Establish a Chapter

Are people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families in your community underserved or dissatisfied with supports and services available? Feeling they don’t have a voice or aren’t included in decisions made about them?

Are you an established, nonprofit organization interested in connecting with a nationwide network?

Are you someone that has a vision of creating a supportive environment where people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities can enjoy fulfilling lives in their communities?

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions but aren’t quite sure where to begin, The Arc is interested in your ideas and exploring the option of establishing a chapter of The Arc in your community.

What a Chapter of The Arc Brings to a Community

Chapters of The Arc are autonomous, private nonprofit organizations with their own board of directors, policies, and procedures that provide support and/or services to people with I/DD and their families. The Arc’s nationwide network includes hundreds of state and local chapters. Becoming part of The Arc’s network provides chapters with resources on:

  • Public policy and legal advocacy, grassroots mobilization, and individual advocacy
  • Cultural diversity
  • Best practices in self-advocacy, education, housing, employment, criminal justice support, future planning, family support, inclusive volunteering, technology, and more
  • Governance — including board development, succession planning, and more
  • Operations such as finance, human resources, development, marketing, and communications

Joining The Arc’s network supports you in what you do best — meeting the needs of people with I/DD and their families.

Chapter Benefits

Regardless of your location, budget, experience, supports, or services, there’s a place for you and/or your organization in The Arc’s family.

Enjoy a Strong National Identity

Use of The Arc’s trademarked name and logo identity. The Arc’s nearly 70-year history, mission, and values are recognized and respected by the I/DD community and beyond across the nation.

Influence Policy and Policy Makers

Chapters have a direct line to congressional members through our public policy team. Our federal policy work protects and enhances vital programs and services — working in partnership with local chapters to aggregate statistics, analysis, and personal stories that decision-makers need. Learn the most effective strategies to mobilize your self-advocates, families, and staff to share their stories and advocate on issues that affect them.

Attend Preeminent Events

State and National annual events to hone your knowledge, share your insight, and develop new relationships:

Oregon State Convention: Attend and/or present sessions and events for self-advocates, families, professionals, executives, and board members.

Disability Policy Seminar: Brush up on your federal policy knowledge and meet with your elected officials on Capitol Hill.

Summer Leadership Institute: Network with fellow disability sector leaders to identify problems, share replicable solutions, and develop relationships.

National Convention: Attend and/or present sessions and events for self-advocates, families, professionals, executives, and board members.

Receive Valuable Resources

Materials to help your organization succeed, including webinars, marketing, development, and public relations support. Access data, toolkits, and templates to enhance and streamline your work.

Gain the Inside Track on Funding

Opportunities to apply for grants and other funding opportunities.

Engage in Collaborative Fundraising

Free-of-charge national fundraising platforms like The Arc’s vehicle donation program, planned giving workgroup, and discounts on WealthEngine.

Obtain Benefits for Employees

Discounts on retirement plans that can save your organization thousands in operating costs.

Receive Discounts

Discounts on office supplies, postage, liability insurance, car rentals, and other items from over 40 vendors.

Acquire Organizational Support

Resources on best practices in nonprofit management and governance through collaboration with the Standards for Excellence Institute® — including the opportunity for accreditation.

Participate in the National Conference of Executives (NCE)

A strong network of experienced chapter executives offers personal and professional support and mentorship.

Explore Establishing a Chapter

You don’t have to go it alone. The Arc is here to help you harness the collective power of your dynamic community and strengthen your efforts to support individuals and their families!

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