We believe firmly that a woman’s professional journey begins well before she ever steps foot into a boardroom or before she has her first interview with a prospective employer. The skills and the passions bound in her heart began taking root at a much younger age. We want to help equip younger girls as they prepare for their journey into the professional world.
By establishing campus chapters, we afford students the opportunity to engage with us while they are still in the midst of their studies. They will receive an advanced level learning opportunity as we prepare them for their professional career after college.
Starting a chapter is not a difficult process, but it is a process that requires commitment. It requires Christian professional women or aspiring Christian professional women who agree with GCPWA’s mission and wish to take a proactive role accomplishing the mission. Without this commitment an effective campus chapter cannot exist.
WHO CAN START A GCPWA CAMPUS CHAPTER?
Any committed student can start a chapter. We welcome young women from community colleges, small schools, large universities, and more! Some high schools have even climbed on board.
STEPS IN GETTING STARTED
Step 1: Pray. This is the most critical step. Pray that God would lead you and those working with you in the right direction. Without His guidance, all of our efforts will be in vain. Pray for wisdom, strength, and the ability to listen to Him while you go through this process. If you believe this is a direction God is leading you, it is our desire to help guide you through this process.
Step 2: Contact the GCPWA. Inform the Chief Executive Officer that you are interested in forming a school campus chapter of GCPWA. This first point of contact is important as we begin building a relationship together before setting out on this important work. We have established basic plans for creating a new campus chapter that we will assist you with. Needless to say, we cannot do all the work, but we will provide as much guidance and help as possible.
Step 3. Consult your school officials to seek out the requirements that the university has for establishing a new organization on campus. Every campus has different requirements, so you need to be aware of and meticulously follow the unique requirements of your institution to start a chapter. GCPWA will require official documentation from your school authorizing the association to be chartered on campus.
Step 4. Get busy!
- Select three classmates who share your enthusiasm and goals to assist you in the creation of the campus chapter. These members may be the founding officers of the new chapter.
- Contact local GCPWA members and students. This can be done by telephone or by mail, however, we recommend that you first identify individuals or members you already know. Contact them and ask them to participate in the formation of the new chapter.
- Establish a chapter structure that meets the goals of your group and institution.
- Form your executive board to help you start the chapter. Positions on an executive board typically include a Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, and Recruitment Director. If you have a lot of interest in starting the chapter, however, you may choose to create more positions such as a Fundraising Director, Marketing/Public Relations Director, and Social Media Director.
- Have each member of your executive board find at least five people willing to join the chapter and participate in chapter meetings, events, and activities by signing up with their first name, last name, email address and cell phone number. To apply for chapter membership with GCPWA, the minimum number of women agreeing to join the chapter is 25.
- Find a faculty member willing to sponsor and advise the chapter. Good departments to look for a faculty advisor sympathetic to GCPWA’s cause are women’s studies, religious studies, social sciences, etc.
- Draft a chapter constitution, which will state the chapter’s mission, purpose, and governing activities such as elections and officer duties. If your school does not require a constitution, then create chapter by-laws. Review the national chapter's by-laws and use them as a guide. A sample set of campus chapter by-laws is available from the central GCPWA office.
- Set the initial goals, membership targets, and activities of the chapter.
- Dues. A chapter is not designed to make money, but you will need funds for organizing events, meeting expenses, etc. Upon request, we will provide you with guidelines to consider.
- Establish a school-approved bank account and set up a system for record keeping and accounting. At a minimum, you will need to track:
- Member contact information
- Dues received and owed
What To Do, Once the Chapter Has Started
- Hold an organizing and recruiting meeting. Invite an engaging motivational speaker. Serve refreshments. Invite all students who may be interested, including current members of GCPWA. At this meeting, be prepared to:
- Sign up new members to both the local chapter and the national association.
- Discuss the GCPWA’s mission and goals.
- Disseminate a schedule of events.
- Recruit members for committees and specific activities.
- Most importantly: Generate enthusiasm for the new local chapter.
- Designate a location(s) for your meetings. The location will depend upon the type of meetings you will be holding but for the most part, you can easily find locations on campus at your school.
- Publish a schedule of events on campus and market on social media.
Yes, a list like this can seem daunting. Don't worry about doing everything right away. Organizations grow and develop. The important thing is to start. The Global Christian Professional Women's Association stands ready to assist any members in starting a campus chapter. Explore the tools and resources section of GCPWA.org, and stay abreast of new developments by checking your email often. Contact GCPWA at any time to ask further questions or find new resources.
As a current student, you are the future of this movement. You will be leading the way for the generations of women who will come after you. We are dedicated to your success and will expend ourselves to help you in any way we can. We are honored to partner with you and are looking forward to watching you thrive as a Christian professional woman!