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Leadership Teams and Succession Planning

Leadership Teams and Succession Planning

Chapter Leaders oversee and manage all of their Chapter’s activities and receive support from Chapter Advisors and/or advisory boards, Net Impact Central, and their school (for Student Chapters). Dedicated leadership is integral to the success of Net Impact Chapter events and programming. Below are practices for leadership succession planning:

Want to ensure your Chapter is here for the long run? We want to provide the support and resources to help your Chapter be as effective and successful as possible! The most important element to creating a sustainable Chapter is to have an ongoing leadership plan. Here are our best practices (and remember to tell Net Impact Central about anyone new to the leadership team):

1. Recruit for the right roles – The number of Chapter Leaders at each Chapter across our community varies, but the number of leaders isn’t as important as the different roles the Chapter Leaders will take on. Every Chapter needs to have at least one President and one Vice-President. To help with succession planning, each Chapter should recruit a Vice-President who will succeed the President.

For student Chapters, the Vice-Presidents should ideally not be in the final year of their school program. For undergraduate Chapters, underclassmen are great VP candidates. If your program is one-year-long or its structure only allows for a leadership team to have one class of students, it is especially important to identify potential future leaders early on. For all Chapters, especially those where an entire leadership team will transition, it is important to pass on essential documents and processes, like budgets, planning documents, and school and Net Impact Central requirements. This will help ensure new Chapter Leaders get up to speed as quickly as possible

After the President and VP roles are filled, feel free to create additional leadership roles to get more Members involved. Student Chapters are required to have a faculty or administrative Advisor. It’s important to have regular monthly check-ins with your Advisor(s) so you can share information and continue building a strong relationship.

2. Set clear expectations – So you have a team, but what’s next? Set clear expectations by providing each leader with a job description like the ones below. The core leadership team should meet annually to discuss Chapter goals and develop an annual plan (here are word and powerpoint versions). Be sure to check the website for current Net Impact Central Programs and send out a survey to your Members to develop a strong portfolio. (Here’s a link with recommended survey questions.)

Leadership Roles

You should design a leadership team that works best for your Chapter. Below are some suggested roles and responsibilities to consider:

Role Responsibilities
  • Oversees leadership team 
  • Lead development of Chapter’s growth strategies, vision, goals, and programming
  • Serve as liaison between Net Impact Central and Chapter
  • Work with Members to ensure their needs are being met
  • Recruit new Members and organizes recruitment outreach and events
  • Survey Members and monitors membership data for trends in growth, retention, and interests
  • Ensure that all members have registered in the right place and information is kept up to date
Marketing & Communications
  • Responsible for the Chapter’s online presence
  • Manage  marketing materials for Chapter events, etc
  • Work with Net Impact Central to encourage Members to attend the Net Impact Conference
  • Oversees participation in and execution of Net Impact Central Supported Programs
  • Plan and execute other chapter programming
  • Responsible for creating and maintaining budget, including bank accounts and reimbursements
  • Research school-based, partnership, and corporate funding opportunities
Career Development
  • Explore professional development resources and opportunities for Members
  • Liaise with career center and other career-related organizations


Chapters should also consider adding an equity lead or diversity ambassador to your leadership team to ensure that your programming and culture is as diverse and inclusive as possible.