How to Start a Chapter in Your Area

Participation in a local SAPFM chapter gives members a chance to meet local makers and exchange techniques learned from personal experiences.  Chapter members' backgrounds reflect their training and dedication to the craft of furniture making.   Collectively, a chapter represents a wealth of information and support that can only be effectively conveyed by a local community of woodworkers.

What Does it Take to Run a Chapter?

There are currently 22 local SAPFM chapters and are open to any SAPFM member.  Meetings feature member presentations on topics of interest such as carving, joinery, working with veneer, finishing techniques, and working with SketchUp.

Running a chapter is not a big commitment of time since most chapters meet only twice a year, generally in the spring and fall.  For most chapters this is a single day event.  Some larger chapters hold 2-day events, and an occasional hands-on workshop.

Only basic organizational and computer skills are required.  You don't even need to be a outstanding maker.    Oftentimes chapter leads will solicit the help of a co-lead.   Tasks include the following:

  • Locate a place to hold a meeting.  Oftentimes this is a member's shop or local woodworking store such as Woodcraft or Rockler.
  • Identify chapter members who are willing to give a short presentation.
  • Communicate with your chapter members the details of your meeting.
  • Promote your chapter by placing SAPFM brochures at appropriate establishments.

What Resources are Available to Me?

SAPFM has been running local chapters for quite some time and we know what it takes.   As a Chapter Lead we have several resources to help you.  They include:

  • A 'How to Start a Chapter' manual
  • A Chapter Support Committee with members willing to help you
  • A Chapter Resource Center including:
    • A national speakers bureau
    • An email system with automatically maintained chapter mailing distribution lists for all your campaigns
    • A Q&A section
    • A How-to section
    • A Zoom account, for when virtual meetings are necessary

What if I need help?

Help is just a phone call or email away.   Many of the members of our Chapter Support Committee are Chapter Leads themselves.   Most importantly, the Chapter Support Committee hosts a monthly Chapter Leads meeting on Zoom to:

  • Keep up-to-date on SAPFM events.
  • Discuss topics related to chapter operations.
  • Hold a Q&A for any question a participant wants to ask fellow chapter leads.

How do I get started?

For any additional questions or to get started forming a chapter in your area contact:

Mark Maleski, Chapter Support Committee Chairman
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