September, 2010
ASHI Community
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Chapter basics: A Checklist from the Chapter Relations Committee


by Tim Buell, ACI and Ohio Chapter president

"Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire."    – Reggie Leach

Chapter Relations Committee members are committed to helping chapters succeed. We developed the following checklist to help chapters review the basics necessary to provide a platform on which to grow.

Does your chapter have a set of bylaws?

This document governs how a chapter operates and defines membership, board of directors, officers, committees, voting, financial obligations and so forth. If you do not have bylaws, contact Russell Daniels at headquarters for help and remember: They must be approved by ASHI.

Is your chapter registered as a non-profit organization?

Most states require organizations like ours to be registered. If you are not sure of this requirement, contact your secretary of state or a local attorney. The fee is nominal and registration can be as simple as filing a form, which should be available on the appropriate state website.

Does your chapter have liability insurance?

ASHI covers all chapters under its umbrella for B&O (Board and Officer) insurance, which is similar to E&O. However, you may need commercial, general liability insurance in case, for example, someone is hurt at a chapter function. Contact a local insurance agent for details.

Do you have an employer federal ID?

Like some states, the federal government requires non-profit organizations to have an employer identification number (EIN), which also is known as an IRS taxpayer ID. You can request an EIN online at or have a local accountant or CPA do it for you.

Has your chapter filed annually the IRS 990-EZ form?

This is the "Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax" form that is required by the IRS for non-profit organizations like ours. I'm sure this will be a surprise to some of you, but depending upon how you are organized, this may be required. Contact a local accountant or CPA for more information.
To make your accounting simple and easy, you may want to purchase a software package like QuickBooks or Quicken. This helps manage your finances while making it easy to provide financial reports to your board, officers and accountant for tax filing.

As a member of the Chapter Relations Committee, I will be contributing tips for chapter leaders in the regular e-mail from HQ to chapter presidents. I encourage you to share ideas with and ask questions of the committee. Send them to

Arizona Scores Again

The booth space was free and there were more than 1,000 Expo attendees —another great opportunity for the Arizona chapter to put the ASHI name and reputation in front of Scottsdale's realty professionals.

Photo: Arizona ASHI's booth

Photo:  Dave Stanneart, Arizona Chapter public relations committee chair.

Submitted by Bruce LaBell, Royal Home Inspectors, LLC.