PBL Chapter Building Basics

Successful steps to building your chapter:

Review the Chapter Management Handbook section of the website on a regular basis

The chapter resources section is packed with helpful tools and tips on growing and managing your chapter.

Connect with your state adviser

Contact your PBL state adviser to learn about events and activities in your state. Make sure he/she has your contact information so he/she can send you updates, information, and provide local technical support.

Contact your school’s business office

You’ll need to pay membership dues and, most likely, register to be officially recognized by your college or University. Find out how your school processes membership dues, travel funds, and conference registration fees.

Know your school’s policies and procedures

Many PBL activities require travel to off-campus events and can include overnight stays. Learn what requirements your school has for travel activities.

Check on funding support from your school

Some schools provide funding to support transportation, lodging, educational resources, study materials, conference registration, and/or adviser professional development. Find out if there are restrictions on fundraising or service activities at your school.

Give your chapter visibility

Raise the profile of your chapter by recruiting top-notch guest speakers, conducting a high-profile service project, and taking additional leadership roles on campus.

Advocate PBL to your school’s leaders and administration

Show your school’s dean how PBL’s Competitive Events program provides real-world experience for students, and how members contribute to the success of your school.

Find co-advisers

Ask your fellow instructors to join as co-advisers. Talk with your dean, fellow professors and instructors. Co-advisers do not need to travel or sign up for off-hours assignments. Their assistance will help you build an award-winning program and build on your success.

Chapter Ceremonies

Ceremonies are an important way to introduce new and prospective members to the benefits of membership. The ceremonies you’ll use most often are:

New Member Induction—a ceremony to welcome your new members

Chapter Installation—for new chapters

New Officer Installation—for installing your new chapter officers

Emblem Ceremony—illustrates the mission of FBLA-PBL

Officer Roles & Elections

Student officers are the backbone of chapter operations. The local chapter and adviser determine the number of elected officers for their chapter. Most chapters elect a president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. Roles might extend to class representatives, who report upcoming activities to their respective classes.

See the Bylaws, Article VII, Sections 1–6 for a list of basic duties by office.

Look for student leaders who will fulfill these responsibilities:

  • facilitate an environment where all members can grow professionally;
  • keep members informed about all organizational activities;
  • include all members in a dynamic program of work and welcome their suggestions;
  • conduct the chapter business in proper parliamentary procedure and maintain complete, current records and minutes; and
  • encourage individual and chapter participation in district/ regional, state, and national conferences.

Use this Sample Point System to evaluate your members and their participation in chapter activities.

Officer Elections

When considering officer candidates, look for members who are enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the organization and motivated to get their hands dirty. At a minimum, you need two officers to run your chapter: president and secretary. However, five to seven officers are optimal.

Resources:

Qualifications and Duties

Officer Roles

Elections may occur in the spring or at the beginning of the school year. You may opt to elect officers from the floor; however, FBLA-PBL recommends selecting officer candidates through an application-screening process. Notify qualified candidates, then present them to members during a chapter meeting.

Resources:

Application

Interview Form

Each candidate may give a one- to two-minute speech before members vote. A hand vote, voice vote, or ballot vote is acceptable. Refer to your local chapter bylaws for election procedures. See the Bylaws, Article VI, Sections 1–7 for an example of the national process for electing officers.

Chapter Meetings

Make sure you get the most out of your chapter meetings with these resources:

Chapter Meeting Basics

Sample Agenda

Sample Minutes

Program of Work

Working with your chapter officers, you’ll need to create a Program of Work to give your chapter a set of common goals to work toward.

Resources:

What is a Program of Work?

Local Chapter Monthly Report

Sample Monthly Financial Plan

Additional Tools and Resources

Publications—a comprehensive list of publications so you can stay up-to-date on the latest news, tools, and resources from FBLA-PBL.

Social Media-connect with FBLA-PBL on:

How to use FBLA-PBL Logos and Trademarks-includes brand guidelines and official colors.

Education Programs—encourage your students to take part in FBLA-PBL’s national educational programs and curriculum.

Conferences are the best way to help your members develop leadership, chapter management, and career skills, as well as build lasting networks and friendships. The types of conferences include

State Leadership Conferences (SLC)—SLCs feature competitive events and elections. Competitive event winners earn the opportunity to compete at the National Leadership Conference. Contact your state adviser for details. When: Spring.

National Fall Leadership Conferences (NFLC)—Held in several leading American cities, NFLCs provide advisers and students with an opportunity to share ideas, network with aspiring business leaders, and reaffirm common goals with peers from across the country. Members also participate in leadership and professional development workshops and participate in business tours. When: Fall.

National Leadership Conference (NLC)—The NLC concludes the membership year and sets the stage for the upcoming school year. Participants attend business-related and leadership development workshops, tour businesses, elect national officers, and participate in the National Awards Program competitive events. The top event winners take home trophies and cash awards. When: Summer.

Institute for Leaders (IFL)—The IFL, held in conjunction with the NLC, equips members and advisers to be future leaders. Whether you want to lead your state or local chapter, or build business and career leadership skills, IFL is a total leadership experience. When: Summer, pre-NLC.

Competitive Events

The NLC competitive events program plays an integral role in the mission of FBLA-PBL. Competitive events help develop career-ready students by testing their skills and knowledge and applying classroom concepts in a workforce-simulated environment. Students can choose from 60 events in business, management, technology, customer service, and finance for the opportunity to win awards and cash prizes. For more information on events and guidelines, review the Competitive Events section.

Your Members Should Compete to…

  • demonstrate career competencies, business knowledge, and job-related skills;
  • expand leadership skills;
  • demonstrate competitive spirit;
  • earn recognition for achievements;
  • win cash awards;
  • travel and network with other students.

Eligibility

NLC competitors must win at the regional and state competitions, must pay membership dues by April 15, and must pay the conference registration fee.

Open Events

Online testing events are available to any PBL member present at the NLC. Prerequisites or registration are not required, and topics vary each year.

Community Service

Community service activities help chapters get involved in their communities. While practicing responsible citizenship, members also form networks with business and community leaders, and gain experience with managing projects beyond the classroom. Many chapters sponsor activities to support the FBLA-PBL national service partner, the March of Dimes.

National Service Project

March of Dimes Foundation—FBLA-PBL has consistently ranked as the top March of Dimes fundraising partner during their over forty-year partnership, raising over $15 million dollars.

March of Dimes Grants—The March of Dimes grants reward chapters for their March of Dimes partnership support and identify and support innovative ideas and projects that enhance the FBLA-PBL and March of Dimes partnership.

Prematurity Awareness Day and Month—Prematurity Awareness Day, November 17, is the perfect opportunity to educate people in your school about premature birth. Visit the March of Dimes Team Youth for ideas on announcements, fundraisers, and awareness-raising activities.

March for Babies—March for Babies supports research and programs to help babies in your community and across the country get a healthy start. Join March for Babies and a million compassionate people in nearly 1,100 communities across the nation. Visit March of Dimes Team Youth to register your chapter for the March for Babies walk and find your local March of Dimes office.

National Celebrations

Show your FBLA-PBL pride by participating in the following annual celebrations.

American Enterprise Day—November 15 is American Enterprise Day. Salute and publicize the American free enterprise system and teach others about it through a wide range of activities, projects, and festivities.

FBLA-PBL Week—The second week of February is FBLA-PBL Week. Chapters are encouraged to publicize their activities, boost their membership, and gear up for spring events. FBLA-PBL Week also coincides with National Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month. This is an excellent opportunity to inform the public about the purpose of school-to-work activities and programs.