Volunteer Resource Site

Chapter Essentials

Learn more about about who will be supporting you at Global Brigades and explore the foundations of starting and running a successful Global Brigades Chapter on your campus.

Chapter Creation

Global Brigades mobilizes thousands of volunteers each year to participate in sustainable development in collaboration with our staff and community partners through Global Brigades Chapters that are found on university campuses across the world. Global Brigades’ student-led Chapters are the engine that drives the impact and success of the organization’s mission and vision. 

Each Chapter of Global Brigades is focused on making an impact in a specific area through Brigades. On campus, student leaders create and lead Global Brigades Chapters like other student led organizations  on campus (i.e., clubs/societies). The goal of creating a chapter is to mobilize peers to learn more about global health and sustainable development and plan a brigade to make a significant impact with our partner program countries.  

Interested in starting a new Chapter on your campus? Fill out our Become a Chapter President Form and check out our Chapter Creation Guide.

Pick Your Program

As you create your chapter, it is important to consider which program you feel most passionate about. For example, if you are hoping to focus your Chapter on access to healthcare and plan a Medical Brigade, you should start a Medical Chapter.

Global Brigades facilitates the participation of volunteers in sustainable development through brigades either in person or virtually in Central America and West Africa addressing needs in health and economic development. Each program has been developed in conjunction with community members and students to empower community members and leaders while engaging students to deliver high-impact solutions. Through fundraising and participation on brigades, volunteers are able to support the implementation of Global Brigades’ Holistic Model.

SELECT A BRIGADE PROGRAM BELOW TO LEARN MORE:

Consider Your Brigade Type

In Person Brigades

On Brigade, volunteers participate in intensive skill-based programs (brigades) in one of our partner countries that are tied to a community’s health, water & sanitation, or economic development goals. Each brigade type is supported by year-round teams that scale the impact of the one week brigade into a year-round community development program.

TeleBrigades

TeleBrigades allow you to apply your passion and make the same community impact right from home through a medical, business, or engineering program. Global TeleBrigades is the highest impact international sustainable development volunteer program and it happens to be virtual.

Brigade Planning At a Glance

Once your Chapter is set up on campus & you have selected your preferred program of interest, you are ready to decide if you want to travel abroad or participate virtually. As a Chapter, you can plan for a TeleBrigade, In Person Brigade, or BOTH! Want to learn more about planning a brigade? Check out this Brigade Planning Checklist to learn more and get started!

Build Your Leadership Team

Whether you have one chapter on your campus or several chapters, it is important to set your chapter(s) up for success by understanding the foundations of what make a chapter successful: their leadership team(s). 

Leadership Team Structures
We highly encourage each campus to build their leadership teams in a way that is best suited for their unique campus or circumstances. Check out our Chapter Leadership Structures Guide to learn more about what makes a strong leadership team, what structures and roles are ideal, and how to ensure leadership team accountability. 

Featured Leadership Opportunity: Campus Chairperson

In 2011, Global Brigades created the Campus Chairperson position in order to build a global movement of students that represent and embody the Global Brigades mission, vision, values and holistic programming on each of their respective university campuses. There are currently more than 100 CCs around the world! Campus Chairpersons (CCs) are responsible for representing the Holistic Model on their campus by overseeing and unifying active chapters on their campus and actively working to grow the movement by identifying and cultivating new chapter leaders in their region to establish chapters on campus. Click here to learn more!

Chapter Transparency
A constitution is a basic set of rules for the daily running of your chapter. Your Constitution should establish your club/society’s name, state and support its mission/purpose, and set policy and procedures related to your members, officers, meetings, elections, and other functions that may be unique to your club/society. It is important that chapters’ policies are made transparent to chapter leaders and members. Constitutions can explain to members and non-members what your group is about, provide guidelines for the daily running of the chapter, and are great at helping solve any internal problems, as they act as an unbiased/objective document. Constitutions are also sometimes required by universities in order to become an official club/society on campus. Feel free to reference a Sample Chapter Constitution and create your own! 

Leadership Transitions
Your final task as a GB  student leader (and arguably one of the most important) is to ensure the sustainability of your chapter(s) after you leave. But what does this mean? We want to work with you to ensure that your legacy on campus lives on and that your chapter(s) continue to send successful brigades and make impact for many years to come! The most important next step is taking the time to thoroughly transition your leadership role to a new leader, and prepare them with all of the wisdom and knowledge you’ve gained in your position. Use our very detailed Chapter Leader Transition Packet or make your own that’s more suited to your exact campus leadership structure.

Develop University Relations

Though not mandatory as a part of being a Global Brigades Chapter, it is important that you and all Global Brigades Chapters on your campus consider the benefits of developing some type of  relationship with your university. Understanding where your relationship is with your university (maybe negative, positive, neutral, or somewhere in between) and exploring future opportunities is a great place to start. 

We don’t expect you to navigate this process alone! If at any time you need support with university relations, please feel free to reach out to our Director of University and Corporate Relations, Lauren Maitland at lauren.maitland@globalbrigades.org

Your GB Support Team

Volunteer Engagement Associates

VEAs provide support to Campus Chairpersons, plan Student Leadership Conferences and support new leaders in creating a chapter on their campus through leadership development and high-level chapter support.

Program Associates

PAs support chapter leaders and volunteers through their brigade planning process. They also work with leaders on strengthening their chapters year-round and are the liaisons between brigades and our program teams.

Travel Team

Our Travel Team staff support chapter leaders in booking airfare for their brigades. They work tirelessly to find the best flight deals for volunteers and support our traveling volunteers when issues arise with their flights.