The Leading Edge - Fall 2018

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Find Inspiration in Regional Chapter Reports

View the July 2018 regional chapter reports to get a fresh take from other chapters on new member recruitment, member engagement and retention, gaining and growing sponsorships, and much more. Following are just a few examples of the successful ideas your chapters are implementing across the country:

  • Experiencing chapter officer burnout? CalSPRA divides the load for chapter leaders by designating regional chairs. Those chairs then coordinate regional networking and professional development events.
  • Need an easy way to offer professional development? ISPRA registers for NSPRA PR Power Hours and provides members with locations to tune in as a group. 
  • Looking to expand the reach of your small chapter? ConnSPRA’s informal partnership with its state school boards association provides the chapter with access to the association’s membership database, meeting spaces, webinar production resources and weekly e-newsletter.
  • Want to meet the needs of both new and experienced communicators? INDSPRA offers a half-day boot camp for rookies and a half-day “reboot” camp for veterans.

See Your Chapter Events on

Post your chapter’s upcoming conferences and events at, and NSPRA will help spread the word. Then check back throughout the year to explore other chapters’ speakers, programs and activities for ideas that may work for your chapter, too.

Book NSPRA President for Your Chapter Meeting

NSPRA President Carol Fenstermacher, APR, is offering NSPRA chapters two workshop topics during the 2018-2019 school year: 

To book a presentation for your next chapter meeting:

  1. Email Carol at about your interest, and provide possible dates for your chapter meeting. She’ll confirm as to whether those dates fit with her own job commitments. 
  2. Once a date is confirmed, discuss with Carol:
    • Your preferred session topic.
    • The potential size of your audience.
    • The best ways to reach your destination and the timing of the session. (Appoint a contact for logistics and equipment needs.)
    • All other pertinent information, including your commitment to pick up expenses and a possible honorarium. 
  3. Carol will then respond to book the date and topic.

Find Chapter Officers on

NSPRA provides an online directory of chapter officers. When your chapter officers change, please email any updates to and

Fall Deadlines for Chapters

  • Monday, Oct. 15 – Chapter reports due to regional vice presidentsRegional chapter reports will be shared with the NSPRA Executive Board during its fall meeting and posted on the NSPRA website. Download the form (.docx). Submit your chapter’s report to your regional vice president via the email address listed at
  • Wednesday, Oct. 31 – Chapter cash flow reports due to NSPRAChapters’ 2017-18 cash flow reports are required by the IRS in order for NSPRA and its chapters to retain group exemption as not-for-profit organizations. Download the report template (PDF). Late reports may result in an IRS penalty, which is passed onto the applicable chapter. Submit your reports to Senior Manager Tommy Jones at, and call (301) 519-1222 with any questions.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 31 – Chapter membership lists due to NSPRAMembership lists should include members’ names, professional titles, e-mail, phone, fax and mailing addresses in a spreadsheet. (Microsoft Excel format is preferred.) Submit your reports to

Revising Chapter Bylaws

If you plan to make any revisions to your Chapter Bylaws this year, follow these steps and send the requested materials to Associate Director Mellissa Braham at

  1. Send your proposed bylaws revisions to NSPRA for staff review and feedback prior to presenting it to your membership for a vote. This will ensure the revisions are in line with NSPRA’s bylaws.
  2. Present the proposed revisions to your membership for a vote.
  3. Once approved by your members, send the revised draft of your bylaws – showing strike outs and additions – to NSPRA for placement on the Executive Board’s meeting agenda for final approval. 
  4. Once the Executive Board approves the revised draft, NSPRA will notify you and place a copy in your chapter file.

The Executive Board meets three times a year, and bylaws revisions must be submitted for inclusion on the agenda no later than two weeks prior to a meeting date: 

  • November 2-3, 2018 at NSPRA Headquarters, Rockville, Md.
  • March 8-9, 2019 at NSPRA Headquarters, Rockville, Md.
  • July 11-12, 2019 prior to NSPRA Seminar in Washington, D.C.

Share Your Chapter Leadership Tips

The NSPRA Chapter Leadership Guidebook is ready for an update! First, take a look at what it has to offer now in key content areas. Then submit your chapter's best practice/program ideas and sample materials to Associate Director Mellissa Braham at to help keep this resource relevant for chapter leaders of tomorrow. 

As an example, here’s a still-relevant excerpt on chapter officer orientation.

NSPRA leaders suggest the following activities to orient new chapter officers:

  • Contact them and offer a welcome by the president and current officers.
  • Review their role as a chapter officer.
  • Encourage them to attend a board meeting as observers before the start of their term as officers.
  • Share NSPRA expectations for officers and requirements to keep the chapter in good standing.
  • Provide a packet of information, including policies, bylaws, vision, beliefs, goals, etc.
  • Provide small-group or one-on-one discussion sessions on chapter fiscal and legal matters, along with complex issues.
  • Acquaint them with chapter history, expectations, and culture.
  • Review the chapter’s current strategic plan.
  • Review past chapter Blue Ribbon Award notebooks.
  • Share the NSPRA Chapter Leadership Guidebook.
  • Provide an opportunity to evaluate their orientation experience.

Earn Cash-back Rewards for Your Chapter

Through NSPRA’s membership incentive program for chapters, three chapters — NYSPRA, ASPRA and WSPRA (Wash.) — earned cash-back rewards ranging from $180 - $300 in 2018. Would you like to make your chapter eligible for rewards next year?

When current chapter members who have never belonged to NSPRA join the national association for the first time before June 30, 2019, it could mean cash back for your chapter. (NSPRA membership renewals don’t count toward the incentive.) 

Senior Manager Tommy Jones will provide chapters with a baseline membership count as of November 1, 2018. A chapter’s rewards incentive are then based on its net membership percentage increase by June 30, 2019:

  • Chapters with a 10 percent net increase will receive $20 for every professional membership and $10 for every associate membership.
  • Chapters with a 15 percent net increase will receive $25 for every professional membership and $15 for every associate membership.
  • Chapters with a 25 percent or more net increase will receive $30 for each professional membership and $20 for each associate membership.

To enroll your chapter in this revenue opportunity, complete the participation letter of agreement and return it to by November 15, 2018.

Keep Your Chapter’s Non-Profit Status

Chapters with annual gross receipts of $25,000 or less are required to file an Electronic Form 990-N (e-Postcard) by January 15 each year to ensure the chapters’ 501(c)(3) non-profit status stays current. Not completing this form for three years will result in a chapter having its tax-exempt status revoked.

If your chapter has not yet submitted its 990-N for 2018, visit the IRS' electronic form 990-N page and follow the instructions. 

If you don’t know your user ID, login as a new user to receive an e-mail with an activation link that will take you to the 990-N form. 

If you don’t know your chapter’s EIN number or you have other questions, contact Senior Manager Tommy Jones at

New in 2019: Professional Development for Chapter Leaders

In September, new NSPRA Associate Director Mellissa Braham spoke with 11 chapter presidents after extending an offer to all presidents via email for one-on-one phone or virtual meetings. (Chapter presidents, if you weren’t able to sign up last month and you’d still like to connect, please email Among the topics discussed were professional development opportunities and interests for chapter leaders. Look for an announcement later this winter about what’s in store for 2019!




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