reactivated Chapter Form.
- Once your form is received, you will hear from PA FBLA Executive Director, Bruce Boncal, who will create your chapter record AND will send you a welcome email. Once your chapter record is created, you will receive an email to activate your individual adviser/co-adviser account, which will give you access to multiple resources to secure approve and recruit members.
- National FBLA will send you a Chapter Welcome Kit.
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 primary 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 5 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 as experience has shown us that many school systems will block email from National FBLA and PA FBLA).
- Using your National FBLA login credentials, enter names into the National FBLA Connect membership system; generate an invoice; and pay for the dues by (1) credit card (no convenience fee; (2) purchase order, (3) check. More information about where to send the check is in Step #7.
Step #5: Complete the sample chapter bylaws found below
Step #6: Process payment for membership dues
- Make the check payable to: FBLA Inc. (do not mail any dues to PA FBLA)
- Mail the dues check to the National FBLA lockbox:
- FBLA, Inc. (make the check payable to FBLA)
PO Box 79063
Baltimore, MD 21279
- FBLA, Inc. (make the check payable to FBLA)
- Dues are $16 per student ($6 state dues and $10 national dues) for students in Grades 9-12.
- Dues are $13 per student ($3 state dues and $10 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 National FBLA to present to your school business office, click this link.
Step #7: Process additional memberships after you submit your initial membership
- Logon to the FBLA Connect to add additional members.
- You may add new members at any time AND as many times as you would like during the year.
Step #8: 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 School Coordinator
234 Village Drive
Canonsburg, PA 15317
The Role of an Adviser
The success of FBLA 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.
Here are items to help you in managing your chapter:
- Read through the FBLA Adviser High School or FBLA Adviser Middle School Welcome Guide from National FBLA.
- Review the Chapter Management Handbook.
- Look at the National FBLA website (www.fbla.org) and FBLA Connect for important information.
- Regularly refer to the PA FBLA website (www.pafbla.org) and any PA FBLA direct emails for regular information about competitive events, programs, and events occurring in Pennsylvania.
- Establish a date for your first organizational meeting.
- Advertise your meeting.
- Promote FBLA and the meeting in classes.
- Hold the first meeting; elect chapter officers.
- Login to FBLA Connect and add new members.
- Create the necessary invoices in FBLA Connect for new members.
- Pay invoice by credit card (no convenience fee); upload a purchase order; or print a copy of the invoice and send it with your check.
- Paid members will receive a digital membership card.
- Establish regular meeting dates (usually monthly).
- Create a Program of Work to help establish a schedule of activities and goals for your chapter and its members.
- Encourage members to participate in the high school or middle school competitive events program during the year.
- Facilitate members’ participation in the National FBLA Business High School Achievement Awards program and the National FBLA Middle School LEAD Awards program.
- Participate in Pennsylvania’s Big 33 Community Service Program; support the state project (Pennsylvania’s chosen state charity); complete some of the items in the William Selden Outstanding Chapter Program; and have individuals complete the Keystone Leadership Award.
- Attend any and all of the following Pennsylvania FBLA events during the year; seek the necessary school approvals based on school policies and schedule support services (example: transportation) to attend.
- State Leadership Workshop (usually last Sunday/Monday in October at the Kalahari Poconos Resort) (1 or 2 nights’ lodging)
- Region Leadership Conference (either December or January/competitive events program at a high school/post-secondary institution in your regional area) (no overnight lodging)
- State Leadership Conference (held in April in Hershey) (2 or 3 nights’ lodging OR commuter status)
- If your members qualify, plan to attend the National Leadership Conference (held in a major city at the end of June). (5-6 nights’ lodging plus travel)
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’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.