Resources and tools for Berkeley Haas alumni chapter volunteers and regional representatives.
All chapters must be led by at least three alumni (See Section F-6). It is recommended that chapters serve a local community of at least 50 alumni. (View Roles & Responsibilities and Board Structure files below.)
The chapter board should meet quarterly, at a minimum. At least half of all board meetings should be in person. When meetings are held by conference call, chapters may reserve a conference line (via email) with the Alumni Relations office.
Chapter leaders may request a list of alumni in their region (via email). The list includes contact information that should only be used to communicate information related to the chapter.
Every year the Alumni Relations office will send Chapter Presidents the lists of new admits, student interns, and recent graduates in their region. Lists will be sent before the end of the Fall semester and before the end of the Spring semester. Chapter Presidents and their board members are strongly encouraged to connect with these prospective students, current students and recent graduates. Share information about the Berkeley Haas Alumni Network, welcome them to the region, tell them about the Chapter's events and to generally welcome them to the Haas family and network. See examples from Orange County and New York Chapters of great welcome emails (view Welcome Messages folder below).
New contact information, collected by a chapter through its own research or events, should be shared with the Alumni Relations office at: email@example.com.
Chapters also share information about their meetings and events. Complete and submit event summaries (view Event Feedback Form below) with attendance information, financial information (see Section C-3), event promotions (view Event Emails folder below), and meeting minutes (view Meeting Minutes folder below) to the Alumni Relations office.
At the end of each FY, this information, called Key Performance Indictors or 'KPIs,' (view KPI Reporting file below) is compiled and used to gauge the strength of individual chapters and the alumni network as a whole. The KPIs are shared annually with all B-HAN chapter presidents.
Chapters are eligible to receive an annual grant (see Section C-3) from the school. Chapters are also encouraged to collect fees (see Section E-21) for ALL their events. These funds should reside in the chapter's bank account (see Section B-6) and be used exclusively for the work of the chapter.
There are a number of effective channels for communicating information about the work of a B-HAN chapter. The best channels are your chapter's email list (see Section C-9), a regional subgroup of the Berkeley Haas Alumni group on LinkedIn, and a Facebook group (see Section B-8).
You may want to use other communication channels, too, such as Twitter or Instagram. Use the different channels to emphasize a different selling point.
While each channel may have a different voice, style or word count, their respective messages should all be concise and consistent.
View examples of effective communications from other B-HAN chapters below as well as guidelines on how to use the Berkeley Haas brand in communications.
All B-HAN chapters must have liability insurance for their events. Fortunately, all UC Berkeley alumni chapters and clubs qualify for free liability insurance coverage (see Section C-12).
Two weeks prior to each event, a chapter representative should go online to register and receive a certificate to prove insurance coverage. Please review the instructions on registering an event (view Haas Chapters Event Liability Insurance How-to below).
The naming convention for most chapters is B-HAN-[City Name]. This brand identity is consistent, clear, and recognized.
Chapters are more effective if board members have defined roles. It helps to know who is doing what. It is also more satisfying. Divide and conquer!
It can be helpful to have co-presidents and a team (see Section F-6&8) of key players, such as a treasurer, director or VP of communication, a secretary, and a group of event "champions."
Most importantly, a chapter needs at least three committed leaders if it is going to thrive. Build a solid leadership team (view Roles & Responsibilities below) before doing anything else (see Section D).
The primary role of Haas' alumni chapters is to connect Berkeley Haas alumni to one another and to the school. Therefore, your chapter's mission statement may be as simple as: To create a strong, lifelong connection to Berkeley Haas by building a community of engaged alumni in [insert: your city or region].
Whether meetings are in person or via conference call (reserve conference line via email) chapter boards need to meet regularly. Monthly meetings are optimal; boards are required to meet quarterly. Recruit a secretary to record attendance, topics of discussion, and action items. Share your meeting minutes (view Meeting Minutes examples below) with the Alumni Relations office (via email).
Provide structure and purpose for your chapter and enable the group to maintain itself. Your bylaws do not have to be exhaustive, but they will help the chapter govern itself and they are needed for other official purposes.
Define the structure of your chapter and the key leadership roles in the chapter bylaws. Include job descriptions and term limits in the bylaws.
If you apply for a bank account or an alcohol permit, you will need to submit a copy of the chapter's bylaws. For this reason, assure that your bylaws mention that your chapter is an "alumni constituency group" of UC Berkeley and, under the domain of the UC Regents, that the chapter has tax-exempt status.
To create or update your chapter's bylaws, you may use the letter template (view Bylaws Letter Template below) and bylaws template (view HAN Chapters Bylaws Template below). View helpful tips on creating bylaws.
Funds are required to secure a venue, pay for refreshments, or purchase a speaker gift. To assure that your chapter's funds are safe and accessible, a bank account is needed. You are free to use any bank that you prefer.
Individual chapter websites are the place to promote upcoming events and meetings, link to your Facebook group and the LinkedIn profiles of board members, and share photos from past events. Not surprisingly, the quality of your chapter's website is important to prospective students and chapter members alike. Review the website set up document for guidelines on setting up your chapter website (view Chapter Website Set Up below).
Recruit a content manager (view Content Manager Description below) or a webmaster, to keep the content of your website current and compelling. The ideal person is someone who has experience with Wordpress or other blogging software, and who will regularly update the site.
Fresh photos and information are essential to the appeal of your chapter as well as the site itself. Be sure there is a link to photos of a recent event as well as information about upcoming events.
Create a Facebook page that is linked from your website. Compared to a group, a page enables a chapter to create an authentic and public presence on Facebook.
Name the group with searchability in mind. For example, 'Boston Chapter -- Haas School of Business' is more easily found than 'B-HAN Boston.'
If your chapter rarely plans an event, do not set up a Facebook page. Similarly, do not start a page and let it die. Keep your Facebook page fresh and interesting with current news and photos.
Recruit a board member who actively uses Facebook to manage your page and click here to see an example of a terrific Facebook page.
Berkeley is famous for its diversity and that is true of chapter events, too. Plan at least three events per year, (see Section E-5) each with a different purpose. Your annual events calendar (view examples in Calendar folder below) should offer a balanced blend of content, networking, philanthropy or community service (view 'Beyond Self' event examples below), recreational, or cultural activities.
Collect a registration fee in advance to assure attendance and to accurately anticipate the number of attendees. There are a number of inexpensive and easy-to-use registration software products (view comparison chart below) on the market. Most chapters now use Eventbrite.
While using an online software product is not complicated, assigning one board member to manage registration for all events is advised. If your chapter is small, the treasurer may assume this role.
One of the best ways to strengthen our alumni network is to strengthen the data in our alumni directory. Networks are about communications. And effective communications require accurate contact data. Whether the messages are from the Haas School to alumni -- from B-HAN Chapters to alumni -- or from individual alumni to other alumni, we all benefit from better data about our alumni.
The @cal directory is the main public-facing database where alumni can update their data profiles. Therefore,
a) The single most important step an alumnus/a can take to strengthen the Berkeley Haas Alumni Network is to update his/her @cal profile.
b) The next important step is to encourage other alumni to update their @cal profiles.
Chapter Leader's Role:
Chapter leaders can impact the success of the alumni directory by encouraging everyone to update their @cal profiles. Here's a simple pitch to deliver at every event, every board meeting, and every interaction with Haas alumni:
"We all benefit from a stronger alumni network if we update our profile in the alumni directory, @cal. Getting to the directory is easy. Just google 'haas alumni directory' and you're in."
Of course, @cal offers several key benefits to the individual alumnus or alumna:
a) Get email addresses which are not visible on LinkedIn or other digital platforms.
b) Send an email directly to another alumnus/a -- free -- and without an introduction. (More than 23,000 Haas alumni can be emailed through @cal.)
c) Search for alumni who may not be a member of LinkedIn or may not belong to Haas LinkedIn group. Find alumni info that LinkedIn may not have.
d) Public Profile -- Create a custom Cal public profile page with verified academic info that anyone can see without logging in. It's like a virtual business card that is officially sanctioned by UC Berkeley. Add your social media links and allow anyone to privately contact you without ever seeing your email address. Search engines will find it, and so will potential networking contacts. View some samples.
Where to find @cal:
Learn how to access @cal, update your profile, and find other alumni by viewing this 15-minute webinar.
For questions or help with @cal, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
More about Alumni Data
Your Alumni Relations office gets data updates from the United States post office, from Haas' career services offices and LinkedIn. We also get data updates from great chapters. Here's how:
a) Collect business cards at the registration table. Conduct a raffle at the conclusion of the event, drawing one of the collected business card and awarding a raffle prize. After the event, scan and email those business cards to email@example.com. This will assure that any new information you have collected is updated in the @cal alumni directory.
b) Collect information about alumni from your event registrations, emails, or through word of mouth. Don't forget to share that information with firstname.lastname@example.org.
c) There is no easy or automatic way to import or export information from LinkedIn to the database. However, it is possible to manually cut and paste important information, such as employment information, from LinkedIn to the alumni directory, @cal.
Alumni leaders are exemplars of Haas' defining principles (view description and handout in Defining Principles folder below), including "Beyond Self." Be a role model for other alumni by annually supporting the Haas Fund (view Fundraising Checklist & Giving Back Talking Points in Fundraising folder below). Your gifts make a difference! (view Giving Breakdown below)
Great leaders assure that, after a few years as president, new blood and a fresh perspective are brought in. Take time to recruit alumni for all key roles (view Roles & Responsibilities below) before the position is vacated. A seamless transition (see Section F-10) in management keeps an active chapter strong.
Berkeley Haas' Alumni Relations office organizes an annual retreat for B-HAN leaders, usually in September or October. View the most recent Volutneer Leadership Conference materials online.
Chapter leaders receive a "tip" every month via email. Tips offer leaders insider information about what's happening at Haas or suggestions on how to best leverage Haas' resources to engage alumni in your region. Select tips can always be shared with chapter members in newsletters or other communications.
Chapter leaders are also invited to participate in quarterly webinars and bi-annual Dean's conference calls. (View samples of past webinars below.) Chapter Presidents should be sure to have board representation on each webinar and conference call.
View this information in Section A-2.
View this information in Section B-14.
At the start of each fiscal year, in July or August, all alumni chapters are invited to apply for an annual chapter grant (view Chapter Grant Procedures below). Modest grants provide seed money for emerging chapters to secure a venue or provide refreshments, or for longstanding chapters to innovate on existing programs.
Because grants will be sent to a designated representative of the chapter, alert the Alumni Relations office promptly when your chapter has a change in leadership, particularly a change in president or treasurer.
Established chapters, with a bank balance exceeding $3,500, do not qualify for a chapter grant. Emerging chapters are grateful to those thriving chapters for their autonomy and success!
For U.S.-based chapters, grants are issued as checks made out to the chapter or the funds can be wired to the chapter's bank account. To produce a check or to wire funds, the University requires the chapter to be established as a "vendor" in the campus' financial system's database. The chapter must fill out the Vendor Information Form (view below) and the Electronic Funds Transfer Form (view below) to receive fund by electronic transfer. To do so, the University needs the following information:
Once this information is received, the chapter is established as a "vendor," a process that requires approximately two weeks. A payment request can be submitted to the University, prompting the submission of paperwork by a member of the Alumni Relations staff. This results in a check being issued to the chapter, care of the designated representative or fund wired to the chapter's account. This second step can take an additional week or two.
For international chapters, grants may be sent directly to the chapter's bank account or to an individual's bank account by wire transfer. The chapter must fill out the Vendor Information Form (view below), the Electronic Fund Transfer Form (view below) (to receive funds by electronic transfer, and the Form W-8BEN (view below). The University has different requirements for each method of payment.
Payment Method #1
If funds are sent to the chapter's account, the chapter must provide:
Payment Method #2
If funds are sent to an individual's bank account, the chapter or individual must provide:
View images and lists of event collateral below.
In addition to or in lieu of monetary support, podium and table banners, current literature, and small items such as lapel pins, pens, mints, and jelly beans are provided by the Alumni Relations office. Chapters may also receive branded items to use as raffle prizes (see Section E-24) or speaker gifts.
Chapters will also receive a supply of alumni benefits brochures to distribute at every event to help market the offerings, services and benefits available to the Berkeley Haas alumni community.
View an image and list of items in the registration kit below.
Chapters may request "registration kits". These small boxes contain nametags, reusable nametag holders, nametag ribbons, scissors, blue tape, "I'm Hiring" stickers and other items essential to a registration experience as impressive as your chapter.
Chapters are strongly encouraged to produce nametags (view Nametag MergeInstructions below) in advance of every event. By eliciting key information (i.e., degree and year of graduation, job title, company name, and preferred email address) in the registration process (view Eventbrite Registration Required Fields below), and by using a nametag template (view Nametag Template folder below), participants will have a more powerful networking experience. Participants will also have a more favorable impression of your chapter.
View information in Section B-7.
Snail mail is expensive but may reach alumni who do not receive your chapter's emails (view a list of the Chapter Email Lists below). Your Alumni Relations office will fund and assist in the creation of one postcard mailing each fiscal year for chapters outside the Bay Area.
Postcards are created through "Amazingmail," a product of the U.S. post office. The postcards can be made in one of two sizes: 4.25" x 6" and 5.5" x 8.5". Simply submit the design and copy to email@example.com in Illustrator or InDesign eight weeks in advance of the event date in one of the templates below. Please make sure that images used meet the requirements of the template. All postcards must include the following return address:
Haas School of Business
University of California, Berkeley
2001 Addison Street, First Floor
Berkeley, CA 94704
4.25" x 6" postcard
- Side address template (See 4.25x6 template below)
5.5" x 8.5" postcard
- Side address template (See 5.5x8.5 side address template below)
- Bottom address template (See 5.5x8.5 bottom address template below)
- Corner address template (See 5.5x8.5 corner address template below)
A member of the Alumni Relations team will create a mailing list of the home and work addresses of alumni in your region that is sent to the U.S. post office. If you would like others to receive your postcard (e.g. UC Berkeley alumni leaders or alumni leaders from other business schools in your region), please submit their first and last names, street address, city, state, and zip code in an Excel spreadsheet when you submit the postcard copy.
Please note: Once final copy is submitted, it will take approximately two to three weeks to create and print the postcards before they "land" in mailboxes in your region.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For chapters outside the Bay Area, the Alumni Relations office has created and maintains chapter lists for alumni who live or work in your region. Your chapter's list is refreshed four times a year -- from the main campus alumni database -- with addresses of Berkeley Haas alumni who move into your region.
Who can join an email list and how do they join?
Anyone can join your list through the B-HAN website -- whether they live or work in your region, and whether they are Haas alumni or not. To get to this page, visit or click Subscribe from the Alumni Chapters, Regions & Groups page. You (chapter leaders) can also use this page to add the email addresses of others to your list.
Who can send and reply to the lists?
Inside the U.S. -- Only designated 'senders' can send email to the U.S. chapter lists. Currently all chapter presidents in the U.S. are designated "senders." To add other board members as senders, simply email your request to email@example.com.
Replies to U.S. chapter lists are directed to the sender only, not to the entire list.
International chapter lists -- Anyone on the chapter list can send email to the list. Hitting "Reply" will direct a reply to the sender only. Hitting "Reply All" will direct a reply to everyone on the list.
Other Email Lists
In addition to chapter email lists, there is an email list for all B-HAN chapter leaders firstname.lastname@example.org, a list for all alumni in Europe email@example.com, and lists for the BCEMBA classes.
Anyone Can Opt Out
While all alumni for whom we have an email address are initially added to a chapter's email list, it is easy for recipients to opt out. An opt-out link is at the bottom of every email sent to the lists, and it takes only two clicks to remove yourself from the email list.
Some Tips for Email Senders
To reduce the likelihood that recipients of your emails will opt out, electing not to receive information about your chapter:
To encourage 100% participation by chapter board members to the Haas Fund, giving information will be shared with chapter presidents near the end of the calendar and fiscal years (in November andMay). Only the names of board members who have given to the Haas Fund in the current FY will be shared.
Each year a chapter is selected as Berkeley Haas' Chapter of the Year. Chapters may be selected by the Alumni Relations office (view Chapter of the Year Criteria below) or they may self-nominate (view Chapter of the Year Nomination Form below).
All B-HAN chapters, both domestic and international, must have liability insurance in advance of each and every event, except their board meetings. Fortunately, all UC alumni chapters and clubs qualify for free liability insurance coverage. (view UC Foundations, Alumni & Support Groups Insurance Instructions below)
The UC Office of the President (UCOP) provides insurance coverage for an unlimited number of alumni chapter events through Marsh Insurance. The policy provides $2.5 million in general liability insurance for a chapter event.
To insure your event, a chapter representative, should go online two weeks in advance of the event to register for the insurance coverage by completing this form. Please review the instructions on registering at event. (view Haas Chapters Event Liability Insurance How-To below)
Use Internet Explorer to complete the form, not Chrome, Firefox or other browsers.
An accurate attendance count is important to determining the cost of insurance to UCOP; do not inflate attendance numbers.
Your Last Step: Fax or email the completed form to Marsh; the company sends a certificate of insurance [link to sample certificate] to the chapter.
A B-HAN chapter is tax-exempt if its bank account is set up using one of the Tax ID Numbers (TINs) of the UC Regents (i.e., either # 94-6002123 or --for establishing a BofA bank account-- # 36-4730935). In either case, a chapter is exempt from filing a tax statement, whether the chapter receives a 1099 Form or not. (Simply retain the 1099, but no action is required.)
If a chapter is associated with another TIN, the chapter is responsible for reporting event and other income. To avoid future payment and reporting requirements with the IRS, the chapter should 1) apply to dissolve the TIN, 2) pay the required dissolution fee, and 3) re-establish its bank account with one of the UC Regent TINs.
All alumni groups associated with UC Berkeley are called "alumni constituency groups." Under the domain of the UC Regents, HAN chapters are tax-exempt and qualify for other important benefits, such as access to free insurance (see Section C-12) and bank accounts (see Section B-6).
Contact Associate Director of Alumni Relations, Sue Clifton at +1-510-643-7442 or firstname.lastname@example.org,
to discuss starting an alumni chapter in your city. A list of local alumni, including their program and year of graduation, job title, and company name, will be sent to determine the viability of an alumni chapter in your city or region.
Remember, the accuracy of this data relies on alumni updating their profiles in the alumni directory, @cal (see Section B-11). Is your alumni profile up to date?
Is a chapter sustainable? Are there at least 50 alumni in the region? Are there at least three alumni committed to leading the chapter? These are the minimum requirements (see Section A-1) to launch an alumni chapter.
Before rushing in to plan an event, take time to recruit a full team. Three alumni is the minimum requirement; having five to ten board members increases the likelihood of great events and a sustainable chapter.
At a minimum, chapters need a president, treasurer, andcommunications chair. If only three alumni lead a chapter, they will need to assume additional responsibilities as well. Increasing the number of board members (view Chapter Board Structure below) increases the sustainability of a chapter.
Recruit for specific jobs (view Roles & Responsibilities below) or invite alumni to select a job. Create compelling job titles like the "VP of Marketing" or "Director of Student Outreach." Write job descriptions (view East Bay Board as an example below) so that responsibilities and expectations are made clear.
Consider inviting "associate" members, who may lead one event during the year. Recruit a team of alumni to serve as venue scouts (see Section E-16).
Actively and continuously invite alumni to join the chapter board. A board is never too big.
Make the ask! The number of alumni who become active board members because they attended an event and were asked to join the board is surprising.
Surveys can be an effective way to announce the (re)birth of a chapter, learn what interests other alumni, and recruit new board members. Your Alumni Relations team has an account with Surveymonkey which you can use for your chapter's survey.
For the username and password, contact: email@example.com.
Allow no more than three weeks for alumni to respond. After one week, send a reminder with the survey link. Then share the compiled survey results and "next steps." With each communication, create a catchy subject line for your email.
View examples (view the B-HAN Portland and B-HAN Chicago surveys below) of two surveys developed by alumni in Portland, Oregon and Chicago, Illinois to assess the interests and lifestyles of fellow alumni and to determine their interest in having a local B-HAN chapter.
Start by creating a calendar of events (view Calendar of Events folder below), ideally at the start of the new FY (July 1 -- June 30). (Note, you can use this calendar to apply for a chapter grant.) (view Section C-3)
Most chapters take a "summer break," scheduling all but a single event or two between September and May. Use this break to get organized for the new year and --perhaps-- elect new board members (view Roles & Responsibilities below).
As you begin, confirm that the timing of your events does not conflict with events on Haas' Events Calendar or those planned by the University for alumni in your region.
Don't start from scratch. Here are four useful documents, compliments of the B-HAN East Bay chapter, to plan and prepare for events (view EBHAN folder below).
Focus on quality, not quantity.
If a survey of alumni (view example survey files below) in your region was conducted, review the results. What types of events are of interest? Do alumni prefer to meet on certain evenings of the week? Are some interested in weekend events? Do any alumni have access to a meeting space?
Overwhelmed with options? That's okay. Variety is the spice of life!
As you plan a calendar of events, mix networking events with content events featuring a guest speaker or a panel. Sprinkle in cultural, recreational, and philanthropic events. Blending in a family-focused event during the weekend may attract "new" alumni to your chapter.
Then add a dash of career-related events. Speed-networking events are popular. Or invite a certified career coach to speak on a topic of interest, such as negotiating a raise, managing an international team, or serving on a non-profit board.
#1: Dinner Series
In lieu of a speaker, organize an industry-specific, price-fixed dinner. A salon-like evening of focused discussion will be attractive to alumni who already have something in common. Secure an appropriate space, such as a private room at a restaurant or a large living room in a private home, to assure that meaningful conversation is heard.
The chapters in Silicon Valley and Shanghai market these as "Haas Dinner Connects." (view HAN-Silicon Valley Dinner Connect below). To enhance visibility, brand your dinner series.
#2: Haaspitality Tours
Originated by B-HAN OC, "Haaspitality Tours" (view HAN-OC Haaspitality Tour below) are compelling and easy to replicate. Use LinkedIn to identify an organization founded or led by a Berkeley Haas alumnus/a. Invite him/her to give a talk or a tour. What business leader can resist this opportunity?
As you focus on an individual event, begin by discussing these questions with your board:
In every communication, make the benefits of attendance clear to your audience. Why should they attend? What will they learn or how will their lives benefit from attending the event?
For every event, start planning (view Sample Event Timeline below) AT LEAST three months in advance and schedule your promotional messages. Send a "save the date" message six to eight weeks out. Promote the event through various communication channels. (see Section E-16) Create promotional text that is concise, compelling, and appropriate for that communication channel.
Chapters are encouraged to organize at least three events per year. Here are easy events that every chapter, regardless of size, can incorporate into their Event Calendar:
Basic Event #1: A networking event in October, perhaps in conjunction with a football game, to welcome recent graduates (see FAQ #9) who may have moved to your region;
Basic Event #2: A holiday mixer in December. Consider a potluck at your house or a no-host cocktail reception in a private room at a local restaurant;
Basic Event #3: A community service event in March (view 'beyond self' event description below), when chapters around the world exemplify Haas' defining principle, (view Defining Principles folder below) Beyond Yourself.
Berkeley Haas alumni are Students Always. (view Defining Principles descriptions below) Thought-provoking content events are very popular, but require more effort.
All three of these are not needed for a successful event, but having two of the three virtually guarantees a winning event:
Important Ingredient #1: Recruit a guest speaker with name recognition or an executive of a well-known, respected company.
Important Ingredient #2: Determine a timely, relevant, perhaps controversial topic.
Important Ingredient #3: Find a location with limited access or special appeal.
Recruit local speakers for events. Use LinkedIn to identify the alumni in your community.
Obtaining faculty speakers is difficult. Begin planning five months in advance. Then take these next steps:
Step 1: Identify topics of interest.
Step 2: Use the faculty directory, Berkeley Haas Alumni Newsletter, and the BerkeleyHaas magazine to identify faculty with relevant expertise.
Step 3: To coordinate outreach, contact Sarah Hernandez in the Alumni Relations office.
Two tips about recruiting faculty:
-The start and end of a semester are busiest for many professors.
-Consider PhD students and faculty emeriti.
Who asks? If a chapter member has a personal connection with the faculty member, s/he will make the ask. If not, the request will come from the Alumni Relations office.
Who pays? The Alumni Relations office will make the travel arrangements, and cover hotel and meal expenses.
The chapter must serve as a point of contact, assuring that visiting professors are fully informed of all event details and have a great experience before, during, and after the event.
Chapters should work to become financially autonomous. To do so, chapters may want to plan "no-host" events, where guests purchase their own food and/or drink. Purchase large, inexpensive food platters from a supermarket rather than hire a caterer.
To avoid facility costs, look for donated event space from a local company or library, a nearby college or university, a private home or office. If your chapter has a modest bank balance, be more creative!
Most importantly, think carefully about pricing your event. (see Section E-21)
To build an audience and share expenses, look for a partner. Does UC Berkeley have a Cal club in your town? Is there another business school nearby? Would a local company, law firm, or business club be interested in joining forces for one event? There's only one way to find out.
Some chapters have successfully partnered with local companies. Corporate sponsors (see Section E-22) can be good "hosts" of an event, if not a "partner."
Hold events at locations that are wheelchair accessible. If this is not possible, as may be the case with ski trips, hikes, and bike rides, make this known in the promotion of your event.
To serve alcohol at an event, confirm the requirements of your state or province. In California, particularly on campus, an alcohol permit is required for each and every event at which alcohol is served. Special one-day permits, called a Form ABC-221, are obtained through the Alcoholic Beverage Commission (ABC).
When applying for a one-day alcohol permit, the chapter submits this memorandum (view HAN Chapters Alcohol Beverage Control Memo below) to the ABC along with your bylaws AND recent meeting minutes. This memorandum describes the chapter's relationship to the tax-exempt UC Regents and confirms its status as an "alumni constituency group." The paperwork only has to be submitted the first time. Once your chapter is in the system for a regional ABC office, your information is on record as a qualified organization.
The application must be presented in person and chapter bylaws (view HAN Chapter Bylaws Template below) and minutes must be submitted with the application. Be sure that the board member submitting the ABC application is listed as an officer in your chapter bylaws. (see Section B-5) If not, submit meeting minutes that confirm the change in leadership.
On the ABC license, use the same naming convention (see Section B-1) for your chapter as you use on your minutes and bylaws. A chapter representative must sign the application, as will an ABC officer.
The one-day license is valid only for a single event.
Hotels and restaurants are generally licensed to serve alcohol. If your chapter plans an event at a public venue, the chapter has no additional legal obligations. But don't forget to apply for liability insurance. (see Section C-12)
If a caterer is used, confirm that they are licensed to serve alcohol and record the catering company's name and liquor license number on your insurance application.
The University of California requires all campus departments to use a catering or bartending service that has obtained a liquor license. Haas' Alumni Relations office is not allowed to obtain an alcohol permit on behalf of a chapter.
Many other devilish details (view HAN-EB Event Check List & HAN-EB Board Members Event Duties below) accompany any event and there are no shortage of "to dos", even for the simplest event. If your board is small, everyone will have at least one job, maybe three. Divide and conquer!
Assign roles such as the Event Champion has often suggested the topic or activity, and may provide direction to other alumni involved in planning the event.
The Event Champion is usually the point of contact with guest speakers. B-HAN chapters, especially those outside the Bay Area, should recruit local speakers for events. On occasion, and only in coordination with the Alumni Relations office, a faculty speaker (see Section E-11) may be able to participate in an event with your chapter.
The Event Champion serves as a point of contact for the faculty, assuring that the professor is fully informed. S/He collects and promotes the professor's bio as well as a description and title of the presentation. The champion coordinates on-the-ground logistical support, such as transportation from the airport to the hotel and/or to the event space.
The champion reconfirms deadlines and promotional messages (view Event Email folder below) with the guest speaker(s). S/He may write a media release, Facebook posts, and tweets, or coordinate theses communications with other board members.
The champion determines what a/v is required (e.g. a microphone, photocopies, LCD player, laptop, or screen to view PPT slides). If the event is to be videotaped for posting on the chapter's website, the event champion assures that the speaker has filled out the media release form. (view Speaker Consent & Media Release below)
At least two weeks prior to the event, the champion confirms that the chapter has the certificate of liability insurance (view Haas Chapters Events Liability Insurance How-To below) on file. The events manager at the venue may request proof of liability insurance from the chapter.
The event champion gives guest speakers a small gift and a personal note of thanks at the conclusion of the event.
The primary responsibility of the event champion is to assure that the experience of guests and speakers is entirely positive.
Venue Scouts -- All board members should always be on the look-out for interesting, free event locations, but venue scouts proactively make inquiries to build a "portfolio" of event venues for the chapter.
Event registrants should provide their first and last names, program and year of graduation from Berkeley Haas, job title, and company name. This information should be established as "required fields," regardless of the registration software (see Section B-10)used. This information is imperative to meaningful networking and to the production of professional-looking nametags (see Section E-18) produced in advance of the event. If you are using Eventbrite, follow the guidelines below for creating required fields, custom URLs, and attendee reports.
Chapters are strongly encouraged to produce nametags (view Nametag folder with templates and instructions below) in advance of every event. By eliciting key information (i.e., degree and year of graduation, job title, company name, and preferred email address) in the registration process and by using the nametag template, participants will have a more powerful networking experience. Participants will also have a more favorable impression of your chapter.
Pre-printed nametags are not only impressive, they streamline the check-in experience for your guests. And, at the end of the event, unclaimed nametags make it easier to generate a more accurate attendance list in your event summary. (view Event Feedback Form below)
Here (view HAN-EB nametag procedures below) are some good ideas and useful information about producing nametags from B-HAN East Bay. Always bring extra, blank name tags for on-site registrations.
View this information in Section C-12.
For Bay Area chapters, the Alumni Relations office sends your emails and promotes chapter events in the bi-weekly Bay Area Events Bulletin known as BAEB. (view Bay Area Events Bulletin Submission Form below) Chapters outside the Bay Area may communicate with local alumni using a pre-populated email list. (see Section C-9)
Regardless of who pushes 'send,' these are best practices for effective event promotion:
Emails -- Whether you are sending emails to a regional list (see Section C-9) or directing those messages to the Alumni Relations office to send, schedule a series of email communications:
Your chapter may use other communication channels as well:
Create a Facebook page that is linked from your website. Do NOT create a Facebook group; groups are private.
Name the Facebook page with search-ability in mind. For example, 'Boston Chapter -- Haas School of Business' is more easily found than 'B-HAN Boston.'
If your chapter rarely plans an event, do not set up a Facebook page. Similarly, do not start a page and let it die. Keep your Facebook page fresh and interesting with current news and photos. Recruit a board member who actively uses Facebook to manage your page.
See an example of a terrific Facebook page.
In lieu of establishing a chapter-specific handle, consider tagging all your chapter tweets with #haasalumni.
If a board member already has a following on Twitter, ask him/her to re-tweet information about your chapter. If not, build an audience by sharing information that is meaningful to alumni in your region.
Here's an example: "Residential real estate is up 18% in LA this year. Learn why at Haas alumni chapter event, 3/23."
LinkedIn is best used to post jobs and relevant business content. If a board member can seed your LinkedIn group with relevant content of this nature, the LinkedIn group is sure to draw a following. See an example of a great LinkedIn Group.
To establish a formal subgroup of the Berkeley Haas Alumni LinkedIn group, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tip: The best social medium to promote events is a Facebook page in tandem with emails. If you use LinkedIn to promote an event, update your entire LinkedIn network through your individual profile. This is the best way to bring positive attention to the event and, more importantly, the work of your B-HAN chapter.
Here are examples of effective messaging from chapters and the Alumni Relations office. (view examples below)
In addition to the obvious, there can be a number of hidden event costs. As an event budget (view Sample Event Budget below) is created, consider registration fees and complimentary admissions as well as the cost of a/v equipment, parking, furniture rental, janitorial services, and security staff. These expenses are likely to influence the price point of your event.
Event pricing is important to the success of both chapters and events. Free events are almost always a bad idea. 'Free' suggests something of little value. 'Free' also encourages a high "no-show" rate, making it likely that you will have too much food and too many empty chairs.
$20 or $25 is the standard fee for a basic social or networking event. Charge $30 to $45 for content events, such as those with a guest speaker or panel.
If the event has two of the three "great ingredients" (see section E-10) increase the fee more significantly. At the end of the fiscal year, your chapter should have more money in its bank account than it did at the beginning of the year.
Some chapters offer discounted registration to those who register early. This tactic may not assure that most guests register quickly, but it may encourage it. Unfortunately, many people wait until the final email reminder to register. Don't be discouraged.
But do offer a significant discount (i.e., half price) to encourage attendance by current and prospective students.
Sponsorship of a chapter event can come in several forms. Cash solicitations of less than $2,000 (view Fundraising Policy below) may be solicited as well as "in-kind" donations of wine, food or space.
Express appreciation for sponsorship in a print program or on a poster board displayed at the event. Thank sponsors in opening remarks. Then send a note of thanks after your event.
Collect business cards at the registration table. Conduct a raffle at the conclusion of the event, drawing one of the collected business card and awarding a raffle prize (view Raffles files below). After the event, scan and email those business cards to email@example.com. This will assure that any new information you have collected is updated in the @cal alumni directory. (see Section B-11)
Assign a photographer to take unusual and candid shots at the event. Get high-resolution images of people doing something or close-ups of what they are doing. Take pictures of a single person or of two or three people talking or looking at the camera. Try to take some pictures without alcohol visible in the shot.
Post the best pictures on your website. High quality photos may also be published in the BerkeleyHaas magazine or on the school's Facebook Page. Send your very best photos to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration. The resolution should be 300 dpi; the file should take about one megabyte of space; and the dimensions should be at least 3 x 3. Review the photography guidelines for suggestions on taking great photos that can be used in the BerkeleyHaas magazine. (view Photography Guidelines below)
A successful event leaves audience members eager for more contact with the chapter and proud to be associated with Berkeley Haas, so think carefully about an inspiring message to conclude your event. Here are some examples:
Submit an event summary (view Event Feedback Form below) and attendance list (view Chapter Event Attendance below) promptly to Sue Clifton at email@example.com. These key performance indicators, (see Section A-2) or 'KPI's, are used to gauge the success of your chapter and Haas' entire alumni network. The activity of Haas' alumni chapters is also regularly compared to that of other top business schools.
Consider sending a post-event survey. This is a great way to thank people for coming, recruit an alum for a specific board role, or announce your next event. Share the survey results with guest speakers, partner organizations, or sponsors. Above all, use the information to plan your next event.
Here are two examples (view survey examples below) of an effective post-event survey. Remember to create impactful subject lines when you send the survey, send a reminder email, and share the results.
To create your survey go to surveymonkey.com and contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the login details.
As the leader of a successful organization (i.e., your chapter), be prepared to explain why you are involved, what the chapter does, and why others should join the team. With other board members, practice your "elevator pitch" (view Elevator Pitch below) to be fully prepared to recruit new board members.
An enthusiastic board with a "deep bench" is the most important attribute of highly functional, sustainable B-HAN chapters.
Keep the team motivated and focused. Delegate and confirm that everyone understands priorities, meets deadlines, and gets results. Express thanks, publically and privately.
Run meetings efficiently; start promptly and assign a timekeeper. Establish a schedule of board meetings for the entire FY so that board members can plan to attend.
Send a reminder message a few days prior to each board meeting and include the meeting agenda. After each meeting, share minutes and remind the board about action items or important next steps.
An effective meeting stimulates everyone's best thinking, encourages full participation, and supports clear decision-making and actions. Regularly scheduled board meetings are a way for your team to connect, share information, collaborate, and lead.
Board meetings are also an important time to identify challenges, prioritize ideas, address the workload, recognize accomplishments, and motivate everyone.
Capture discussions and next steps in meeting minutes. (see Section B-4)
Remember: Recent chapter minutes, showing current board officers, are needed to open a bank account (see Section B-6) or apply for an alcohol permit. (see Section E-15)
The most successful chapters meet regularly over dinner or breakfast. To economize, look for a free location at a member's home or office. Order or bring in an inexpensive meal. If your chapter coffers can afford to host the meal, that's a wonderful benefit for board members. If not, ask each board member to contribute toward the cost of the meal.
Reminder #2: While monthly meetings are optimal, chapters must hold at least four board meetings annually; at least half of all meetings should be in person. When meetings are held by conference call, chapters may reserve a conference line via email with the Alumni Relations Office.
In addition to formalizing the governance of the chapter through bylaws (see Section B-5) and a mission statement, (see Section B-3) establish board norms. Here are some examples from B-HAN NYC:
There are many different ways to structure a chapter board. Here are the two most popular models. (view Chapter Board Structure below)
Here is a list of important roles (view Chapter Board Roles below) your chapter may want to have represented on its leadership team.
Arguably, the most important role of a chapter is that of president. A chapter president or co-president leads the chapter and its board meetings. These alumni leaders also typically:
Many chapters are now led by two or more co-presidents. This assures that, when other responsibilities become pressing, the chapter and board remains vibrant.
Another important board role is that of the treasurer. The primary duties of the treasurer are to:
The Treasurer's Report
Most chapters use Excel or QuickBooks to track revenue and expenses, and to prepare their annual budgets. The reporting format may be a hybrid of a balance sheet and income statement. The treasurer may also include a running check register or design a system to compare actual results to what was budgeted.
While your "organization" is small and budgetary surprises, few, it is helpful to the entire board to understand the chapter's financial health. With input from the board, the treasurer determines an accounting system that is easy to use, read, and maintain. Here are some sample Treasurers' Reports, courtesy of the LA and Silicon Valley chapters. (view finance docs below)
It is recommended that, prior to each major board meeting, the Treasurer's Report be shared with all board members so that they may review the report. At the board meeting, the treasurer provides a summary, in writing or orally.
The treasurer often works closely with the event champion to assure timely payment of vendors and to plan for easily-overlooked expenses, such as speaker gifts, a/v rental, or parking.
Whether you use Google, Yahoo, Box, Dropbox, or other cloud-based services, your chapter will need an easily-accessible repository for meeting minutes, spreadsheets, the treasurer's reports, bylaws, even photos.
Great leaders assure that, after a few years as president, new blood and a fresh perspective are brought in. This prevents burn-out and the stagnation of ideas. While many events become anticipated "traditions," some change is necessary to keep the event vibrant and the chapter, innovating and interesting to current and new members of the board. Nonetheless, focus on developing programs and event "traditions" that are sustainable through leadership transitions.
Hold elections before the end of every fiscal year, in May or June. Two- or three-year terms for key officers are typical. The terms and titles of elected officers should be included in your chapter's bylaws.
Have a plan for transition. While an alum may be president for many years, this should be the result of scheduled board elections while new leadership is recruited and trained. Outgoing leaders should mentor others. Consider selecting a president-elect, who can prepare to become president or a co-president.
Most importantly, recruit alumni for all key roles before the position is vacated! Do not "retire" before identifying and training your replacement.
Who's an alumnus/a? Anyone who graduated from one of Haas' six degree programs is an alumnus or alumna. (view Terminology below)
Many chapter boards also welcome Cal alumni who minored in economics or accounting, CEE alumni, visiting scholars and former exchange students at the Haas School. Berkeley is known for its inclusiveness and, particularly to build your chapter board, you may want to cast a wider net.
Most current version of the KEEN one-pager (view below).
Institute for Business Innovation (IBI)
Clausen Center for International Business and Policy
Blum Center for Developing Economies
Center for Law & Technology
Berkeley Program on Housing & Urban Policy UC Energy Institute
Institute for Research on Labor & Employment (IRLE)
UC Energy Institute
View a rendering of the new North Academic Building (view North Building images below) and get updates on the new O'Donnell Courtyard.
Use LinkedIn to search for alumni. There are two ways to access the info on LinkedIn:
See Section A-2
See Section E-20
See Section B-11
See Section D - Step Two
The AlumniJobs Newsletter is better than ever! Emailed weekly to nearly 5,000 alumni, the e-newsletter contains over 60 new job postings in each issue. AJN postings are highly curated, based on alumni interest and feedback. Many of these jobs are also listed within Haas' exclusive, industry-specific LinkedIn community and relevant industry and regional subgroups.
In collaboration with the MBA Career Management team, the Alumni Relations office also offers webinars which are open to all Haas alumni. For more information, visit: haas.berkeley.edu/alumni/career or email: email@example.com
Welcoming new students to Haas has been an important job for alumni chapters. However, in recent years, state privacy laws, called FERPA, now prohibit the sharing of student contact information. This makes inviting students to chapter welcome parties difficult, if not impossible.
Given the unique needs of different degree program offices, a new system for planning and organizing welcome parties has been developed: