How to Start an Affiliate
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Another way to increase publicity and the visibility of the club is to use word of mouth. This means if you see someone in the gym hitting a WOD, approach them and float the idea of a club and point them to the Facebook group as well as asking him to suggest friends that he knows that partake in CrossFit to that page. Also, the next time someone stares at you because you are wearing your Vibram FiveFingers or because you are flying through kipping pull ups, don’t just turn the other way, approach them and introduce them to CrossFit and invite them to work out with you one day. What this step will do is create a network of CrossFitters on campus creating a supporting base, help you find other people who can help with the founding of the club and it gives you a base of participants for when the club gets up and running.
Working with CrossFit HQ: CrossFit has been generous enough to allow for schools, non-profits, and other organizations to form Not-for-Profit Club Affiliate at no charge at all. However, CrossFit HQ requires that these club affiliates still: 1) Have a Level 1 certified trainer head up the affiliate 2) Procure insurance 3) Create a website that advertises the CrossFit Journal. These are the three hoops you have to jump in order to get the green light on your club affiliate from CrossFit.
The Level 1 Certification is the first issue you should tackle. If you or someone on your leadership team has already become certified, you can just skip to the next step. If you are not certified there are a few ways to get the certification. One of the ways is to if you have the $1000 just pay for it, but if you don’t have a thousand dollars like most other college students there are still a few things you can do. You can go to your university and try to get them to cover the cost of it as a club expense. Another option, the option that CrossFit UNC took was that we contacted an affiliate that was hosting a cert and they were able to put is in contact with people that could help. So again, like was previously stated you will have to be social and try to make contacts with people and work through them to achieve your goal
Once you have someone with a certification you can proceed to contact CrossFit affiliate services (on CrossFit.com). When you approach CrossFit tell them you will be a not for profit affiliate and they will lead you from the there. You will have to apply to the CrossFit Affiliate group by writing an essay about your intentions. They will help with the paperwork but there is still one more task that needs to get dealt with, the issue of acquiring insurance. As a not for profit affiliate, the minimum type of insurance you are required to hold is personal trainer insurance. A company that we suggest is Sadler Sports Insurance Company out of Columbia S.C. which we found to be the best deal out there. Make sure that the company provides the amount of coverage required by CrossFit and will add CrossFit as an additional insured (refer to the contract you received from CrossFit HQ after writing the application essay).
Lastly, you will have to create a website in order to be welcomed to the ring of official CrossFit Affiliates. The easiest way to do this is to just set up a blogspot (http://www.blogspot.com) or use your university’s server (the IT department at your school can help you out). Make sure to place an ad for the CrossFit Journal somewhere on the page (CrossFit HQ will provide the code).Once you have finished with this step, you will notify CrossFit HQ of your progress. Then they will make sure that everything is in line, and if it is, you will be added to the Not-for-Profit Club Affiliates section on CrossFit.com. Congratulations, you have created your own affiliate.
Organizing with the University: In order to access university funding and publicize on campus, you will probably have to become an official university organization. If you can make your affiliate an official club this will also open avenues to finding a place to conduct the group WOD’s. Your respective university will do this differently, so we would suggest that you go to your student union and ask what is the appropriate manner to create the club as soon as possible.
If you are asked for a faculty sponsor, the easiest way to find one is to use a contact that you may have at the university, this is where the social networking is key. For CrossFit UNC there was a connection to the Dean of the Kenan-Flagler Business School, so we were golden. Although there is no need to have a Dean as an advisor, it is advisable to have someone with some amount of clout in order to bring legitimacy to the club and theoretically to have someone who can help out in case it is necessary.
When you become an official school club you will need to find a place to work out, this is possibly the hardest issue to deal with in regards to the relationship with the school. Again the way to handle this is to brainstorm ideas, maybe an indoor track, an exercise room in the gym, or even a racquetball court; the reason for the need of a personal space is that it will be a place to house equipment and a place that you can build into your own “garage gym.” In order to secure a spot, use as much leverage as you can, show them your Facebook group, show them tangible proof of the clubs structure, tell them about the interest that your club has garnered and tell them about why it is in the school’s best interest to help you. Other tips on how to impress the school and get you a space on campus is to be prepared, be professional when you have your meeting, create a 5 Year Plan (CrossFit UNC’s is on the website if you would like to view a potential model), create a leadership team and if you can find someone who is already certified through CrossFit get him on board. It would also be wise to try and garner support from your ROTC department, so that they can be advocates for you through the whole process.
We hope that this is helpful to you in your endeavors in affiliating but if you need further help please feel free to contact the CrossFit UNC team.
Documents to Help You Start an Affiliate
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Facebook Group: This is probably the first thing you should create in your steps to becoming an Affiliate.
Vision and Growth Strategy: This is the document we submitted at UNC-CH to lobby for permission to become an officially recognized student organization.
University Mission Statement: An official University document that states our guiding vision and goals.
CrossFit HQ Application: This is the Essay we sent in to CrossFit HQ to gain affiliation.
Request for Facility Document: This is the letter we sent to the head of facilities at UNC, who pointed us to the director of the Eddie Smith Field House.
Request for Facility Document (2): This is the letter we sent to the director of the Eddie Smith Field House, which ultimately got us a home on campus.
Trainer's Instructions: A document that is disseminated to all Assistant Trainers in order to help them quickly acclimate to our training routine.
Website Instructions: A document that is disseminated to all Assistant Trainers in order to help them understand how to update the website.
Photo Uploading Instructions: A document that is disseminated to all Assistant Trainers in order to help them understand how to shoot and upload photos.
CrossFit UNC-CH Consent Form: A waiver that we require all new participants to sign. This waiver is as close to legally binding as you can get.
CrossFit UNC Survey: This was a survey we gave to all our members, so that we could gather feedback for improvements next semester.
Pledge of Support: We used this document to garner support from other sports team/clubs on campus, so that we could more effectively lobby for funds as a club.
Flyers: We use flyers to garner interest for the Affiliate.