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Start a Club

How to Start a Carolina Club

The GAA can’t be everywhere, so we rely on alumni volunteers to keep the Carolina spirit alive all over the world.

What We Do

Each Carolina Club may choose to focus on one, some, or all of the goals listed below.

  • Encourage alumni and friends of UNC to continue an interest in the University.
  • Connect Tar Heels with one another in your area for social and business relationship building.
  • Provide continuing education/enrichment experiences for alumni and friends of the University. (showcasing our faculty, administrators and athletic programs.)
  • Provide alumni and friends of UNC with an opportunity to offer ideas back to the University.
  • Encourage alumni to become members of the General Alumni Association.
  • Provide scholarships and other support to UNC students from the local area, and to encourage local admitted students to attend the University.
  • Serve your community through sponsoring a community service activity (on or around University Day Oct. 12) that reflects the University’s mission of service.

What it Takes

A few enthusiastic alumni willing to serve on a planning committee is all it takes to get a Carolina Club started.

You can form a committee by your own personal contacts and responses to a “club interest” email the GAA can send out at your request. This message informs alumni in the area that you have contacted us regarding the organization of a club near you and asks that they contact you if they are interested in participating in an upcoming club event. The responses generated from this mailing are often enough to get things up and running.

Forming Your Team

Do you think Dean Smith could have run Four Corners with just one player?  Neither do we.  We believe the most effective structure for a Carolina Club is a task specific committee structure in which each office is limited to a two-year term in order to broaden and diversify participation on the committee.

The following is a listing of the essential positions that the General Alumni Association recommends each club fill to ensure a successful club program. It is also important that club leaders be current members of the General Alumni Association. Realizing that some clubs are in areas where there are thousands of alumni and some dozens, your area may demand more or less committee members.

Essential Positions:

  • Chair
  • Co-Chair or Chair Elect

Some Examples of other Roles:

  • Coordinator of Communications/Social Media
  • Individual Event Chairs (Send-Off, BBQ, Game-Viewings, Tar Heel Service Day)
  • Speaker Event Coordinator
  • Coordinator of Student Involvement
  • Treasurer

How Your GAA Supports Clubs

Although the General Alumni Association does not provide direct financial support for clubs, the General Alumni Association does provide significant services and support for clubs including:

  • Staff support –  Staff members at the General Alumni Association assist club leaders with almost all aspects of planning and promoting club events. Staff members also work to organize new clubs and reactivate dormant clubs.
  • Club Website –  The General Alumni Association provides simple to use Websites for each club along with training sessions and support services.  This same Website system allows clubs to keep the GAA informed about activities without having to report separately.
  • Email Broadcasts and listservs –  The General Alumni Association will send an e-mail to all alumni in the club’s defined area on behalf of the club once each month (per leader’s request) and provide an opt-in e-mail list for club use more frequently.
  • Training Workshop for New Club Leaders – This is an annual workshop in Chapel Hill for club leaders who have started within the past two years. Any person involved with a club’s leadership or planning group is welcome to attend. Travel expenses are the responsibility of the club or individual.
  • Event speakers –  The General Alumni Association can help identify and make arrangements for speakers from the University to attend a club event.
  • Mail Services –  The General Alumni Association will provide design, print and mailing services for printed club announcements, reactivating clubs and scholarship dinners. (Note that clubs may be responsible for postage costs depending on circumstances; to be determined with the GAA at point of request.)
  • Alumni Lists –  The General Alumni Association will provide club leaders with lists of local alumni.
  • Carolina Spirit Items –  The General Alumni Association will provide name tags, pom poms, table toppers, stickers and UNC and GAA information for any club with an upcoming event.
  • Tar Heel Merchandise –  The General Alumni Association provides Old Well Clubs a complimentary box of UNC door prizes each year as a reward for their outstanding performance. Bell Tower and Tar Heel Clubs can work with the GAA to purchase these items at a discounted price.
  • Ideas, Advice, Love and Attention –  We are here for you! We can’t be everywhere so we rely on our awesome volunteers to their local Tar Heels connected to  Carolina. Use us! If you want to talk out an idea, get advice on events or promotions, chat Carolina Basketball, give us a call. That’s our job. And it’s the best job in the world.

Need More Convincing?

We asked our current club leaders why they love being a leader, here’s what they had to say.

Ready to start a new Carolina Club? Contact the GAA’s Coordinator of Alumni Clubs Jennifer Farrell ’12 by email or phone at (919) 843-5115 today.

Point of Contact

Jennifer Farrell '12
Coordinator of Alumni Clubs
read my bio

Jennifer joined the GAA team in February 2016, and she is thrilled to be back in Chapel Hill! She is a huge sports fan, and you can often find her cheering on her favorite teams: Tar Heels, Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, checking out the newest restaurants in town and spending time with her friends, family and fiancé.