Starting a Changemaker Chats City Network

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 and there is a formal application process to start an official Changemaker Chats network in your city. We work closely with every City Management Team to help launch local Chats and other programming.

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 network in your city, and then email us to request an application form. 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 are Changemaker Chat networks organized?
A: Each Changemaker Chat network is led by a team of 2-3 volunteer co-managers, who serve as the local management team for a minimum of twelve months. The team represents their community by organizing and growing the Changemaker Chat network in their area, producing Changemaker Chats (min. 6 chats/year) and other programming (if desired) with the support from the Changemaker Chat leadership team.

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

Q: What are the responsibilities of the City Network Management Teams?
A: Changemaker Chats City Network Teams are in charge of all the details for the local Changemaker Chats network. 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 Network Management 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 network 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. Network Managers 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: HQ will do its best to steer the Changemaker Collective 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 the growing Changemaker Collective network, and we will ask you to experiment with new initiatives while welcoming feedback.

Q: Do Network Managers sign a volunteer agreement?
A: Each Changemaker Chats City Network 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 IPG’s Women’s Leadership Initiative.

Q: Can my company or group apply to be the Manager for Changemaker Collective and/or Changemaker Chats?
A: No. Changemaker Chats Networks (cities) are licensed to individuals. In many instances, a Network Manager’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 Network Managers, and if that person/s leaves his/her current company, the Network Manager would remain with that person.

2. GENERAL EXPECTATIONS

Q: How much time typically goes into being a City Network Manager?
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 CC Chapter 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. Each theme is selected by a “network” in the order of when they joined the Changemaker Collective and launched Changemaker Chats in their city.

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. Network Managers 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 “network” 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 includes a video and a written portion.

Q: How long should my video be?
A: Use your best judgment :).

Q: Why do you ask for a video in your application?
A: It’s a great way to get to know someone who we can’t meet live

Q: Can I submit a video that I already made (for a different purpose) as my video application?
A: We appreciate the resourcefulness, but no.

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 (probably via Skype) to learn more about you and your vision for the CC network. 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 Collective” or “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 management 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 network 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: What’s the answer to the secret question?
A: Queen Bey

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: Nope. 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: Networks usually cover their event costs primarily through local sponsors and/or donations from City Network Management Team (and sometimes their employers).

There are no application fees, upfront fees or ongoing fees to headquarters. All local sponsorship money stays with the Changemaker Chat City Network.

Our city networks 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 Network Management Teams, and access to our internal message board for all Network Managers worldwide.

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

However, Changemaker Collective does not permit Chapter Management 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 Network Manager?
A: Our licenses are one year long and in most cases we offer Network Managers the opportunity to renew their agreement each year.

Q: What happens if I’m a Network Manager and I’d like to pass on the role to someone else?
A: We have an exit process setup for our Network Managers. 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, CC headquarters will open public applications for the chapter.

 

6. HOW TO APPLY

Email us to request an application form and feel free to share any questions you have.