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Establish Founding MembersEstablish Founding Members

Overview

One of the crucial first steps in forming a flying club is identifying founding members. These members will be in a position to generate interest, guide the mission and ideals of the club, possibly help with club financing, and potentially act as future officers of the club. Most successful clubs target a few key individuals as founding members with particular areas of expertise.

These members usually are identified before forming the club and will be the driving force in creating the club’s identity as well as its legal formation. One of the benefits of being a founding member is having input in the mission of the club and how the club is organized.

It is useful to have members that have the following skills or knowledge:

  • Vision – being able to identify and articulate the club’s mission
  • Finance/Budgeting – having a solid financial plan is a key to any club’s success
  • Organization – someone who can guide day-to-day operations
  • Legal/Contract Background – forming a club requires the creation of bylaws and may require articles of incorporation or obtaining non-profit status
  • Maintenance – it’s always good to have someone who understands the mechanical side of an aircraft
  • Flight Instructor – even if your club doesn’t offer primary instruction, someone will still have to perform checkouts for new members

Most important, founding members should be a good fit with each other and the organization. Camaraderie is a key component of effective organizations and it will go a long way toward building a successful club.

Some people you may want to seek out to become founding members include:

Create a List of Future Members

Not everyone who is interested in forming a club will want to be a founding member. Many people just want to be members of the club and are not interested in taking on a leadership role. While identifying founding members, it’s also a good practice to develop a list of potential members. You may consider accepting applications while the founding members are in the process of forming the club. Once the club is operational you will have a base of interested people who are likely to join. Maintaining a potential member list once the club is established is useful to replace departing members or grow the club.