Sharing Best Practices: Chapter Leaders Share Ideas at “Together Again Celebration”

Thank you to all the chapter leaders who participated in our special Together Again Celebration on Sept 13. It was a great opportunity to connect with chapter leaders across the country! Our thanks to Dr. Veena Khandke, our Director of Grants and Partnerships, for a great presentation and “sneak peek” of our new, 2022 grantees. And thank you to the Regional Leaders and Mentors on our Chapter Health & Retention Subcommittee for planning another great chapter leader event.

If you were unable to attend, you can watch the recording by clicking HERE. We have also compiled the ideas shared in our breakout groups:  in our breakout sessions – see below for some great ideas for your own chapter!


  1. What things have worked well to keep your chapter engaged during the pandemic?
  • Invite a guest speaker to your meeting; use the grantee speaker list provided by home office or invite someone from your community who is familiar with the country or issue featured that month. Note: the grantee speaker list is available on our website under Chapter Resources.
  • Meet outside, in a screened-in porch, or in a park.
  • Hold a hybrid meeting – those who are comfortable meet in person while others join via Zoom.
  • Have a cooking demo on Zoom! Pick a recipe from the featured country, or a favorite family recipe. Distribute the recipe ahead of time so members can have ingredients on hand. One person prepares the dish on Zoom while others cook or just watch. Discuss the grantee while the dish is in the oven!
  • Hold a joint Zoom meeting with other chapters in your area or across the country. (Your Regional Leader can help you with this!)
  • Ask everyone to bring their own food and drink, or eliminate food completely.
  • Send the “We Miss You” postcards or some other correspondence to members who have not been attending.
  • If the meeting is on Zoom, suggest that members share the link and invite a friend to attend (even if they don’t live in the same geographic area). This can also work former members who have moved away!
  • Send a recipe with your meeting invite.
  • Send a survey to your chapter members to see what type of meeting they prefer.
  • Be flexible. Plan for meetings to change depending on member needs.
  • Encourage members to sign up for recurring donations or donate online if not meeting. Demonstrate how to sign up, or offer help if needed.
  • Whether you meet in person or online, be sure to include some time for personal sharing; this helps to build community amongst your members. e.g. you could use the first portion of the meeting to socialize and catch up, rather than jumping right into the program.
  • The energy and level of engagement of the chapter leader is important to keeping the chapter strong during COVID.
  •  If using a free Zoom account, ask everyone to sign back in after the 40-minute cutoff time.
  • Mail holiday cards to your members in December.
  • Ask members to watch the video ahead of time so you don’t have to do that on Zoom.
  • Share the presenting responsibilities with all members.
  • Do some type of local charitable activity together as a chapter (i.e. donate food or used clothing to a local shelter).
  • Keep the meeting date and time the same as usual, whether meeting in person or via Zoom.
  • Shorten your Zoom meetings and/or hold them earlier. (Many people prefer that Zoom meetings are kept to one hour in length.)
  • Have a Zoom door prize, such as a book from the Together Women Rise Book Club.
  1. What kind of support do you need to ensure your chapter continues to thrive?
  • Hold frequent chapter leader sharing sessions.
  • More info and guidance on using Zoom.
  • National or regional conferences are a great way to re-energize members.
  • Promotional materials and guidance to spread the word about Rise and increase chapter membership.
  • Speakers from the national office.
  • Continue providing a speaker list for every grantee.
  • New chapter leaders may need some assistance in completing and processing the donation submittal form.
  • Regional leaders could assist chapters in forming collective groups to have multi-chapter zoom meetings and invite a grantee speaker; this reduces the demand on our grantees’ time!
  • Ideas on how to overcome member hesitancy about donating online with a credit card.
  • Help with chapter leader succession planning.
  • Compile a book for chapter leaders with different meeting ideas (e.g. meet around a fire pit, have a cooking lesson, etc.)
  • Compile a cheat sheet with contact info for who to call for specific questions.