Starting a Changemaker Chat in Your City

Be inspired, learn, and connect with women in your community by starting a Changemaker City Network.

Local Changemaker Chats are led by volunteer management teams comprising ambitious, friendly, and passionate women. There is a formal application process to start an official Changemaker Chats network in your city. We work closely with every City Team to help launch local Chats and other programming, and to provide support for Chat management throughout theyear.

If you’re serious about bringing Changemaker Chats to your city, we’d love to hear from you! Read the Q&A first to learn about starting a Changemaker Chat in your city, and then email us to request an application. For additional information or questions, contact us at hello[at]changemakerchat.com.

Contents

  1. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
  2. GENERAL EXPECTATIONS
  3. ABOUT YOUR CITY 
  4. ABOUT THE APPLICATION PROCESS
  5. RUNNING A NETWORK
  6. HOW TO APPLY

 

1. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Q: How is Changemaker Chats organized?
A: Each Changemaker Chat city is led by a team of 2-3 volunteer co-directors, who serve as the local management team for a minimum of 12 months. The team represents their community by organizing and growing the Changemaker Chat community in their area, producing Changemaker Chats (min. 6 chats/year) and other programming (if desired) with the support from the Changemaker Chat Headquarters.

Q: Who is the point person for the Changemaker Chat Teams?
A:
One point of contact (POC) is required for each city team. The POC serves as the face of Changemaker Chats in that city. Behind the scenes, the city team is free to organize as the team sees fit.

Q: What are the responsibilities of the Changemaker Chat Direcrors?
A: Changemaker Chats City Teams are in charge of all the details for the local Changemaker Chats city. This includes:

  • Nominating 1 team member as the main point of contact for CC leadership
  • Securing a venue
  • Confirming a guest speaker every other month
  • Identifying sponsors to help cover chat event and other costs
  • Managing volunteers (including a photographer, meeting greeters, etc.)
  • Marketing for the chats (creating and sending invites, social media updates and communication with Changemaker Chats HQ)

Q: What are some qualities you look for in a City Team?
A: Here are four qualities:

  • You get things done: Organizing a network is a big responsibility and involves many moving pieces. We’ve learned that although experience in the industry and event organization is a plus, it can’t make up for a willingness to get started, figure things out, and make it work.
  • You’re good at giving away credit: It takes a certain personality to successfully lead a volunteer team, keep sponsors happy, and celebrate local talent. This community won’t be about you. It will be about the fantastic people you get to bring together.
  • You’re obsessed with “mixing up” your community: Changemaker Chats was founded to be entirely open and accessible to any woman who cares about advancing positive change in her life – whether that be at work, at home, in her community or in the world at large. Directors are willing to make the extra effort required to gather a diverse group every month from all industries, backgrounds, and professional levels.
  • You’re flexible: Changemaker Chats HQ will do its best to steer the Changemaker Chat ship with limited time and resources. If you’re looking to join an organization that has everything laid out for you, we’re probably not a good fit. This is an exciting time for Changemaker Chats, and we will ask you to experiment with new initiatives while providing feedback.

Q: Do Directors sign a volunteer agreement?
A: Each Changemaker Chats City Team signs a volunteer agreement in order to represent the Changemaker Chats brand, and agrees that all content created as a result of a Changemaker Chat or other Changemaker Chat-related event is property of Changemaker Chats. The volunteer agreement lasts for 12 months and is renewable.

Q: Can there be institutional co-hosts for Changemaker Chats?
A: Yes. For example, select Changemaker Chats in NYC have been co-hosted and co-sponsored by companies with women’s groups.

Q: Can my company or group apply to be the Director for a Changemaker Chat team?
A: No. Changemaker Chats cities are licensed to individuals. In many instances, a Directors’s company supports their employee (e.g. committing to long-term sponsorship/resources), but our official relationship is with the team of individuals serving as volunteer City Directors, and if that person/s leaves his/her current company, the Director would remain with that person.

2. GENERAL EXPECTATIONS

Q: How much time typically goes into being a Changemaker Chat Director?
A: On average, a management team spends a total 10-15 hours per month building their community and preparing for events (appx. 5 – 7.5 hours/person per month). This number may fluctuate a bit as the host becomes more seasoned, but 15 hours is a good estimate for starting out.

Q: How often are events?
A: Each Changemaker Chat city is expected to host a Changemaker Chat every other month. Events are generally held on weekday evenings (Monday – Thursday).

Q: Are Changemaker Chats always free?
A: In the first year of the network launching and operating in any city – YES.

Q: How do the themes work?
A: Changemaker Chats have global themes for each month. The themes serve as a common thread to connect all of our cities.

All CC Networks participate by selecting a speaker that broadly relates to the topic of the month and/or incorporating the month’s theme into questions for Chat events. Directors will know about themes at least six months in advance and participation is required.

3. ABOUT YOUR CITY

Q: Can there be more than one Changemaker Chat per city?
A: No, we stick with one per city.

Q: Can I organize a Changemaker Chat network for my entire country?
A: No. Changemaker Chat network licenses are limited to one city.

Q: I live in a small city. Can I still apply to start a chapter?
A: Yes. You’re welcome to apply. Just put together a compelling and outstanding application and show us why your city is in need of a Changemaker Chats network.

Q: What if the city I want to apply for is very close to another network?
A: You’re welcome to still apply. Just ask yourself since the networks would be so close, would it make sense objectively to have a Changemaker Chat in your city as well? Or is there a way to partner with the nearby city to host Changmaker Chats together?

4. ABOUT THE APPLICATION PROCESS

Q: What do you ask for in the application?
A: The application is in the form of an online questionairre.

Q: If I apply, how long until I hear from you?
A: We review applications once a month so you can expect an update within a few weeks. We are a tiny team at headquarters. Thank you for your patience!

Q: Are there more steps to the application process after I submit?
A: If your application seems like a good fit, we will setup an interview to learn more about you and your vision for Changemaker Chats in your city. It’s also a great opportunity for you to get to know us, too.

Q: What if I don’t want to apply and would rather start my own event?
A: The world could use more evening get-togethers for women (and some with men, too!). You’re welcome to start your own event with a similar model. We just ask that you do not use the “Changemaker Chats” name.

Q: Is applying for a Changemaker Chat network on a first come, first serve basis?
A: Not necessarily. That said, we do recommend that you get your application in as soon as you can. If we find a city team we really like, we’ll grant them the network.

Q: Should I reserve or “park” my network’s social media accounts? (e.g. Twitter, facebook account)
A: Please do not register social media accounts on behalf of a Changemaker Chat you are applying for. Other teams may be applying, your priorities may change, and it’s difficult for us to hunt down reserved accounts.

When we launch new cities we do our best to take care of registering those accounts and populating them with sample descriptions.

Q: Can I reach out to potential sponsors, venues or speakers before applying?
A: Yes. Committed sponsors, venues and speakers is a great way to strengthen your application. However, please be clear and explain that you do not officially represent Changemaker Chat in your city just yet, and are applying for a license to start a network.

If you have questions or want to use CC leadership team members as a reference in this process, simply contact us – we are happy to help however we can!

5. RUNNING A NETWORK

Q: Do we have to get speakers approved by headquarters?
A: No. However, to start a network, you will need to outline at least two speakers you believe you can secure for your first two Changemaker Chats.

Q: Are there any costs/fees associated with running a network?
A: Each city team covers the event costs primarily through local sponsors and/or donations from City Team (and sometimes their employers).

There are no application fees, upfront fees or ongoing fees to headquarters. Our city teams help sustain headquarters by participating in HQ’s partnership initiatives from time to time.

Q: What sort of resources does Changemaker Chat headquarters provide?
A: Each of our networks receives a large batch of files (e.g. brand assets, slides templates, sample marketing materials), the online Changemaker Chat handbook that details guidelines and learnings from our City Teams, and access to our internal message board for all Directors worldwide.

Q: Do local CC networks create LLCs or non-profits?
A: If desired, City Teams may establish organizations to keep finances in order or apply for certain types of funding.

However, Changemaker Collective does not permit City Teams to use the “Changemaker Collective” or “Changemaker Chats” trademark, or confusingly similar names, as the entity name.

Q: Are Changemaker Chat speakers ever paid?
A: No.

Q: How long is the commitment for being a Director?
A: Our licenses are one year long and in most cases we offer Directors the opportunity to renew their agreement each year.

Q: What happens if I’m a Director and I’d like to pass on the role to someone else?
A: We have an exit process setup for our Directors. You will have the option to nominate someone who you heavily endorse to be the next host (they will have to complete an abridged application). Otherwise, Changemaker Chats headquarters will open public applications for the chapter.

6. HOW TO APPLY

Fill out the application form here and email us with any questions.

 

Changemaker Chats is an equal opportunity organization. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the more vibrant our community will be. We embrace diversity and are committed to celebrating women – and those who identify as women – from all backgrounds and walks of life.