Starting an ATV club can be fun and challenging. The challenging part is how and what steps do we take to organize our group into a club. Most importantly, why do you want to form a club? All of these elements are important when making that first step.
Thanks to the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council, Inc. (NOHVCC), resource materials are available which provide important information for starting up your new club. Ask for the “Club Start-up Kit”. These materials are a must. You can request them through their website or by calling 1-800-348-6487. Or, click here.
To compliment this material, it is ATVAM’s goal to provide you with the necessary steps to ensure a successful club startup.
1. Identify your clubs purpose for organizing. Is it to ride? Develop new trails? Protect your right to recreate? Share your interests with others? This is very important is it will be your key focus to motivate and recruit members.
2. Contact your State Association. ATVAM has a strong network of individuals and resources at their fingertips. They will also be able to provide you valuable information on ATV opportunities in your area. ATVAM has a vested interest in your success, as it is the local clubs that provides the foundation for a successful state association.
3. Establish a location, date and time for your first meeting.
4. Promote and advertise your meeting. A Press release to your local newspaper provides free advertising. A sample press release is included in the NOHVCC “Club Start-up Kit”. Placing posters in local establishments and dealerships also provides free advertising. The secret to a successful poster is to provide rip off phone numbers for the individual to call. ATVAM has ATV Club posters available to you at no cost. Email ATVAMoffice@atvam.org for your Club Start Up Kit. As part of this kit, ATVAM will mail a postcard to individuals owning an ATV in your local area at no cost.
5. Hold you first meeting. Included in the “Club Start-up Kit”, NOHVCC has recommended establishing three action teams. These teams should be the clubs priority initially as these groups establish the foundation for your club.
Publicity Team – selects a name for your club and publicizes its meetings and events.
Membership Team – establish dues structure, recruitment and affiliations.
Policy Team – draft bylaws, refine mission and goals for your club. Depending on the focus of your club and the number in attendance, we recommend two optional focus groups. They include a Trail Team and Activities Team. They can be formed at the first meeting or added after the initial phase.
Trail Team – identifies and establishes trail opportunities for the club to work on.
Activity Team – organizes riding and social activities for the club.
6. Next steps. In the meetings following, your club will identify leadership and vote for officers. Encourage shared leadership and coach your volunteers. During this phase, there is two very important items you need to complete. They are establishing your Non-Profit Status and filing for a Employer Identification Number. Both are necessary.