Chapter FAQ

Chapter FAQ

What are the responsibilities of a Chapter Lead?

The growth of this movement depends on global leaders and communities to bring together Zebras building for a new economy and that’s why we’re so grateful to individuals like you who have stepped forward as Zebras Unite Chapter Lead. We’re so thrilled to have your support and to support you too.

The goal is to catalyze community, capital and culture for people building businesses that are better for the world in your local area.

As a Chapter Lead of the co-op, we ask you to:

  • Create a (ZU Mighty Networks) group for your chapter members to connect and engage with your Chapter
  • Connect with other Chapter Leads
  • Organise quarterly events on Zebra-aligned topics
  • Create four pieces of original content each year
  • Lean on the Dazzle District infrastructure and systems to maintain a chapter database
  • Maintain Chapter landing page
  • Share quarterly updates on chapter activities
  • Collect at least annually demographic and business information about your members using surveys and other templates provided by the Dazzle District

How are Chapter Leads compensated for their time?

Chapters join Zebras Unite Co-op as General Members. This grants you a share and vote in your share class.  All General Members benefit from annual dividend payouts on net profits. Chapters are also able to accumulate patronage in the form of Stripes based on various behaviours and activities. Stripes reward mutualistic behaviour that advances the success of our community, co-op and the broader ecosystem. We’ll be building the patronage schedule with you, in partnership.

How do we fund our events?

We encourage you to seek local sponsorship (with support from Dazzle District) to cover costs. Here is a draft of a sponsorship 2-sheet we can help you modify. We’d love to be looped in on sponsorship and partnerships. There may be prior relations that we can leverage differently.

Does ZU have veto rights over sponsors?

You are at liberty to select sponsors as long as they're aligned with our Code of Conduct. We may suggest alternative partnership structures if we’re already in conversation or are planning to build a relationship with said partner. Industries excluded from sponsorship: oil, tobacco, weapon industries.

Does the District offer financial assistance with speaker fees?

Yes, we can offer a discretionary stipend to help with speaker costs.

What is the cost of joining the co-op and starting a chapter?

The first-year cost of joining as a General Individual Member is $100 for the buy-in, $50 one-time fee and $120 in annual dues which equals $270. We are waiving annual dues in the Individual Member tier for individual Chapter Leads that have successfully completed the three-month trial period and remain in good standing which is $120 and this would be the ongoing membership dues at an Individual level. This grants you discounts/scholarships/free consultation on services (legal, accounting, alternative ownership), training programs, aligned incubators/accelerators, and software tools. It also includes access to ZU seed capital, capital partnerships (WeFunder, Indie.VC Scout referral), Future Economy Lab co-development, and participation in the development of new instruments.

Can I organise a Chapter with co-leads and team members?

Zebras Unite Co-op Member agreements are with Individuals or entities. If you’re a group of people or you wish to work with co-leads, you may decide to use an existing entity or set up a light formal structure as an Association. As a team, you can then decide on a policy that works for you and choose to distribute Chapter patronage evenly between team members. This was conceptualised thanks to the many Chapter Leads that have stepped forward to co-design this process!

As an Association, you can join the co-op as a Small Team or Small Business and benefit from one vote, one share and accumulate patronage.

How do volunteers (non-co-op members) support Chapter Leads?

Additional team members can support Chapter Leads by organising local activities. We’re conceiving a patronage system that enables any co-op member to be rewarded for valuable activities so we’d invite volunteers to become members and earn patronage for supporting Chapter Leads.

I own my own company. Can I start a chapter?

Absolutely! You can join the co-op as a Small Team, Small Business or Corporate Member and start a Chapter. We are happy to discuss waiving annual dues for your company. Please let us know your needs!

How often do we need to submit chapter reports?

Quarterly. Once you join, you’ll be invited to the Chapter Lead Dashboard where you’ll be able to access report templates and a wide range of Chapter resources.

What community platform can I use to build my local Chapter?

We ask that Chapter Leads use a common set of tools to stay coordinated. Review those resources available in your Chapter Lead Dashboard to organise your community. You can set up a group in the Zebras Unite Mighty Networks community which will offer you easy access to the global Dazzle. This is also the first point of engagement for all those that express interest in Zebras Unite.

How does a Chapter transition to new leadership?

If your term has come to an end, your membership agreement would be renewed as a General Member and we’d designate the Chapter to the new Chapter Lead once they join the Co-op. In the event there is no entity or Association and a Chapter Lead transitions out, that membership is terminated. We’ve also created resources to help you transition legacy systems to the Dazzle District.

Please ask all prospective Chapter Leads to apply here.

What is the taxonomy for Chapters?

"Zebras Unite [CityName] Chapter" or "Zebras Unite [ThemeName] Chapter".

The thinking behind the city chapters is to keep each chapter small enough to make physical meetings possible. You are of course welcome to invite members from other cities in your region/country until a Chapter opens up that is closer to them.

Advanced Topics

What do we engage with the media/press?

All Chapters will be provisioned with a Twitter handle (@chapter_zu) and will have access to our branding guidelines and assets. We’ve put together some resources (coming soon) to help to engage with the press. We ask Chapter Leads to work in collaboration with the Dazzle District to co-create the content. The Chapter Lead Dashboard offers resources to support chapters with media/talk opportunities.

How do we distinguish between co-op and non-co-op members for local chapters?

We’re currently architecting the Members Directory which will grant Chapter Leads a view into local membership. More on this later this year!

How do I determine what Chapter engagement requires Co-op membership and what should be free?

Chapter events should be free and open to both Co-op members and non-members. Paid events will generally be facilitated by the Dazzle District. As noted in 3.18 of the Member Agreement, all paid offerings created by Chapters are expected to be done in collaboration with the Dazzle District so there will be a clear distinction for Chapter Leads which events are free and which are paid.

How much will be allocated to patronage dividends at the end of the year if there are profits?

Members will vote on how much will be allocated.

Once a Chapter Lead leaves after their term ends and Zebras Unite becomes profitable, how are past contributions rewarded?

Patronage is correlated to income in a tax year but we may decide to issue a cash distribution or a bonus/operational payment if there is no dividend payout and the contribution has been significant.

What are the tax implications for countries outside of the US when it comes to co-operative share dividends?

We’re happy to crowdsource answers to this depending on the country and needs.

How will Dazzle District manage currency exchange rates?

Zebra-aligned/point of contact will serve as the fiscal agent (that is, provide banking and administrative support for managing Chapter funds) for any Zebra-aligned Chapter sponsorships, grants, and other institutional support received. We’ll use the most efficient money transfer mechanism we can find. Where it makes sense to have an in-country fiscal agent, e.g. to receive grants or sponsorships, ZU Co-op will negotiate the modalities with that entity.

What happens if a chapter Lead does not pass the 3 month trial period?

If a Chapter Leads does not pass the 3-month trial, they become a regular General Member in the same plan they opted for when signing up. Their $100 buy-in is non-refundable since they're buying a share in the co-op and they will continue paying monthly dues unless they cancel their plan. If they cancel their monthly payment plan, they're withdrawing from the co-op therefore their membership will be terminated as per Section 6.3 of the Member Agreement.