Step #1: 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.
- 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 #2: Recruit at Least 5 Chapter Members / Elect Officers or Establish an Executive Board
Step #3: Download and complete the chapter reactivation/starter application form listed below:
- New/reactivated chapter application form
- Complete all information on the form, including the members’ names.
- Add the students’ grade levels after each name.
- Download the New Chapter Toolkit from the National FBLA website: Toolkit Link Here
Step #4: Complete the sample chapter bylaws found below:
Step #5: E-mail the state office that you would like to start or reactivate an FBLA chapter:
- Send a message to Bruce Boncal, PA FBLA Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Each new adviser will be put on the advisers’ mailing list to receive regular FBLA mailings. Use this form to register with the state office.
- You will receive a username and password to enter members into the PA FBLA membership system.
Step #6: Process one check for membership dues (PA FBLA pays the $20 reactivation fee):
- Make the check payable to: Pennsylvania FBLA.
- 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.
Step #7: Mail or Email the following items to the PA FBLA State office:
- New/reactivated chapter application form (may be emailed as a PDF)
- Copy of local chapter bylaws (may be emailed as a PDF)
- Membership dues check (must be mailed or paid by credit card)
Step #8: To process additional memberships after you submit your initial application forms:
- Advisers will receive a username and password to enter members online at the PA FBLA web site.
- Enter members; generate an invoice. Make your check payable to: Pennsylvania FBLA.
- Mail to the state office.
State Office Mailing Address:
Mr. Bruce E. Boncal
PA FBLA Executive Director
PO Box 5085
Jersey Shore, PA 17740
Step #9: Once your new chapter is set up with the state office, it will be registered with the national FBLA office (registration completed by state office):
- Advisers will receive a welcome message from the national office.
- Create an adviser username/passcode for the national FBLA site.
- Advisers should immediately familiarize themselves with the FBLA Adviser Leadership Community, which is an excellent forum for advisers from across the country to share ideas and support each other.
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. 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.