Starting a Chapter or Joining Chapter Leadership

Follow the steps below for United States Chapters.

International (Outside of U.S.) Chapters: Go Here.

Step 1: Membership

Chapter Leadership must be current ICAN Members – Supporting Level or higher  – and maintain membership for the duration of their leadership role.







Step 2: Application & Interview

You will need to fill out an “ICAN Chapter Leadership Online Application”. Completing this application does not guarantee opening a new chapter or becoming a part of Chapter Leadership. The Chapter Director or the Regional Coordinator for your area will contact you via email for an interview. If you are not contacted within two weeks concerning your application, contact the Chapter Director or the Regional Coordinator for your area via the “Contact Us” Page. It is very important that you check your email and spam folder for communication.






Step 3: Leader/Opening Fee

Once your application is approved, Chapter Leaders must pay a one-time fee covering some of the administrative costs associated with opening a new chapter, on-boarding new leaders, and maintaining a chapter’s infrastructure and resources.

  • Chapter Leader Applicant/Opening :                  $60
  • Co-Leaders or new leaders moving into the       $30
    CL position of an existing chapter :
  • Secretary/Treasurer position :                              $30

    This fee is non-refundable.





Step 4: Signed Agreement

Once your fee is paid, members of Chapter Leadership must sign and return the Chapter Leadership Agreement which includes:

  • The Chapter Guidelines
  • ICAN’s Statement of Beliefs
  • Chapter Leadership’s Code of Ethics
  • Conflict of Interest Policy
  • Non-Disclosure/Confidentiality Agreement
  • Leader Training Commitment

Your interviewer (Regional Coordinator or Chapter Director) will provide you with a link to fill out this paperwork upon completion of steps 1-3.

Step 5: Training

Once the Chapter Leadership Agreement is received, you are a Chapter Leadership Candidate! You will be assigned a temporary ICAN email and invited into Chapter Leadership Training. This training consists of seven modules designed to equip you to lead a robust chapter in your community.

The seven modules are:

  • Get to Know ICAN
  • Running a Chapter
  • Holding Meetings
  • Education
  • Support
  • Advocacy
  • Financial Matters

Chapter Leaders and Co-Leaders are required to do all seven modules. Chapter Secretaries are required to do the first two modules. Chapter Treasurers are required to do the first and the last module. Training is expected to take about three months (with an option to extend to six months, should circumstances require) but may take less.

Step 6: Chapter Set Up

You’re official! New chapters will be formally assigned a name, given an official opening date, an ICAN chapter email, ICAN phone number and a Facebook page. Chapter Leaders and Co-Leaders will be sent a New Leader Starter Kit, including such items as an ICAN name badge, tote bag, bumper sticker, etc. as well as a sampling of ICAN brochures. Core officers will be given access to the ICAN Leadership Center, a place for resources and links for submitting additional paperwork, etc. Additional resources can be requested as needed, such as a chapter website or FB group. We can’t wait to have you join us!

I have other questions about starting and maintaining a chapter. Where do I find out more?

Fill out the application above and either the Chapter Directer or your Regional Coordinator will contact you to discuss the application. You may find that the application process will answer many of your questions.  At that time we can personally discuss your concerns and ask any additional questions. Do not pay the Chapter Leader Fee until you are sure and your application has been approved. If you would rather discuss a quick question over email you can contact your Regional Coordinator or the Chapter Director with any other questions you have. We look forward to talking with you!

I don’t live in the United States, can I still start an ICAN Chapter?

Yes!  Please contact the Chapter Director for more information.

Can I have others help me with the chapter? What is required of them as co-leaders or officers?

Absolutely! It is great to get others involved with your chapter! They will follow the same process as outlined above. If they are not already a current ICAN member, and your Chapter has an established bank account, they can become a member through the Chapter and the Chapter will keep a portion of the funds.

Some chapters have other Chapter Officers like a Treasurer, Secretary, Outreach Coordinator, etc. While many chapters do thrive with only one Chapter Leader or one additional Co-Leader, many chapters find it beneficial to enlist the help of other volunteers as Chapter Officers. Chapter Officers must be current ICAN members and follow the same process above as well, minus the leader fee.

What kind of resources are available to Chapter Leaders?

Chapter Leadership Members receive support from their Regional Coordinator, US or International Coordinator and the Chapter Director. Leaders must also complete ICAN Accreditation Training as part of opening or joining a chapter. This ensures that each Leader starts out with a strong foundation. They also have access to the ICAN Leadership Center where new trainings, resources and tools are being added constantly. There is also a special Chapter Leader Training available at ICAN Conferences. As volunteer availability allows, occasionally there are also Chapter Leader chats and Webinars.

What are the basic requirements to have an ICAN Chapter?

All ICAN Chapters must:

  • Hold in-person meetings at least 6 times a year.
  • Complete a Chapter Monthly Report (CMR) to send to your Regional Coordinator. This takes a few minutes and can be submitted with ease online.
  • Complete a financial report once every 6 months to send to the ICAN Treasurer. This typically takes around 15 minutes to complete, but often takes less time for new or small chapters with little or no transactions.
  • Respond to inquiries your chapter receives by phone or email in a timely manner.


Some chapters choose to go beyond these basic requirements and have monthly meetings, hold chapter fundraisers, have informational booths at local events, etc., but these things aren’t required. We understand that each area has its own unique needs, and we respect our volunteers’ availability.


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