Starting a Chapter

An ICG Chapter covers a geographic region that makes it possible for members to meet regularly, hold events, and become a part of their communities. Members are connected by their common interest in costuming, even though individual members may enjoy different styles and genres. In cases where fewer costumers live further apart, a chapter may cover a larger region, use social media to interact with one another,and meet only occasionally.

If there is no ICG chapter in your area, it’s easy to start one with as few as six members. Here is a checklist that will help you get started.

  1. Check the list of existing ICG chapters A geographic region is generally represented by only one chapter. If there is already a chapter in your region, discuss your proposed new chapter with them to iron out any potential problems. You may decide it is more advantageous to join that chapter,
  2. Get together at least six people who will be chapter members to petition the ICG Board of Directors for affiliation. We recommend reviewing the By-Laws and Standing Rules. The formation of chapters is goverened by Standing Rule 10.
  3. Choose a name for your chapter. Some chapters also have unofficial nicknames. For example, the NJ/NY Costumers’ Guild, are also known as the “Sick Pups of Monmouth County.”
  4. Select an initial board of officers. The application must name an initial President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. These officers will serve until the chapter adopts bylaws specifying its officer positions and holds its first election. The bylaws need not include these positions, and the chapter can elect different members as officers.
  5. Submit a letter of petition to the ICG Board of Directors requesting affiliation with the ICG. Your letter may take this form:”We, the undersigned, request affiliation with the International Costumers’ Guild as the (Name of Chapter), also known as (Unofficial Name,if any) representing (geographic area). Our chapter mailing address is (Address). Our initial board of officers are listed below. Attached is a list of members. Please advise us if we have been accepted. Signed (chapter organizer).”Whatever form you use, please include all information in parentheses in the above sample. Send this letter of petition to the ICG President.
  6. Your petition will be considered by the ICG Board of Directors. The Board is made up of ICG elected officers and representatives of the affiliated ICG chapters. New chapters are admitted to the ICG upon majority vote of the Board. If your chapter is approved, your President will recieve notification from the ICG President, and a letter of affiliation from the ICG Corresponding Secretary.
  7. Once your chapter is approved, it should do the following within the first 30 days:
    • Hold a meeting to approve chapter bylaws and elect officers See the Sample Bylaws and Sample Officer Job Descriptions web pages for examples.
    • Select a chapter officer to be its ICG board representative. The officer must be at least 18 years of age, and be a ICG member in good standing while serving. See the Getting Started as an ICG Board Member web page for more information on dutues and responsibilities of an ICG chapter representative.
    • Send the ICG Treasurer a list of chapter members and officers, and dues for those members who will become ICG members. See the Reporting Membership web page for complete reporting requirements, and a membership reporting template with instructions on filling it out. Your chapter must make required reports and dues payments to remain in good standing.

    See Tips for New Chapters and SIGs for useful tips about getting your new chapter off the ground.