How to Start a Gator Club®

Thank you for your interest in starting a University of Florida Alumni Association alumni club (aka Gator Club®). The mission of the University of Florida Alumni Association is to foster and enhance the relationship between the University of Florida, its alumni and friends, and to support the University's mission of teaching, research and service. Our Gator Clubs exist to support the mission of both the Alumni Association and the University of Florida, by strengthening the connection between alumni and friends, their communities and the relationship to the University.

There are several criteria that must be met in order to become a chartered club. Upon meeting all of these requirements, a UFAA staff representative will work closely with those interested in starting the club and oversee the chartering process.

Objective:

To continue to support the UFAA mission and add clubs in areas with an established alumni base and leadership commitment while maintaining adequate staff/service support.

The criteria for expansion includes:
  • For in-state clubs, a minimum of 200 alumni in a particular area, with 25 percent of that number already being active dues paying members
  • For out-of-state clubs, a minimum of 50 alumni and friends that are dues paying members
  • A distance of 50 miles between out-of-state Gator Clubs®
  • A minimum of 5 key leaders (President, President-Elect, Treasurer, Secretary, Web/Communications) to form a board of directors
  • 100% Alumni Association membership among officers
Steps to Starting a Club:

First, check the list of alumni clubs ( Find a Gator Club® ) to be sure there is no Gator Club® in your area. If a club does not exist, contact the Alumni Association to determine if there are the minimum number of alumni and dues paying members in your area. This report may take up to 10 business days to obtain.

Second, join the Alumni Association. You (and all future officers) must be a member to organize a club. If your area meets the required numbers of alumni and members, UFAA can send an email to alumni, parents and friends in the area to gauge interest in starting a club. Recipients will receive an email with information about club interest and an online survey. A good practice at this point is the creation of a Facebook page or other social media presence to notify Gators in your area of the interest in a club. If the UFAA receives sufficient responses to the survey, they can initiate an organizational meeting.

Third, Schedule an organizational meeting with UFAA to inform and assist you in your development plan for chartering a club. The meeting will take place with an RVP, UFAA/Club representative, or the Director of Broaden Gator Engagement either in person, webinar, or via conference call and explain: how you can build the Gator Nation in your area, what you currently know of the alumni in your area, how you will support the mission of UFAA and UF, and the activities you can plan for the club and how you will attract volunteers.

Fourth, With the assistance of the interested volunteers, UFAA will develop a proposal to charter the club in your area. The proposal must be passed by the UFAA Board of Directors.

Fifth, Once approved and chartered by the Board of Directors, the UFAA will prepare a solicitation letter/email for alumni and friends in your area explaining that a club is in the startup phase, and include directions on how to become a member, and applications for all of the board positions.

Reminder:
  • All members of the association are automatically members in their local gator club.
  • No local dues are collected.
  • Membership is open to anyone, including non-alumni.
Additional Guidelines for Forming Affiliate Groups
If you are interested in forming an Affiliate Group, the affiliate organization must first:
  • Be deemed of value in advancing the mission and goals of the alumni association and the University of Florida. You must provide a written proposal explaining the group’s primary purpose in accomplishing this.
  • Be able to bring a unique contribution to the advancement of the association and university that is not already included in an existing club or group.
  • Be able and qualified to reach the population they seek to engage in university advancement.
  • Be able to bring together alumni and friends in such substantial numbers that its organization and networks reconnects significant numbers of alumni contacts to the association and university.

* The requirements and criteria are in place to reach maximum potential and sustainability while receiving the adequate support of the alumni association.