The ALS Association

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Progress

Chapters, Groups & Events

I want to hold an event to raise funds for The ALS Association. How can you help me?

Any individual or group can hold a fundraiser with proceeds to benefit The ALS Association with our One Dollar Difference program.  One Dollar Different offers everyone the opportunity to create fun and creative third-party events on the behalf of The ALS Association. No matter where someone is located or the time of year, anyone can host an event to help in our fight to cure and treat Lou Gehrig's Disease. Through our online platform, organizers and participants can promote and fundraise for their event anywhere at anytime. Funds collected through One Dollar Difference will be contributed directly to The ALS Association chapter of your choice. Click here to start organizing your event today!

How do I start a chapter?

If you are interested in starting a chapter, you should begin by contacting the Chapter Services Department in The ALS Association's National Office at (202) 464-8830 or by e-mail to

The first step is determining if your geographic area is currently being served by an existing an ALS Association affiliate. If your area is not currently being served, the Community Services department will work with you to determine if there is a need and adequate support to build the infrastructure necessary to sustain the work of the chapter. In some cases it may be more appropriate to start a free standing support group.

Once the need for a chapter in your local area is determined, you will need to identify at least six other individuals who will commit their time and energy to starting a chapter. This group is then referred to as the Organizing Committee and is committed to carrying out the mission of The ALS Association locally. This group will consist of a Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary, Patient Services Chairperson, Public Education Chairperson, Fundraising Chairperson and one other member. It is important to identify people who have the professional skills and experience that will allow them to be successful in each of these areas (i.e. a treasurer with accounting skills). Most importantly, these folks need to make a commitment of their time and energy to getting the chapter-in-organization off the ground.

The Chapter Services Department of The ALS Association National Office will make several on-site visits to assist the Organizing Committee with the chapter start up. A chapter-in- organization is required to meet certain criteria in order to earn their chapter charter. This process usually takes 1-2 years.

How do I start a support group?

To start a free standing support group, contact the Chapter Services Department at (202) 464-8830 or by e-mail to

The ALS Association prefers that support group facilitators be qualified health care or mental health professionals familiar with ALS. In the event that you are a layperson interested in starting a free standing support group, we strongly suggest that you identify and recruit a health care or mental health professional to help start and co-facilitate the group.

The next step in the process is to confirm that your geographic area is not currently being served by an existing ALS Association affiliate. If that criterion is met, the Director of Affiliate Patient Services will send out preliminary information to you on how to start a group. Then a needs assessment is conducted to see how many people are in need of and are interested in attending an ALS support group in your geographic area as defined by zip code. Once a definitive need is established, you will select an appropriate meeting location, date, and time, and communicate it to the community via flyers, letters, doctor's offices, or local media. For a group to be recognized as an ALS Association affiliate, the facilitator(s) must complete an "Authorization to Operate a Support Group" form. This form is filed at the National Office and the group is then included on any ALS Association publications that list affiliates, including the web-site. The National Office provides free standing support group facilitators with a program manual that includes policies and suggestions for program development and planning.

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