Start a chapter
A new chapter or subchapter is a welcome addition to the JETAA community. Find out how to start up new chapters and subchapters.
Some regions have local laws on the formation of organisations that have links to foreign countries. Make sure you can create a chapter without breaking laws.
There are rules on official recognition (and removal) of chapters as part of JETAA-I. That said, chapters are free to decide their by-laws and structure that suits their own unique environment.
You can always contact us for guidance.
Requirements for setup
Setting up a chapter
There are two key points for chapter setup:
official recognition needs JETAA-I approval
official funding by CLAIR needs proof of viability.
Apart from these points, there are no strict requirements on how a chapter should be structured. But a new chapter is encouraged to provide evidence of its sustainability and viability (e.g. events), with a strong passionate leadership committee, supported by an existing alumni community.
All chapters share some common features:
a committee which has at a minimum:
Chair or President
Secretary and/or Vice President
a membership list (for example, a newsletter email list)
has Annual General Meetings (AGMs) to hold elections for the committee
hold regular monthly meetings
run events that help promote mutual understanding and cultural exchanges between their local community and Japan
support and promote the JET Programme.
Setting up a subchapter
A subchapter is a smaller division of a chapter. Reasons for forming a subchapter could be:
to service a geographical location outside of the parent chapter’s main area of operation
the alumni community is small and will run a limited number of events or activities
What defines a subchapter should be discussed between the parent chapter and representatives of the intended subchapter. Some examples of subchapter guidelines are:
a minimum committee of 2 officers - President/Chair and Secretary/Vice Chair
an agreed minimum of organized activity per year to be held by a specified date
a registration list of names (for an agreed minimum number of alumni in the area)
declared general geographical boundary or region of operation
a governing document (e.g. bylaws) that has at a minimum, the mission statement
If the parent chapter agrees to the formation of a subchapter, they should inform CLAIR (for funding) and JETAA-I (for formal recognition and help with promotion) of their decision. It is also not a bad idea to document the guidelines agreed upon, for future reference and clarity.
Subchapters have no obligation to become a full chapter, even if they technically fulfill the minimum requirements for chapter formation.
Benefits of official recognition
A group of alumni can form a social club based on their shared JET experiences without recognition from JETAA-I. However, official recognition means access to the international network, support by JETAA-I and CLAIR, as well as financial support.
If you want to be an official chapter, get in contact with us.
Depending on circumstances, chapter funding may come from a combination of Japanese government and other own-source revenues. New potential chapters should ask their local CLAIR contacts on this subject.
Subchapters are funded from their parent chapter's budget.
Chapter activities are supported through yearly budget grants called Grant-in-Aid (GiA), authorised and managed by CLAIR. What is required for this will depend on the CLAIR branch that has jurisdiction over the new chapter’s territory. For example, the following documentation or information may be needed:
committee member details
list of members other than the committee
Consulate or embassy grants
Chapters may also apply for funding from their local Japanese consulate or embassy. The application process (schedule, requirements, documentation, etc.) are different from CLAIR GiA funding, and chapters should consult with their diplomatic outpost on how to go about requesting support.
Chapters can also do fundraising activities. This is encouraged by CLAIR, and does not negatively affect consideration for Japanese government funding. However, there may be legal or tax obligations, depending on country or area.
Non-profit or other legal status
Some chapters make use of local laws to become a legally recognised non-profit organisation. For example, JETAANY in the US is a federally-recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations.
This can have tax and legal benefits and protection. However, this can also mean more work, expense and legal restrictions.