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Guidelines for Establishing an Affiliate

Guidelines for Establishing an Affiliate

Members of the local group interested in forming an Affiliate should meet with other persons who have expressed interest in infant mental health and agree to organize as a group dedicated to the purposes of WAIMH as detailed in the WAIMH Bylaws. At the first meeting a temporary chairperson and secretary should be elected. Immediately thereafter, a resolution to form, as a group should be adopted. The resolution could be stated in this way:

"I propose definite action and offer this resolution as follows: Resolved, that it is the sense of this meeting that a society for infant mental health shall now be formed."

This resolution, once seconded is then open to debate and amendment. It does not form the organization; it opens the door for its formation. If people agree that an organization should be formed, then a motion is made that a committee draft bylaws for the organization. Once this is seconded and approved, the temporary chairperson appoints committee members. A motion is made to set the date, hour, and place of the next meeting at which the report of the Bylaws Committee shall be presented. If another motion is made authorizing the Bylaws Committee to provide reproduced copies of the completed draft for distribution to all who attend the next meeting. It is appropriate to conclude the first organizational meeting with a program pertinent to infant mental health.

At the meeting of the Bylaws Committee it is well for the committee to study the bylaws of WAIMH. It is important to note that in order to give your organization the greatest freedom to act within its own purpose, the bylaws should be no more restrictive nor more detailed in specification than necessary. Since your group, as an Affiliate of WAIMH, will be subject to the parent organization, your bylaws must be consistent with those of WAIMH on certain points; namely, purposes, membership, requirements, and dues.

At the second organizational meeting, the Bylaws Committee is asked to present their work by the temporary chairperson. Each article is read, discussed, and voted upon by the members present. At the conclusion of the meeting, the bylaws should be adopted and the organization can be considered well on its way to affiliate status. At this time, election of officers and the Board of Directors can take place following the rules laid down in the bylaws. All members present should sign the membership roll becoming "Charter Members" of the new organization. It is essential that written minutes of the meeting be kept in order to document Affiliate formation legally.

A copy of the new bylaws, a membership list including the names of the officers, the board of directors, and charter members, and application fees and dues should be sent to the Executive Director of WAIMH. Applications for Affiliate status are presented to the WAIMH Executive Committee upon recommendation of the Affiliate Council chair, Affiliate Representative and Executive Director.

Checklist For Establishing Affiliate Status

  • Announce the meeting of your Affiliate.
  • Hold an initial meeting electing a temporary chairperson and secretary. Appoint a Bylaws Committee.
  • The Bylaws Committee meets and prepares the bylaws (which must be consistent with WAIMH Bylaws).
  • The second meeting is held and the Bylaws are accepted. Election of officers and of the Board of Directors takes place. Members are asked to sign the membership roll.
  • Submit all legal documents to the appropriate government agency for approval as a non-profit corporation (Or whatever is required by the appropriate governmental agency to establish the legal status of your organization.)
  • Prepare and send the following documents to the WAIMH Executive Director (use e-mail office(at)
    • Copy of the Bylaws
    • Copy of the WAIMH membership (names and complete addresses) (Article XV, section2: "at least 10 members of WAIMH")
    • Names of officers and members of the Board of Directors
    • Telephone numbers, FAX, etc. for President and Treasurer of the Affiliate
    • A nonrefundable application fee $100.00 U.S. (checks drawn on U.S. banks only)

Since much of the Executive Committee work is performed via email, applications will be reviewed and acted upon in a timely fashion, and applicants will be notified promptly. Upon receipt of written notification, your organization may include the following statement in all of its official publications and documents, "An Affiliate of the World Association for Infant Mental Health," and is required to display the WAIMH logo on its official documents. Remember an Affiliate is required to maintain a minimum of 10 WAIMH members in order to retain its Affiliate status.

Guidelines For The Financial Management Of Affiliates

Each Affiliate organization will have unique programmatic needs depending on the wishes of the local membership. Before a dues structure is determined, the basic objectives of the association should be considered. The dues should provide sufficient revenue to meet those basic needs and objectives of the association.

When planning what dues should be charged to the members of the Affiliate status, it is important to ask for sufficient funds in local dues to accomplish the objectives while providing for maximum membership possibilities. For example, local dues of $25.00 (U.S.) per year may prevent many individuals from joining the Affiliate. On the other hand, local dues of $5.00 (U.S.) may prevent the Affiliate from thriving, thereby preventing potential members from joining.

Establish a fixed date for collection of dues. WAIMH bills for its dues and journal subscriptions in October for the coming year. It is recommended that the local dues also be received in October in order for the treasurer to budget funds appropriately. Members should be granted a grace period for payment of dues, but after a specific time period should be dropped from the membership roll if dues are not paid.

Financial Responsibility for Affiliates

For the purposes of financial responsibility, each Affiliate of WAIMH shall be considered an independent association - each association shall be responsible for its own expenses and financial obligations. Additionally, all income of any one association shall remain the property of that association. Thus, WAIMH is a federation of independent associations, held together by mutual goals and objectives, a newsletter, a journal, regional conferences, and a world congress. This organizational structure provides for a cohesive central organization with maximum freedom and individuality for Affiliates located throughout the world.


All recognized Affiliates of WAIMH must use the logo of WAIMH on their newsletters, stationery, announcements, publicity releases, membership cards, and other items as appropriate.

Guidelines for Regional Meetings

One way to attract members to your Affiliate is to host a Regional Meeting on Infant Mental Health. The WAIMH Executive Committee adopted the following guidelines for regional meetings in 1992.

Guidelines for Proposals for Regional Meetings

The purpose of Regional Meetings for WAIMH, in general, is different from that of World Congresses. In most cases, they are intended to stimulate interest in infant mental health concerns in that region of the world and to help the local group bring together interested individuals. Any earned monies beyond expenses from the Regional Meetings is shared with WAIMH with 50% going to the local group and 50% going to WAIMH. (It is possible that in some parts of the world, a larger Regional Meeting might be a more appropriate format than a World Congress. These special arrangements will be made in consultation with the Affiliate Council Chair, Affiliate Representative and Executive Director. A letter of intent to have a Regional Meeting should be submitted to the Executive Director.

Note: Regional Meetings and World Congresses are co-sponsored activities with WAIMH and must have approval of the WAIMH Executive Committee before they are official events. Affiliates may have meetings for their membership at any time; such meetings are not co-sponsored by WAIMH unless explicitly approved by the Executive Committee.

For information about World Congresses, please consult the WAIMH Executive Director.

Legal Issues (United States affiliates only)

Each state (or regional) Affiliate may form its own association structure consistent with WAIMH bylaws. The legal structure should be as a non-profit corporation. In each state you should be able to obtain forms from the Secretary of State, Department of Commerce, or Attorney General's office. The corporate structure allows for the creation of a board of directors and election of officers and provides limited liability for officers and board members.

In the United States, tax-exempt status requires application to the Internal Revenue Service for 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) non-profit, tax-exempt status. Write to the district director of the IRS in your area and request the following documents:

  • Application for Recognition of Exemption, Form 1023 Instructions.
  • Publication 557: How to Apply for and Retain Exempt Status for Your Organization.
  • Application for Employer Identification Number, Form SS-4.