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Operations


Introduction

Chapter operations are the executive functions that keep your chapter running -- things like budgets, event planning, and project management. Often these duties are carried out by members of chapter executive boards. For example, a treasurer would be responsible for submitting and managing a chapter budget in conjunction with university departments.

Why

Effective chapter operations lead to effective chapters. Executive boards that are strategic in their event planning, budgets, and management (of people and projects) often create the strongest chapters.

How to do this at my school

BUDGETS

Schools differ in the way they allocate funds for student organizations. You should make sure to find out information about your school. (This is not an exhaustive list, but a place to start).

Deadlines and requirements for submitting a budget.

  • Does someone on your e-board need to attend finance training before you can submit a request for money?
  • When do you submit a budget request for the semester?

The format in which your university wants your budget request.

  • Does your school require itemized budgets?
  • Does your school require reporting on the money you spend afterwards?
  • Are you penalized if you don’t spend money the exact way you request in your budget?

How to request the money you’re allocated.

  • How far in advance do you need to submit a request to use the money you’re allocated?
  • Are there restrictions in where you can spend university money?
  • How do you spend university money? (ie: Do they give you a debit card, issue a check, etc.?)

MEETINIGS AND EVENTS

It’s important to have goals and plans for meetings and events in advance. Thinking in advance about meetings allows you to:

  • Take care of operational needs -- securing a room, reserving IT services if needed, ordering food, etc. -- in advance of any deadlines
  • Structure the meeting itself to be effective, engaging, and meet the goals you have
  • Ensure attendance and participation meets your goals

Roosevelt has information to help you accomplish all of these.

FUNDRAISING

Check out the Roosevelt Fundraising Guide. Fundraising can be helpful for policy projects or specific chapter initiatives, but it can also help you secure general funding for your chapter.

Roosevelt supports crowdfunding through the platform Classy, but your school or local businesses may also provide opportunities to fundraise. For example, Roosevelt @ Mason sold Yankee Candles this year where a percentage of their sales were given back to the chapter.

Resources

  • When building out a budget for your chapter, an event, or a project, you can check out our Budget Template to get an idea of how to structure and track your budget.
  • For some ideas on how to plan and structure an effective kickoff or general interest meeting for your chapter, check out our General Interest Meeting guide.
  • Use our Story of Self training as a way to introduce people to policy and help them identify the way their own lives interact with policy decisions.
  • For help and guidance planning an event, Roosevelt has an incredibly detailed and thorough Event Planning Guide that was created by Roosevelt @ Denver. It helps you plan and execute on important steps, starting far in advance of your meeting/event.
  • Roosevelt has a helpful Fundraising Guide that walks you through tips for asking people for money, goes through crowdfunding, and more. It’s helpful when fundraising for general chapter support, or specific events, projects, or policies.
  • There are two key external platforms Roosevelters use to help with operations. From National Staff to chapters, folks across the Network have
    • Trello -- Trello is a project management platform that helps track and manage tasks and people. If you’re interested in starting to use this for your chapter, get in touch with your regional team.
    • Slack -- Slack is a messaging platform that integrates with Trello. It allows you to share files in the messenger app, create project threads within teams, and more. Many regions have regional slack channels. If you want to start using this for your chapter, or join a regional slack channel, reach out to your regional team.

Example

Here is an example Trello board that National Staff created to plan Hyde Park. You can see the different lanes that track tasks still left to do, tasks that are in motion, and tasks that are completed. For help starting to use Trello for your chapter, reach out to your regional teams.