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Typically, Professional Organizations are structured so that when an individual joins, he/she is a member of both the parent organization and their local chapter. One dues fee is collected by the organization to support services at both levels. The parent organization helps to support chapter programs and events, collaborating with local volunteer leaders. There is a coordinated and exponential increase in the organization's ability to share knowledge, education and best practices and have a positive impact on the profession. The OneURISA goal is to make that structure a reality after 50+ years of existence. 

Chapter Letters of Support:


What is OneURISA?

OneURISA is an initiative of URISA International to unify the membership of its Chapters within the International Organization. The Chapters renew their relationship with URISA through Affiliation. All members of a Chapter will be members of URISA and all members of URISA will be members of a Chapter.

A key feature of the OneURISA model is that it aligns our members, Chapters, and International Organization into a unified vision, mission, and strategic framework. This improves the value of the association at all levels. Without a unified membership model in place, it has been possible to be a member of a chapter but not a member of URISA International or a member of URISA International but not a member of a chapter. OneURISA will eliminate this missed opportunity and provide more value to all of us as URISA members. OneURISA is the name of this initiative and does not reflect a name or branding change of URISA.

What are the Benefits of OneURISA?

OneURISA Chapter Affiliation provides benefits to both URISA Members and to URISA Chapters.

URISA Member Benefits include:

  • Expanding your professional network
  • Participating in valuable advocacy efforts for local interests
  • Earn an abundance of Contribution and Education points to achieve and maintain GIS Professional (GISP) Certification
  • Take advantage of professional education through workshops and webinars from GIS experts
  • Maintain access to online publications and resources
  • Capitalize on significant discounts for URISA conference, training and event registration
  • Present your work to an informed community for valuable feedback and input
  • Develop leadership skills by serving on committees and task forces
  • Influence the direction of the association by voting in elections and serving in leadership roles

URISA Chapter Benefits include:

  • URISA recognition and branding
  • Refocus limited volunteer energy from chapter administration to program development and outreach efforts
  • Single point of membership management
  • Take advantage of URISA’s communication and social media tools (Podio, Zoom, Telspan, Sched, TrackBill)
  • Receive one annual complimentary GIS-Pro registration for CDRC representative
  • Earn the use of one free URISA Certified Workshop license each year
  • Protect your chapter events through URISA-provided general liability insurance
  • Use of a free Chapter ArcGIS Online account
  • Connections to national and international GIS organizations
  • Advocacy support for geospatial challenges and current issues
  • Connect with other affiliated Chapters through the Chapter Development and Relations Council (CDRC) to share best practices, ideas and lessons learned

URISA Chapters

How will the relationship/responsibilities between URISA and the chapters be established?
This will be accomplished via an Affiliation Agreement between the chapter and URISA.

Does each Chapter remain a separate organization?
Yes. Each Chapter will maintain its legal status as an independent non-profit or not-for-profit corporation (501c3, 501c6).

How are Chapter Funds impacted?
Chapter funds and accounts are maintained independent from URISA funds. URISA will collect any chapter membership dues and will distribute the full amount to the Chapter on a regular basis. Any other financial arrangements, that require the payment of funds, will be between the Chapter and URISA under separate agreements. (The $500 Annual Chapter Affiliation Fee is removed under the affiliation agreement.)

How does OneURISA impact the governance of our Chapter?
Chapters provide their Bylaws and Bylaw amendments to the URISA Board of Directors for approval. URISA outlines Chapter governance requirements in the URISA governing documents. In all other respects, each Chapter is autonomous in its legal status and governance.

Once OneURISA has been implemented, will there still be a chapter affiliation fee?
No, once a chapter has implemented the new OneURISA model, they will no longer be required to pay the chapter affiliation fee.

What is the current status of OneURISA and what are next steps? *

  • OneURISA is moving forward with a target date of January 1, 2021 for all Chapters to adopt the unified membership model.
  • URISA has adopted and is actively working on action items of an implementation plan.
  • A OneURISA Implementation Team has been formed as a central point of contact for questions and ensuring that the actions established for implementation are accomplished.
  • Communication and marketing initiatives, data collection for input into the membership model platform and governing documents are well underway.
  • The Affiliation Agreement is the cornerstone of the OneURISA model. The URISA BOD has approved the Affiliation Agreement and is working on amendments, based on feedback from early adopters.
  • The OneURISA Implementation Team has been working with the Chapter Relations and Development Council (CRDC)and individual chapters to prove information about current and next steps for the chapters.
  • Updates and announcements are being provided on the URISA website as well in direct communication efforts with URISA membership.
  • OneURISA Tech Assist teams will be working with specific chapters to assist with next steps and any unique circumstances and information pertinent to the chapter.

*Applies to US Chapters only. A separate implementation process is currently being developed for bringing international chapters into the unified membership model.

Will URISA International provide assistance for implementation to chapters?
Yes, URISA is working on creating Tech Assist Teams to help each chapter transition to the new OneURISA model. Tech Assist Teams will be introduced to the chapter by the date of the annual conference.

Will all chapters become part of the OneURISA initiative?
If an existing chapter elects to not to become part of OneURISA or is non-compliant with the process, they will cease to be a chapter of URISA and lose all rights and benefits of a chapter.

URISA International Members

What are the URISA Membership Fees?
The fee for an Individual URISA membership is $195.00. Each member will also be required to pay any membership fee associated with local chapter membership.

Am I required to join my local chapter? Can I join more than one chapter?
Yes, if there is an active chapter in your geographic area, the OneURISA model requires that you join that chapter. You can join as many chapters as you like as long as you pay the required dues determined by and associated with each chapter. All dues are paid annually to URISA and distributed accordingly based on the "home" chapter and any other chapters you select to join.

I live in an area where there is no local chapter currently formed. What happens for me in this situation?
If you live in an area that does not have an active chapter, you will be considered an At-Large member. An At-Large member will have all the benefits of URISA membership but is not required to join a local chapter unless they elect to do so. If you are in an area that does not have an active chapter and you have interest in establishing a chapter, please contact Wendy Nelson to inquire about starting a new chapter in that area.

How has the OneURISA initiative evolved?

OneURISA has been in the works for over 15 years. The OneURISA model blueprint represents nearly 5 years of work by the Chapter Advisory Board (CAB) and approved by the URISA International Board, defined what we are trying to build as OneURISA. The blueprint was based on the work done by the CAB over the last several years. It is the first step in a larger process required to move forward. Making a significant membership model change in an international organization takes a lot of careful planning and coordination. Since the OneURISA model blueprint has been in place, the process of determining how we will build the model has been underway. Initially, this included a financial and general systems analysis to determine the potential costs of implementation.

Key Milestones of OneURISA Implementation (US Chapters only):

May 2018
Submit chapter base information: Contact Info & Governing Docs - Thanks to all chapters that have submitted this information!

June 2018

  • Chapters provide written endorsements/confirmation to OneURISA by June 30, 2018.
  • URISA identification of “Early Adopters” - Congrats to the Louisiana and New England chapters!

July- September 2018

  • URISA - Chapter Affiliation Agreement development
  • Chapters to provide incoming board member continuity plan by end of July 2018.
  • OneURISA chapter document reviews
  • HQ Membership Model Platform Revisions
  • URISA provides model by-law templates to chapters

GIS-Pro & CalGIS 2018 in Palm Springs, California - October 9-12, 2018

  • Introduction/Appointment of Technical Assistance Teams to OneURISA chapters
  • NorCal and Rocky Mountain Chapters Sign Affiliation Agreements and become OneURISA Chapters

November 2018

  • Kick off Technical Assistance Teams by chapter November 2018 - December 2019
  • Chapters/Technical Assistance Teams work together to final implementation

November 2018-September 2019

  • OneURISA Tech Assist Team discusses Affiliation with Carolina URISA, Texas URISA Chapters
  • OneURISA Onboarding Team meets with Affiliated Chapters on OneURISA Benefits Proposal

January 2021 - OneURISA Affiliation Agreements are complete for US chapters!

URISA Chapter List

Questions or concerns? Send an email to oneurisa@urisa.org 

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