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 Leaders 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 the ICAN Chapter Leadership 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 (Chapters can have as many chapter leaders as needed):                  $60
  • Secretary/Treasurer (Reduced training, and cannot host meetings alone):               $30
  • This fee is non-refundable





Step 4: Signed Agreement

Once your leadership 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 your interview and asssessment.

Step 5: Training

Once the Chapter Leadership Agreement is signed, 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 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. You have three months to complete the training (with an option to extend to six months, should circumstances require), though many finish within a few weeks. The modules are a go-at-your-own-pace format, so you can do as little or much each day as your time allows.

Step 6: Chapter Set Up

You’re an ICAN Accredited Chapter Leader! New chapters will be formally assigned a name, given an official opening date, an ICAN chapter email, ICAN phone number and a Facebook page and group (to be created by the Board of Directors).  Chapter Leaders 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. Thank you for joining 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 answer any additional questions. Do not pay the Chapter Leader Fee until 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.

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

Yes!  Please visit our International page for more information.

How many Chapter Leaders can a chapter have?

Chapters can have as many Chapter Leaders as needed. 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 funds, you can use chapter funds to pay for the chapter leader fee and membership fee of the applicant.

Some chapters have other Accredited Chapter Officers such as Treasurer and Secretary. While many chapters do thrive with only one Chapter 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. There is no limit on number of Accredited Chapter Leaders or Officers.

What kind of resources are available to Chapter Leaders?

Accredited Chapter Leaders receive support from their Regional Coordinator, US or International Coordinator and the Chapter Director, along with the Board of Directors. Leaders must complete the training to become an ICAN Accredited Chapter Leader as part of opening or joining a chapter. This ensures that each Chapter Leader starts out with a strong foundation. They also have access to the ICAN Leadership Center where new training, resources and tools are being added continually.  As volunteer availability allows, occasionally there are also Chapter Leader teleconferences and Webinars. There is a private Facebook group for Chapter Leaders throughout the world where you can crowd-source ideas, ask questions about concerns or other issues, and build friendships!

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). This takes a few minutes and can be submitted with ease online via a Google Form.
  • 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.
  • Complete a yearly inventory of any chapter items (books, brochures, etc.)
  • Respond to inquiries your chapter receives by phone, email, or social media 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.


The International Cesarean Awareness Network does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff (if applicable), selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our organization; donors, paying members, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.