Operating Procedures for Chapters

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention



The name of the Chapter is the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, NAME Chapter and the purposes and operations of the NAME Chapter ("Chapter") shall be consistent and in conformity with the by-laws of American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (“AFSP”).


ARTICLE II - Office and Place of Meetings

  • Section 1Location. The operations of the Chapter will principally be conducted in the area of _________ at an office selected by the chapter in consultation with AFSP.
  • Section 2Meeting Place. Meetings of the Chapter may be held at such place or at a location selected by the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Chapter.


ARTICLE III - Chapter Board of Directors 

  • Section 1. Powers. Subject to the overall control and supervision by AFSP, the Board of Directors (“Board”) shall have the control and management of the affairs, funds and property of the Chapter. The Chapter shall be governed by AFSP policies and the Operating Procedures.
  • Section 2Election. The Board of Directors shall be elected by the Board an annual meeting.
  • Section 3.  Number and Terms. There shall not be less than nine board members. Each member shall serve a three-year term of office. Each Board Member may serve consecutive three-year terms provided he or she is nominated and elected at the Chapter's annual meeting.
  • Section 4. Regular Meetings. In addition to an Annual Meeting, regular meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held not less than two times per year.
  • Section 5. Special Meetings. Special Meetings of the Board for any purpose or purposes may be called by the Chair or by a majority of the members of the Board of Directors on five business days written notice. Such special meetings must be called by the Chair or Secretary on receipt of the written request of either a majority of the directors, or by one officer of AFSP. Notice of a Special Meeting shall specify in writing the purpose or purposes of such Special Meeting and only such purposes may be taken up at such special meeting.
  • Section 6. Notice. Notice of Annual and Regular meetings shall be served personally or by mail, fax, or email, upon Board Members, not less than ten days before the meeting.
  • Section 7Quorum. One half of all directors shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and the vote of a majority of directors present shall be the act of the Board. If a quorum shall not be present at any meeting of the directors, the directors present at the meeting may adjoin the meeting from time to time, without notice other than announcement at the meeting, until a quorum shall be present.
  • Section 8Vacancies. If there is a vacancy among the directors or the officers, such vacancies may be filled by the Board at a special meeting called for that purpose, or at any regular meeting of the Board.
  • Section 9. Removal. Any director or officer of the Chapter may be removed from office for cause by action taken at any regular or special meeting of the Board upon notice of such proposed action to such trustee or officer.  Any director who fails to attend, either in person or by telephone, three successive meetings of the Board shall, except for cause shown and accepted by the Board, be removed be removed.
  • Section 10Eligibility. No person shall be eligible for election as a director unless such person is in compliance with such qualifications for directors as the Board may establish from time to time.

ARTICLE IV - Officers

  • Section 1Names. The officers of the Chapter shall consist of the following: Chair, President, Treasurer and Secretary, as elected by the Board of Directors at the annual meeting.
  • Section 2Other Officers. The Chapter may have such other officers as shall be determined from time to time at any regular or special meeting of the Board, which officers shall be elected by the Board and shall have such powers and functions as are prescribed by the Board.
  • Section 3. Term of Office. Officers shall be directors and shall hold office as set forth below and until their successors are elected. Officers shall serve for one year with eligibility for re-election. No such officer shall serve more than three consecutive one-year terms.
  • Section 4Duties.
    • (a) The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Board and of the Executive Committee, and shall perform such other duties as are necessary to the office of Chairman as may be prescribed by the Board. The Chairman shall be a member of all committees of the Chapter, with vote, unless otherwise provided by the Board. The Chairman shall concern himself or herself with the implementation of policy set by the Executive Committee or Board.
    • (b) The President shall be a mental health professional and shall be the principal spokesperson of the Chapter on all scientific, medical, and programmatic matters. In the absence or disability of the Chair and so designated by the Executive Committee, the President shall perform the duties and exercise the powers of the Chair, subject to the control of the Board.
    • (c) The Treasurer shall have the care and custody of the Chapter's funds and shall keep full and accurate accounts of receipts and disbursements of all funds received and paid by the Chapter in accordance with any regulations established by AFSP. He or she shall exhibit such books of account and records to any of the Chapter Board Members or authorized AFSP representatives at any time, upon request, and shall render detailed financial statements to the Chapter Board and AFSP as often as they shall require them. He or she may execute all instruments requiring the signature of the Treasurer. He or she may be required to give bond for the faithful discharge of his or her duties.
    • (d) The Secretary shall attend all meetings of the Board; shall record all proceedings and votes of meetings of the trustees; shall sign the notices for meetings thereof; and shall perform, in general, the duties incident to the office of the Secretary, subject to the control of the AFSP and the Board.

ARTICLE V – Committees

  • Section 1. Committees. Standing committees as herein specified shall be responsible for the supervision of particular activities of the Chapter as hereinafter specified, subject to the approval of the President and Board. Other committees may be formed from time to time as are approved by the Board for special needs and purposes. One or more members of the Board must serve on each of these committees, but non-Board Members may also be appointed as committee members.
  • Section 2Membership. The Chair shall appoint committee members, subject to approval by the Board.  Any chairperson or member absent from three consecutive committee meetings shall be subject to removal by the Chair.
  • Section 3. Quorum. A quorum for each committee shall consist of one-third (1/3) of the members, and the vote of a majority of the committee present at any meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the act of such committee.
  • Section 4Final Authoritv. All activities of all standing committees are subject to the Approval and supervision of the Executive Committee and Chair.
  • Section 5Standing Committees. The Chapter shall have the following standing committees:
    • (a) Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall consist of the Chairman, President, Secretary, and Treasurer and other such persons as may be selected by the Board of Directors. The committee shall have and may exercise, when the Board is not in session, all powers and duties of the Board. Meetings may be called by the Chair or shall be called upon the written petition of two members of the Executive Committee.
    • (b) Nominations Committee. This committee shall nominate members of the Board and Officers. The committee shall consist of at least three directors appointed by the Chairman and approved by the Board. The committee shall submit its nominations prior to the annual meeting, with the notice of that meeting.
    • (c) Fundraising Committee. This committee shall oversee all fundraising activities of the chapter and ensure that the chapter raises adequate funds to support the Chapter’s budget.
    • (d) Program Services Committee. This committee shall oversee all programmatic activities of the chapter, including, but not limited to survivor and education programs.
    • (e) Special Committees. The Chair, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee, shall appoint such special committees as may be required to carry out the work of the Chapter.

ARTICLE VI - Funds, Real Estate, Records and Reports

  • Section 1. Opening Accounts. The Chapter may be permitted to open bank accounts only with the consent and approval of AFSP.
  • Section 2Funds in Trust. All funds received by the Chapter are trust funds and are the property of AFSP. They are to be expended only for the purpose provided for in the charter of AFSP and in accordance with rules, regulations and policies prescribed by AFSP. The Chapter shall not make direct research or fellowship grants.
  • Section 3Depositories and Signatories. The Chapter shall deposit all funds collected by the Chapter in such banks as are selected by the Board and approved by AFSP. Such Chapter bank accounts must require two signatures on all checks over $500 and must at all times be subject to withdrawal of the following signatories:
    • -Two (2) Chapter Officers or,
    • -One (1) Chapter Officer and AFSP National Executive Director.
  • Section 4Forwarding Funds. Funds received by the Chapter shall be forwarded to AFSP on a regular basis, as determined by AFSP
  • Section 5. Instruments and Contracts. AFSP must approve all contracts or other instruments.
  • Section 6Authorization. No Chapter shall have the authority to execute any agreement or incur any obligation on behalf of the Foundation without the express written authorization of the National Executive Director. No officer of the Chapter shall have the power or authority to effect loans and advances or deliver notes or other evidences of indebtedness for the Chapter or AFSP from any bank, trust company or other institution, or from any firm, corporation, or individual, unless so authorized by AFSP. No Chapter shall have the authority to make expenditures in excess of $500 for non-budgeted items without the approval of the National Executive Director.
  • Section 7. Payment to Other Organizations. The Chapter may not contribute any of its funds to any organization that is essentially a fundraising or grant-making organization without the prior written approval of AFSP.
  • Section 8. Accounts. The accounts of the Chapter shall be kept in such manner as to show readily at all times its exact financial condition, the amounts and sources of all receipts, the amounts and purposes of all disbursements, and the location of all funds and securities and otherwise in accordance with any standard methods of accountancy required by AFSP.
  • Section 9. Fiscal Year. The fiscal year of the chapter shall coincide with the fiscal year of AFSP, July 1 through June 30.
  • Section 10Audit. The chapter shall submit a financial statement in such manner, time and form as may be determined by AFSP. AFSP shall have the right to examine or audit at any time any financial or other information with respect to Chapter activities.
  • Section 11Records. The Chapter shall maintain complete records, including a minute book, which will enable it to make adequate reports to its community and to AFSP. All records, correspondence, and books of account of the Chapter are the property of AFSP and shall be returned to AFSP on demand.

Article VII – Conflict of Interest

Directors and Officers Members of this Chapter must conduct their personal affairs in such a manner as to avoid any possible conflict of interest with their duties and responsibilities as directors and officers of CHAPTER NAME.  Occasions may arise when a Director or Officer has a financial interest in a contract or transaction upon which action is taken or withheld by the Board.  It is the policy of AFSP that:

  • (a) Any material facts as to such financial interest shall be disclosed by such Director or Officer.  Such disclosure shall be disclosed when the matter comes up for action by the Board.
  • (b) The Director or Officer having such financial interest on any matter shall not vote or use any personal influence in regard to that matter (except that the member may state a position on the matter and respond to questions about it); however, such member or officer may be counted in determining the quorum for the meeting at which the matter is voted upon. The minutes of the meeting shall reflect that the disclosure was made and the abstention from voting.

ARTICLE VIII – Miscellaneous

  • Section 1Notices. Whenever the law or these Operating Procedures require notice to be given to any director, officer or member, such notice shall be given in writing by mail or email, addressed to such director, officer or member at such address as appears on the books of the Chapter. Any director, officer or member may waive any notice required to be given by law or by these Operating Procedures for Chapters.
  • Section 2Logos. Emblems. and Materials. No chapter shall use any logo, insignia, emblem or written materials other than those adopted by AFSP without the written approval of AFSP. 

ARTICLE IX – Amendments 

These Operating Procedures for Chapters or any of them may be altered, amended or repealed by and only by AFSP National.

ARTICLE X - Parliamentary Procedure

The Modern Rules of Order shall govern Chapter meetings.

ARTICLE XI - Pluralism and Diversity

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is an equal opportunity organization. It is AFSP policy to recruit members and volunteers, appoint officers, including the Board of Directors and members of the Executive and all other committees without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability.

AFSP will not tolerate verbal, visual or physical harassment or intimidation of any kind, of, or by, any member, volunteer, or officer.

ARTICLE XII – Indemnification

The Foundation shall indemnify its Directors, Officers, employees and agents to the full extent permitted under the provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law.