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You will need to begin by holding an organizational meeting.

1. SECURE an organizational meeting FACILITY. It is best if the facility is in a public place. Many people are uncomfortable going to someone’s home if they do not know them. Also, the meeting location will need to be announced and advertised. People usually do not want their home address publicized.

  • A community room at a library or bank, a school, church, or hall (Elks, Moose) are some suggestions. The facility should be free or at a nominal charge. Parents Without Partners is a non-profit organization, and free facilities are often available to them.

2. DETERMINE the DATE for the organizational meeting. The date may depend on when the facility is available. What is the best night of the week in your area? (If Wednesday is known to be "church night” in your area that may not be a good night to meet.) Or is a Saturday or Sunday afternoon a better time for a first meeting? Check with other interested single parents to determine what will work best. However, no one afternoon/night is going to be ideal for everyone.

  • Whenever possible, a knowledgeable PWP member will conduct the organizational meeting. If distance and location make this impossible, information and materials will be provided for the meeting presentation.

3. MAKE a LISTING of all the NEW MEDIA (newspapers, radio, and TV stations) in the area you want the chapter to serve. Most of the information can be found in the phone book. Go to your public library if you do not have phone books for all of the service area. The listing needs to have NAMES, ADDRESSES including ZIP Codes and PHONE NUMBERS. You may need to make phone calls to get complete information. NEWS RELEASE and PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS (PSAs) need to be mailed to the news media THREE WEEKS PRIOR to the Organizational meeting.

4. PREPARE the NEW RELEASES, PSA’s and the FLYERS announcing the organizational meeting (samples are in the How to Start a Chapter download). List the TIME, DATE, and MEETING FACILITY INFORMATION including complete ADDRESS, DIRECTIONS, PURPOSE of the meeting and CONTACT PHONE NUMBER. The news release needs to be mailed to the new media. The flyers need to be posted and handed out around the chapter service area; community bulletin boards, stores, social service agencies, libraries, any place willing to post the flyer. Postings and handouts should be done TWO to THREE weeks PRIOR to the organizational meeting. SAMPLE news releases, PSAs and flyers are available from the person assisting you.

5. Other ideas of PUBLICIZE the organizational meeting are to contact the schools in the area as well as apartment complex managers. ASK the schools if they are will to give flyers (you provide) to the students or put the information in the school newsletter. Apartment complex managers may be willing to give flyers (you provide) to their tenants and/or put the information in their apartment complex newsletter.

  • A PWP member (usually a Zone Officer or a Regional Officer) will assist you in starting the chapter. You will need to discuss starting the chapter with the person helping you before proceeding.

The first key to getting a PWP chapter started is GOOD PUBLICITY! The more you do the better your chances are for success.

The second key to success if MAINTAINING COMMUNICATION with the PWP members assisting you. This person is experienced and knowledgeable, can answer your questions and provide you with information and support, and guide you through the necessary steps to charter the chapter.

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