An Open Letter to Start A Chapter
Thank you for contacting us and we are glad in your interest to start a local chapter in your area.
Local chapters are the most important chapters within the movement. Local chapters are where individuals can connect and take action within their own community to spread the word and reach out in a real physical sense and not just interact online.
A sense of community is what we are looking to create within our local community driven chapters.
So the main goal of a local city chapter is to be a community outreach. To be a “community presence”.
Very simply.... find a way to engage the local market.
This involves street action at some level.
Setting up, at a minimum once a month within the community, is a best way to insure hat you are reaching new people that have not heard of the Zeitgeist Movement.
What we DON’T want to to........
Hold regular chapter meetings to the same people otherwise known as "members".
Because all these people will ever ask is, “what do we do now?”
There is only so much conversation that can be had before it gets repetitive and redundant. This constant “chapter meeting” focus will inevitably lead to attendance decline.
Also DON’T hold “closed meetings.
Because the same people will always show up and because the conversation gets repetitive and redundant, they as well, will eventually stop showing up to these closed meetings.
Also, closed meetings, meetings held within a home, boardroom, classroom or similar location, are not seen by the public at large, so you are not being a community presence.
The biggest problem with “closed meetings” is that to generate attendance you must advertise or promote to drive people to your “event”. This typically will bring your “in” crowd but not a “new” crowd. And again, this “in” crowd at this type of closed meeting will always ask....”so what do we do now?”
To avoid the trap of holding “closed” meetings that only bring out your already “in” group, and most importantly, to physically and visibly “show” what you as a chapter are doing..... hold your minimum once-a-month event in an open community structure. That is, to set up in a location within your city/town and “reach out” to new people.
Types of events??
Hand out flyers on the street. Only takes a single person but two people are more fun.
Simply, design a nice flyer that gives links to the movies and has a few sentences about the current state of the economy and hand them out to people on the street. Try to generate a bit of chit-chat and let people know that you are not asking for money but giving links to “FREE” movies that are extremely powerful and an insightful look at today’s global system. If available where you live simply use NETFLIX by saying on your flyer "available on NETFLIX".
This type of street action is a small and effective approach that if combined with hundreds of city chapters globally once a month would be a huge and powerful force of direct street awareness.
Another option is to set up once a month at a community fair, flee market, busy street corner or any other type of heavy traffic location and set up a small table and have some printed material and a few banners and street boards and the busy street traffic walking by will gladly, willingly and curiously stop by to talk to YOU.
This is the complete opposite of a “closed meeting”. This is the ultimate “open” meeting. With a constant flow of foot traffic and new people stopping by to talk to you, you are showing what your chapter can do. What “action” your chapter is taking.
Also research your area and sign up to join major events happening in your area throughout the year. These large community events or festivals are a huge public draw and are an extremely fun way to reach a constant new stream of people to the ideas of the movement.
As part of the local Vancouver chapter we take advantage of every large festival around our city. Here is a sample of festivals we do and the type of community events to join with your chapter:
These types of events draw huge crowds, are fun and most importantly reach out to a whole new constant stream of people that will be interested in hearing your message and learning more about the Zeitgeist Movement. Often free or very cheap to set up, these events can be easily found with a simple Google search of your area.
THE BEST PART.....
It only takes two or three people to be a powerhouse chapter. These events take two or three dedicated individuals to set up and execute. DON’T focus on building “membership” and dragging “membership” out to “meetings”. DON’T do that. Just set up or participate at these events or street action and along with a dedicated individual or two you can be the strong community chapter that is showing the ACTION and not just the talk.
If there is no chapter currently in your town or city and you are prepared to TAKE ACTION and become a community presence then we welcome you to create a CHAPTER FACEBOOK PAGE and submit it to us to place on the CANADIAN CHAPTER LOCATIONS page. Facebook is the best, first and quickest way to have an online presence to notify others of your street actions, community events and chapter updates etc. Eventually you will want a dedicated website, but that will come in time and Facebook will always remain a vital hub of activity for quick updates and notices etc.
We are looking for chapters that are able to engage the public at least once a month MINIMUM on some level. If you are looking to just set up an online presence to talk about Zeitgeist or the economy or similar issues then it is best to join any other of the hundreds of sites, blogs, pages where such conversations and debates are taking place.
An official Canadian chapter must engage the public at least once per month. It must be hands on and it must be driven to become a strong community presence. That is why we are establishing community chapters and not just more online sites of dialogue. You will find that as you become more efficient and outgoing as a chapter that you will want to hold more than one public “open” meeting a month.
Each chapter must forward at least one community event a month and send a monthly update to us to remain an official active community chapter. You must also make the Canada chapter an “admin” of your Facebook page so that we can maintain it if it becomes abandoned. If it becomes abandoned and we have no access to the chapter page, then we cannot pass it on to new individuals that would like to maintain the chapter page at a later date. This has happened many times in the past.
Being dedicated to running a local city chapter requires a strong level of work and determination. You must be willing to be a constant and regular visual presence within your local community. You must find inspiration and motivation from within your chapter and the "core" team that makes up your chapter. This is where your perseverance will come from. Don't wait for people to tell you what to do. Don't LOOK for people to tell you what to do. Just go out and DO it. By DOING it (the public awareness) you will meet a constant stream of new people that will connect with your message and that, in the end, is what we are all trying to do. Take pictures of your public campaigns and post everywhere available so that ALL chapters can see your street action and in turn these other chapters will also be motivated to get out and DO IT!!
Again, we thank you for your desire to start a local city chapter. If you feel that you would like to move ahead then please create your chapter Facebook page and please send to me to place on the Canadian Chapters website.
Please let me know if you have ANY questions.
If you decide to move ahead and start a local chapter then we welcome you to our team and are available to assist in any way!
Please also review the articles and information on the Canada Website.