The 7 steps to start a Global Brigades Chapter

Written by Anna Jamieson, Global Brigades Volunteer Engagement Associate

Across Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland and the USA there are over 340 active Global Brigades Chapters have planned or are planning brigades in 2019! This is a fantastic accomplishment and we are very thankful for our student leaders who work tirelessly on recruitment, fundraising and brigade planning to make this happen! 

Your GB Chapter Advising Team is here to support you to get a Chapter started on campus!

That being said, Global Brigades wants to multiply the impact of brigades by having new Chapters join the movement! There is tremendous value in having representation of multiple different Chapters on campus and promoting Global Brigades and the Holistic Model through having a holistic campus. 

The value of having a holistic campus comes to light through collaboration and perspective. As a sustainable development organization we want to promote the holistic nature of our work and having each program represented on your campus through a Chapter is a really good place to start. Having that physical portrayal of the Holistic Model on campus and giving the opportunity to students to participate in not just one Medical Brigade (for example) but maybe also a Water Brigade or a Global Legal Empowerment Chapter is not only a fantastic opportunity but fully supports our Holistic Model and promotes the sustainability and connection of our programs across Chapters. Collaboration between Chapters can also support you on campus through fundraising efforts and recruitment opportunities, the more people interested in diverse opportunities, the better for the overall health of Global Brigades on your campus!

Global Brigades leaders learning about the UN Sustainable Development Goals through an activity on the Honduras Leadership Institute.

What is a holistic campus, you may be wondering? A holistic campus has an active chapter to represent each of our Holistic Model programs (Medical/Dental, Water, Engineering, Public Health, Business), has a GB Campus Chairperson to represent and oversee Global Brigades on their campus and in their community, hosts or actively participates in a regional SLC to remain engaged outside of their brigade and develop leadership skills and celebrates #GB365 by organizing at least one awareness event, volunteering locally, or participating in GB Week!

Having representation from all programs with Chapters on campus is just the start! Now, you may be thinking how do we get a new Chapter started on campus? Well here are 7 easy steps to broaden the scope and impact of Global Brigades on your campus through Chapter creation.

  1. Identify a leader who is a current Chapter or a friend/classmate. If you are that leader, go ahead and determine which type of GB Chapter you want to start. 
    1. Look through the Global Brigades website to learn more about the mission and vision of our work!
    2. Check out each of the program mini websites to learn more about each of the programs. Links to mini websites: Medical, Dental, Business, Water, Engineering, Public Health, Legal Empowerment.
  2. Fill out this form, to get connected to the Chapter Advising team who will support you in the Chapter creation process. 
  3. You will then be directly contacted by a Chapter Advisor. The process for starting a Chapter will consist of (at minimum) two calls and several emails with the Chapter Advisor. 
  4. Work on establishing your Chapter on campus, get connected with other Chapters on campus or in your region. Spread the word about this new opportunity! 
  5. Think more about when you would like to send your first brigade (dates, country and program).
  6. Later in the process, you will be directly connected with a Program Associate (PA) through your Chapter Advisor. Your PA will be your go to for any questions regarding brigade planning and to support you with recruitment, fundraising, flight booking, and brigade planning!
  7. Go on your brigade, love it, and then start planning for next year!
Campus Chairpersons at the National Student Leadership Conference in Irvine, California

Now you are all set, follow these simple steps to start a new Chapter on campus and support Global Brigades year round! We can’t wait to see you on brigade! 

Global Brigades