The National Federation of the Blind is committed to providing our members, local chapters, and state affiliates with information that will sustain and strengthen our work to increase opportunities for blind people. On this page you will find useful information about how to build your local chapter and state affiliate. These materials will assist you in your membership recruitment, fundraising, leadership development, and advocacy efforts. The Affiliate Action team of the National Federation of the Blind hopes that all members and future members of the NFB will benefit from the shared knowledge about blindness and our organization that appears on this and on our many other useful pages.
Resources to Build Our Organization
We are most effective as a movement when we share our knowledge, advice, and wisdom with one another. We hope that you will find the following pages filled to the brim with practical advice on many of the issues we all face as we seek to improve our affiliates and chapters, including suggestions for how to increase our membership, how to develop the next generation of leaders, and how to share our positive message about blindness with the public most effectively.
Spice Up Your Local Chapter Meeting!
The most effective local chapters are those that ensure that each member can contribute in meaningful ways. Here are some suggestions for Jobs for Chapter Members. The best chapters also feature a wide variety of activities during their meetings and eagerly embrace experimenting with new ideas. Try one or more of these suggestions to add variety to your chapter meeting!
Integrate NFB philosophy into your activities! Second in importance only to our membership, our NFB philosophy is a source of inspiration to tens of thousands and has helped each of us develop our own personal philosophy of blindness. These NFB Philosophy Discussion Topics would be a great way to include a philosophy component in your chapter meetings.
Play music during your chapter meeting! The right upbeat song played before or after your chapter meeting (or during a break half way through) can keep people's spirits high and remind them that while we are working hard to achieve our mission of integrating the blind into society, we need to have a lot of fun along the way. You could also use a thirty-second song clip to introduce each item on your agenda. Here are some suggested Songs to Play at Chapter Meetings.
Make a game out of giving away door prizes! Many chapters give away door prizes by drawing names out of a hat. Try determining the winner by playing this Matching Game, or think of your own innovative method.
Host a game of NFB Trivia! This could be another way to give out door prizes, but people also love playing games just for fun. Here are some sample NFB Trivia Questions to get you started, but be sure to write some questions that relate to your own state and local trivia. This will make the game much more fun!
Other Useful Resources
- Download our Training Our People to Serve (TOPS) Handbook (Zip file). This contains a vast wealth of information on subjects such as how to build membership, how to plan conventions and run meetings, and how to teach our philosophy to new members and to the public.
- Guide for Local and State Leaders
- Listen to one of our Back to Basics Membership-Building Seminars to learn how to build your local chapter and state affiliate.
- Pre-Authorized Check (PAC) Plan Form (Accessible PDF) -- Please fill out the form, print, sign, and mail to the NFB.
- Meet the Blind Month Resources
- NFB-LINK: Linking Individuals to a Network of Knowledge
- Listen to How to Kill a Chapter (Audio) to learn what not to do if you want to build an enthusiastic, effective organization.