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Chartering a new chapter only four months into a shutdown has proven to be an exciting challenge. The Groundbreaking Gamma Alpha Pi Zeta Chapter was chartered in June, 2020 by 8 women who powered through a pandemic with determination and a vision of finer womanhood in Bergen County, New Jersey.

Recognizing this is a novel and truly groundbreaking process, they are sharing some tips for new chapters:

Get to know your Sorors!

Some Sorors are transferring from other chapters, have recently moved, or reclaiming and coming back home to Zeta. Whatever the method, everyone’s love for the organization is what drove them to create or join a new chapter – explore everyone’s reason!

Getting to know each other’s strengths early will be helpful for chapter function and you may even have the best stepper in your chapter –even Centennial Step Team material!

Meet in person when possible (adhering to CDC guidelines of course!)

If there are opportunities to meet outdoors safely, take that opportunity. GAPZ started their sister stroll with the intention to get to know each other and build bonds. This gave the chapter an opportunity to get out of the house and safely enjoy each other’s company.

Virtual Fundraising!

Double Good Popcorn is named double good for a reason! The website is consumer friendly, easy to set up, and requires no coordination for delivery of popcorn… and the popcorn is delicious. This fundraiser will help you raise thousands in just a couple of days.

GAPZ’s Harvest Basket Raffle utilized the effective giveaway site “” to fundraise for chapter operations. Some items in the basket included professional makeup services, fitness classes and a Samsung tablet – mix services and items to garner interest.

Smart small and mighty…then build!

There are so many amazing initiatives to take on but as a new chapter it is important to make sure to use and allocate resources wisely. Choose initiatives that are both feasible and meaningful to chapter members!

GAPZ events have been designed to target multiple initiatives and goals. The GAPZ sister stroll initially designed as a walk in the park and with the intention to get to know Sorors has now grown into a bigger event and shifted into virtual self-care Sundays with meditation and yoga. The display of sisterhood has peaked the interest of those who would like to join Zeta and sisters who have been away for a while.

As a new chapter, GAPZ chooses to keep the motto of the sisterhood at the forefront of its mission. Remaining community conscious, especially during a pandemic calls for active effort and outreach. The shutdown has impacted small business and GAPZ has made sure to support Black-owned businesses, an area of focus in a predominantly white county.

Finally, extend yourself and everyone else grace. Starting a chapter or even building a chapter up during a pandemic is no small feat. It takes time and effort all while handling the new stressors of COVID. GAPZ encourages everyone to embrace the process and learn along the way.


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