How to Start a New OSD Chapter
If you are looking to get involved with OSD, our Chapters are the place to start. As a global, Chapter-based, Veteran Support Ecosystem, OSD Chapters are the backbone of our local outreach. OSD Chapters are made up of groups of active duty members, veterans, family members, and civilian supporters devoted to giving back at the community level. Each OSD Chapter hosts various social, professional, and service events for their communities. They are driven to make an impact with these events either by veterans, for veterans, or with veterans.
While OSD chapters are found in cities and towns or all sizes across the United States as well as on/near US Military installations in the US and overseas, we don’t have chapters in every community. However, if you are passionate about OSD and have a desire to lead, starting one is easy! It is our deepest desire that the “OSD way” is spread far and wide, so we want to help as many communities as possible establish thriving Chapters. If you are interested in spearheading this effort in your community, we recommend you start by checking out our post on What Makes a Great Chapter Leader. Below you will find the simple requirement and steps to starting an OSD Chapter in your community.
Requirements to Starting an OSD Chapter
- No other OSD Chapter exists in the area.
- You are willing to commit to hosting 2 events each month – one recurring and one that changes based on the needs/desires of the Chapter.
Steps to Starting an OSD Chapter
- Reach out to OSD National to share your interest/plans for a new chapter in your community.
- Identify a core group of individuals (3-5) who also have a desire to lead and grow an OSD Chapter. It is essential to have a strong founding leadership team. Wondering who might need to be included on this leadership team? Check out our post on What Makes a Good Chapter Leader.
- Determine if there are any geographically proximate chapters in your area. We encourage geographically proximate chapters to work closely for maximum impact. It can also be helpful for less established chapters to work and learn from more established chapters.
- Work with your founding leadership team to identify one recurring event that you will host monthly. The initial recurring event for your OSD Chapter really depends on what the founding leadership team enjoys. Keeping it simple is the key to sustainability and consistency. Pick a specific day, such as 2nd Wednesday or 3rd Saturday, and go. Just ensure whatever you pick is something that you can and will sustain.
- Identify a second event to host during the month. This second event does not need to be recurring. It can change each month based on the needs and desires of the Chapter. The types of events that Chapters host can vary widely based on the location of the chapter and the interest of members. It is advisable to plan several months in advance. Successful chapters have events scheduled and on the calendar at least 30 days in advance to allow plenty of time for members and future members to make the commitment.
- Within the first 90-days, new chapters must generate consistency and proactively promote scheduled events.
That is it! That is all you need to get started. As you begin your journey, you will be given support and guidance from OSD National. We will equip you with information and internal resources that ensure there is consistency across Chapters and that you are set up for success.
If you would like to begin the process of starting a Chapter in your community, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more.