New Chapter Requirements

Summary of Steps:

 
  1. Establish a core group with a minimum of three (3) individuals who have been approved as at-large members of CREW Network.
  2. Core group begins work on governing documents necessary for the legal processes of applying for non-profit status and becoming incorporated within the state/province.
  3. At-large members representating the core group sign an Intent to Affiliate agreement with CREW Network, which allows CREW Network to provide sample materials, templates and other supportive resources with the understanding that the materials will be used for the sole purpose of creating a CREW chapter.
  4. Core group completes all governing documents
  5. Organization submits application materials to CREW Network
  6. CREW Network's Board of Directors reviews chapter application. If approved, they will present a recommendation to the Council of Delegates to accept the organization as an affiliated chapter of CREW Network.
 


Core group

  • Quantity of individuals: Fifteen to twenty qualified and motivated people are recommended for your initial core group, three of whom must be approved as at-large members of CREW Network prior to moving on to the third step described above.
    • A minimum of 30 individuals employed full time in a CREW Network qualified field of commercial real estate (QFCRE) are required before a chapter's application will be considered. 
    • At-large application»
  • Diversity is key: CREW Network is made up of professionals from every aspect of commercial real estate. Establishing a diverse group from the onset will provide your group an enhanced list of contacts (potential members, sponsors, chapter leaders) and give you a broader audience within the commercial real estate industry, as well as to the outside community.
    • From a start-up viewpoint, having a lawyer on your team who can begin the work on bylaws and articles of incorporation as well as a financial professional to draft and monitor a budget is helpful. 
    • CREW Network's defined list of  qualified fields of commercial real estate»
  • Company Support: It is important to have the support of the companies that employ your core group. Members' companies are the best "asks" for sponsoring start-up events or as an underwriting sponsor. 
 

Incorporation and non-profit process

  • Consult a local attorney with knowledge of state regulations.  If the CRE lawyer in your core group isn't proficient in this area, ask if there is a colleague in their firm who could help, in-kind.
  • The organization needs to apply with the IRS for exemption from taxation as a 501(c)6 entity.  
 

Governance documents

  • Statement of Purpose: The organization must demonstrate support for a written statement of purpose that is not in conflict with CREW Network's Mission Statement (CREW Network exists transform the commercial real estate industry by advancing women globally) or the statement of purpose as set forth in the bylaws. 
  • Budget: The organization must have an established annual budget and be operating in accordance with such budget. The budget must include the following considerations:
    • Funding for a leader to represent your chapter (each chapter is requested to have two delegates) by  attending CREW Network's council of delegates meetings, which take place three times a year. 
    • Chapter's event pricing should be profitable or break-even (at minimum) 
    • Funding should be in place for standard operating needs: website fees, postage/email service, insurance, tax return filing, etc. 
    • Sponsorship should not be the foundation for any critical components of the chapter structure. 
  • Bylaws: The organization needs to officially adopt and be operating in accordance with written bylaws. These bylaws must include the following aspects: 
    • Defined categories of membership that are in alignment with CREW Network's standards 
      • at least 75% of the members of each chapter will have five or more years' of experience in one of the qualified fields of commercial real estate
      • The remaining 25% of a chapters' members can be individuals with fewer than five years’ experience in one of the QFCRE or affiliate members (service/vendor members).
      • A chapter cannot have local-only members.  All members of a chapter must be members of CREW Network. Membership dues must include CREW Network dues.
      • Full details of the recommended membership structure can be found in the CREW Network Membership Playbook, which is accessible to all members of CREW Network.
    • Defined membership policies: application process, quorum/voting rules, member termination/ expulsion/reinstatement policies, etc. 
    • Defined officer/governance structure
      • Definition of duties and terms for the offices of President, President-Elect, Treasurer and Delegate (2) are required, at minimum, along with defined succession planning/nominating processes for all chapter officers.
        • Two (2) delegates function as representatives / liaisons between their chapter and CREW Network throughout the year, but also are required to attend CREW Network meetings.
        • The persons selected as delegate should be leaders within the chapter who are qualified to represent the chapter's initiatives, obstacles, successes, etc. to the CREW Network board and other chapter delegates.
 

Application Materials

  1. Completed chapter application (request application»)
  2. Copy of the chapter's official bylaws 
  3. Copy of the chapter's operating budget 
  4. IRS determination letter stating 501(c)6 status 
  5. List of members with full contact information and payment for annual network dues (individual members' dues money will be returned if chapter is not approved) 
  6. List of board of directors and term for each 
  7. Certificate of good standing from the state of incorporation 
  8. Copy of the chapter's Articles of Incorporation 
  9. Signed Affiliation Agreement (request agreement»)
  10. Non-refundable check for $1,500 USD application fee
 

Application Process

  1. Application materials submitted and reviewed with CREW Network staff input 
  2. CREW Network board of directors will review 
  3. CREW Network board of directors will provide a recommendation to the council of delegates for approval of affiliation 
  4. Delegates will consider the board's recommendation and place its vote at a council meeting.  Chapter applications must be approved by a majority vote of the council.
    • Council Meetings occur three times per year in conjunction with CREW Network Leadership Summits
    • All materials must be received no less than 45 days prior to the first day of scheduled meeting. 
  5. If approved, CREW Network will countersign the Affiliation Agreement, making the affiliation official.
 
Organizations or developing organizations that are seeking affiliation with CREW Network must meet all requirements prior to consideration of the organization’s application.  The above listing is not all-inclusive and there may be other items requested during the application review process.  If you have questions regarding this process, please contact CREW Network.

Jenny Weissenbach
Member/Chapter Services Manager, CREW Network
1201 Wakarusa Dr, Ste D
Lawrence, KS 66049 USA
jennyw@crewnetwork.org
+1 (785) 832-1808