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© 2018 by Black Achievers Network

Start a Black Achievers Chapter In Your City. 

Black Achievers is Expanding Nationwide!

Local Black Achievers networking events are run by passionate volunteer hosts who server as Presidents of their local chapter. We work closely with every host, so there is a formal application process to start an official chapter in your city.

If you’re serious about bringing Black Achievers to your city, we’d love to hear from you. Please read through the following information to get a better idea of how Black Achievers operates. If it seems like the right fit for you, fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

Become President of your Local Chapter!

Q: What does it mean to be a President of a local Black Achievers Chapter?
A: Each Black Achievers chapter is led by one person who serves as the local host and President. This volunteer represents his/her city by leading a team and organizing the chapter with the support of Black Achievers headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio.

As the primary local host, you would be in charge of all the details for your local event such as:

— Locating and securing a venue
— Being the MC for the speed networking portion of the event.  
— Recruiting members and finding local sponsors to cover event costs
— Leading the Chapter team 
— Marketing for the event
— Serving as the main point of contact for HQ

Q: Do hosts sign a license agreement?
A: Each host signs a license agreement in order to represent the Black Achievers brand and agrees that all content created as a result of a Black Achievers event is property of the National Black Achievers, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The license agreement lasts for 12 months and is renewable.

Q: Can there be co-hosts?
A: Yes. We require ONE point of contact for each chapter who serves as the face of that location but we ask that you nominate a co-host or Vice President to support you behind the scenes. This way if illness, travel, or any number of life’s surprises prevents you from hosting one month, you have a solid back up. You’re free to organize your team as you see fit, but only one person can be the official host.

Q: Can my company or group apply to be a host?
A: No. Black Achievers chapters are licensed to individuals only. Of course your company can sponsor events and support your efforts. But at the end of the day our official relationship is with the individual, and if that person leaves his/her current company, the chapter would remain with that person.

 

General expectations

Q: How much time typically goes into hosting a Black Achievers event?
A: On average, a host spends about 20 hours a month building their community and preparing for events . This number may fluctuate a bit as the host becomes more seasoned, but 20 hours is a good estimate.

 

Q: How often are events?
A: Each chapter is expected to host a Black Achiever event once per quarter, every quarter with no exceptions. Events are held on Thursday evenings from 7pm to 9pm. We ideally want all chapters around the country hosting the events on the exact same day and time. We do occasionally make exceptions if there is a significant reason to do so. 

Q: Are Black Achievers networking events always free for attendees?
A: Yes. we do not charge admission. We do ask everyone to attend to become paid members. A certain percentage of people from each event will become paid members and this money is used to pay for the next event. We use a pay it forward model. 

Q: How does the speed networking work?
A: Speed Networking is the tool that we use at every event. Each person is given 5 minutes to speak to a new contact. Then after 5 minutes they rotate to the next person. This allows a person to meet up to 10 new people at each event. As President of your chapter you will be responsible for MC'ing the event and running the speed networking event. HQ will show you how to do this effectively. 

About your city

Q: Can there be more than one Black Achievers chapter per city?
A: Yes. For extremely large cities like New York, Atlanta, Houston etc with very large Black populations we will grant multiple chapters where it makes sense. Cities will smaller Black populations will typically only have one chapter. 

  

Q: Can I organize a Black Achievers chapter for my entire country?
A: No. Black Achievers chapter licenses are limited to one city only.

 

Q: I live in a small city. Can I still apply to start a chapter?
A: Yes, however please make sure your city has at least 20,000 African American residents. You will need a sizable pool of potential supporters to make your chapter a success. 

Q: What if the city I want to apply for is very close to another chapter?
A: You’re welcome to still apply. Just ask yourself since the chapters would be so close, would it make sense objectively to have a Black Achievers in your city as well?

 

About the application process


Q: What do you ask for in the application?
A: The application includes a video and a written portion.

 

Q: How long should my video be?
A: Minimum of 3 minutes. Maximum of 7 minutes. You will need to upload it to youtube, vimeo or othe video platform then send us a link. 

 

Q: Why do you ask for a video in your application?
A: So far, it’s the best way to get to know someone in a faraway place. 

 

Q: If I apply, how long until I hear from you?
A: We review applications at the first of each month so you can expect an update within 30 days.  Thank you for your patience!

 

Q: Are there more steps to the application process after I submit?
A: If your application seems like a good fit, we will setup a video chat/interview to learn more about you and your vision for the chapter.

Q: How many Events are required each year.
A: At least one per quarter. You can host more events but at least 4 are required. 

Q: What are some qualities you look for in a chapter host?
A: Here are four qualities:

 

— You just make things happen: Organizing a chapter is a big responsibility and involves many moving pieces. We’ve learned that although experience in the industry and event organization is a plus, it can’t make up for a willingness to get started, figure things out, and make it work.

— You’re good at giving away credit: It takes a certain personality to successfully lead a volunteer team, keep sponsors happy, and celebrate local Black professionals. This chapter won’t be about you. It will be about the fantastic people you get to bring together.

— You’re obsessed with “mixing up” your community: Black Achievers was founded to be open and accessible to anyone who considers themselves a Black Professional. Our hosts are willing to make the extra effort required to gather a diverse group every month from all industries, backgrounds and professional levels.

— You’re flexible: We at HQ do our best to steer the Black Achievers ship with limited time and resources. If you’re looking to join an organization that has everything laid out for you, we’re probably not a good fit. This is an exciting time for Black Achievers, and we will ask you to experiment with new initiatives while welcoming feedback from HQ.

Q: Is applying for a chapter first come first serve?
A: No, not necessarily. However, we do recommend that you get your application in as soon as you can. If we find a host we really like, we’ll grant them the chapter.

Q: Should I reserve or “park” my city’s social media accounts? (e.g. Twitter)
A: Please do not register social media accounts on behalf of a Black Achievers chapter you are applying for. Other teams may be applying, your priorities may change, and it’s difficult for us to hunt down reserved accounts. When we launch new cities we take care of registering those accounts and populating them with sample descriptions.

Q: What’s the answer to the Black Achievers secret question?
A: "Marcus Garvey" - You will need to know this answer in order to submit the application form below. 

Q: Can I reach out to potential sponsors, venues or speakers before applying?
A: Yes. Committed sponsors, venues and speakers is a great way to strengthen your application. However, please be clear and explain that you do not officially represent a Black Achievers chapter yet and you are applying for a license to start a chapter.


Running a chapter

Q: If we have local speakers do they have to be approved by headquarters?
A: Yes. There will be a simple application process for speakers. 

Q: Are there any costs/fees associated with running a chapter?
A: There is no application fee. However, as President you will be responsible for creating your initial team of paid members. These members will serve as your Vice President, VP Membership, VP Marketing etc. You will need a minimum total of 7 members to start a chapter. Each member will be responsible for paying the $79 membership fee. So your chapter will start operations with a minimum of (7people x $79) = $553. This seed money will allow you to host your first event. As you host events more people will join and help pay for the next event, so on and so forth. In addition, you will also be able to get local businesses as sponsors to help grow your chapter. This is a proven formula that we have used in Cincinnati and we will teach it to you in detail. 

Q: Do local chapters create LLCs or non-profits?
A: No that is not necessary. All financial activity takes place at the national level through our Headquarters. This protects you and means you are not personally liable for any Black Achiever activities. Your local chapter will be covered under the National Black Achievers organization located in Cincinnati Ohio. 

Q: Are local speakers who speak at a Black Achievers networking event ever paid?
A: No. (Except maybe reimbursement for travel determined on a case by case basis)

Q: What sort of resources does Black Achievers headquarters provide?
A: Each of our chapters receives a large batch of files (e.g. brand assets, slides templates, sample marketing materials), the online Black Achievers handbook that details guidelines and learnings from our hosts, and access to our internal message board for all Black Achievers hosts worldwide.

Q: How long is the commitment for being a host and local Chapter President?
A: Our licenses are one year long and in most cases we offer hosts the opportunity to renew their agreement each year.

Q: What happens if I’m a local host and President and I’d like to pass on the role to someone else?
A: We have an exit process setup for our hosts. You will have the option to nominate someone who you heavily endorse to be the next President (they will have to complete an abridged application). Otherwise, headquarters will open public applications for the chapter.

Request an Application: