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Guide to Establishing a Chapter

You want to start a new Chapter in your country? Great, this is your guide.

Chapters serve as the central coordinator of the work of the individuals and institutions participating within a country in support of the Creative Commons Global Network ("CCGN"). This guide will provide instructions and guidance on how to create a chapter if one does not already exist.

First Chapter meeting Toolkit

Stuff you should keep in mind:

Table of Contents of this Guide

Step 1: Determine Status of CC Activities in Your Country; Join the CCGN

First, check whether there is a Chapter already in your country.

You may find more information into the Chapter Guidelines document for general orientation about what a Chapter is and what is supossed to do. If you need any further guidance or help, just let us know by getting in touch with Simeon, CC's Network Manager (

To form a Chapter at least one or more of you must be a member of the Creative Commons Global Network (though you don't have to be a member to get involved in projects or chapter activities). Members play a role in governing the network, and have to have some experience working in CC communities to be approved by their peers Here are the instructions to become a Member of the CCGN.

Step 2: Organize the first Chapter Meeting


  • Remember the first Chapter meeting is neither a "members" meeting or an affiliate meeting, but a chapter meeting. This means that if you are coordinating the organization of the first meeting, you must invite and include everyone interested, especially all approved members in your country, conduct outreach with sufficient notice to ensure everyone interested is aware of the meeting, and conduct the meeting as openly and visibly as you can. We will help you with that.
  • Check of any existent member of the network interested in your Country and invite them to this meeting. Click here -it requires you to be logged in- to search for other people and let them know you are interested into organize this meeting.
  • Be familiar with the documentation. Be sure you are familiar with the CCGN Strategy, the Charter (including the Code of Conduct and the policies contained and referenced therein) and, especially, the Chapter Standards and Guidelines. Encourage everyone participating in the first meeting to have reviewed all of those documents in advance.
  • It is not required that this meeting be in-person. It will always be a challenge to connect with all volunteers within a country; however, we strongly encourage you to provide ways for those who cannot be present in-person to participate remotely, absent some logistical difficulties. Again, notify the Network Manager if you need assistance.


  • Please notify the Network Manager of your intention to coordinate the organization of the first meeting. Send us an email to This allows us to assist you, and inform you of others who have expressed interest in organizing the first chapter meeting or participating. Use social media to make this meeting as public and welcoming new people to join the conversation. If you need any help with outreach strategies, how to structure or arrange logistics for the meeting or help communicating the fact you are hosting the meeting, let the Network Manager know.
  • Communicate to those participating in the initial meeting that:
    • Only Individual Members of the CCGN may serve as a Representative or Chapter Lead, though all Country Participants (members and non-members alike) may participate in their selection.
    • Members and non members may only participate in the selection of Representatives for one Chapter (i.e., you can't participate in selecting the representatives of multiple chapters).
  • See the Chapter Standards and Guidelines for more information.
  • Prepare and publish a clear agenda in advance, designate a person to be the note-taker, and invite as many people as you can!

Step 3: Convene the First Meeting

  • Purpose. The purpose of the first meeting is to bring together different voices, faces and ideas regarding how to work together as a chapter. You are free of organize the meeting as you will provided the meeting adhere to some minimum criteria.

  • At a minimum, two things need to happen during the first meeting:

    1. Chapter will elect a member as a Representative at the Global Network Council. Only CCGN Individual Members can elect the Representative, and only CCGN Individual Members can be elected.

    2. Chapter will select a Chapter Lead to be the main point of contact of the Chapter. Again, only CCGN Individual Members can be elected as such. Anyone can participate in the selection — we allow each chapter to determine how they do that, so long as the process is open and transparent.

    [optional] Some Chapters may want to have some structure to manage areas of interest, or have spokespeople, or designate subject matter leads. We leave that to each local group to organize so you can adapt to your needs. You might want to discuss that at your first meeting, or suggest ways to address those needs for the next meeting.


* Review agenda
* Designate a note taker (notes should be sent to the Network Manager for publication [on the CCGN website]( promptly following the meeting)
* Introductions, roll call (identify and document who is present, what their interests are, etc.)
* Review highlights of the Strategy, Charter, Chapter Guidelines, and Codes of Conduct
* Election of Representative (explain the process, responsibilities)
* Selection of Chapter Lead (explain the process, responsibilities)
* Discuss work of the Chapter
* Chapter processes and coordination
* How to communicate (CC Slack? email list? etc.)
* Website coordination (who is in charge, etc.)
* Identify substantive areas of interest
* Explain any important and/or sensitive work already underway in country, and persons on point for those efforts

Step 4: After the Meeting

  • Send the minutes of the meeting to the Network Manager using the template. These will be publicly posted. You can use this template we have prepared to make it simple. If you are not comfortable writing this in English, you can write it in your own language. Just let us know that situation first.

  • Identify the Chapter Lead and Representative.

  • Tell us about your meeting. The information about the meeting is important not just to know who will be the point of contact of the chapter from now on, but also to know more about your first meeting, your plans and your people! The Network Manager will be in contact with you from the early stages of the process to facilitate the process.

  • We will include your new chapter in the list of Creative Commons chapters part of the Global Network.