Chapter Leader Handbook (OLD)

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Chapter Leader Handbook

This handbook aims to guide new and experienced chapter leaders in leading an active chapter community and outlines items that NY/NJ Metro has done to be successful in that market.

1. On your chapter page, ensure you clearly identify who is on the board of the chapter, the phone numbers for them and email addresses. The local chapter should have a published mailing address (use a PO Box or one of the board members addresses perhaps.

How to Generate Interest

  • Talk to local .edu and involve the university and its computer science students - you might even get access to the lab!
  • Talk to your local information security organizations, such as ISSA, ISACA, FBI/Infragard, HTCIA and other local and international orgs., to cross-promote and joint meetings ~ be a guest speaker.
  • Use OWASP chapter mailing lists to alert members of meetings and monthly events.
  • Conduct a annual survey (use a web form.... what a concept) to get feedback from the mailing list/chapter members what do they want to see in your chapter.
  • Ask for help, a successful chapter has several board members (there are no limits) so share the fun and the pain ;)
  • Do a local talk about a OWASP project that you have been involved with.

Sample Action Plan to (re)start your Chapter

An action plan that you can use is:

  • Find a location/venue sponsor for first meeting, this could be a college a business, a restraunt
  • Enable sponsorship for refreshments from a local source
  • Always cover OWASP mission, goals and explain the web application security problem in a general way to attract a large crowd and to educate the new members.
  • Send out the invitation and also try to let other local security organizations to announce the meeting as well. These can be local ISSA, ASIS, Infragard or ISACA chapters.
  • Try to get some local press attention free press is great
  • Hook up with government and academic contacts in your area to relay the invitation and generate some interest.
  • Find out what companies are active in this domain in your area in order to raise their interest and support.
  • Network, network, network, …
  • The invitation should contain a request to forward it to other interested parties.
  • Be sure to send out this invitation at least one month before the meeting


Chapter Meetings

How many Meetings should be Organized yearly?

This depends on the activity level of the local OWASP members. There should be minimum 4 events per year to be a active chapter.

Chapter Meeting Check List

a. PRE EVENT - Obtain primary sponsor for meeting location

b. PRE EVENT - Obtain co-sponsorship(s) to cover event expenses - encourage raffle item

c. PRE EVENT - Obtain educational topics/speakers for the event with a abstract and bio

e. PRE EVENT - Update the RSVP form for each meeting

f. PRE EVENT - Update the OWASP website to reflect that when, where, who

g. PRE EVENT x4 - Communicate via email to the mailing list

h. PRE EVENT x2 -Communicate to other orgs - ISSA, ISACA, INFRAGARD etc... to raise awareness as well as news media, blogs and other mailing lists.

i. PRE EVENT - Line up the refreshment logistics based on RSVP #

j. PRE/EVENT - Pay for the expenses (money has to come from (b))

k. EVENT - Arrive early set-up meeting location

l. EVENT - Pre-flight check A/V, Computers, Final APPROVAL of Speaker PowerPoint's (no sales pitch)

m. EVENT - <EXECUTE EVENT> (Badges/AV/Misc.)

n. EVENT -Questionnaire/Survey/Feedback form - Use a survey type webform (example: or build your own you g33k)

o. POST-EVENT - Send out CPE credits to attendees that requested them.

p. POST-EVENT - Review event and ways to improve with the other board members.

q. POST-EVENT - Select topic focus for next event based on feedback from attendees or survey

r. POST-EVENT - Money in - Money Out, Balance


Chapter Meeting Template

This template you can use on your chapter page for listing chapter meeting details:


Fill in date and timing


Fill in place


  • 18h00 - 18h30: Networking / Food, Drinks
  • 18h20 - 18h40: Fill in


  • 18h45 – 19h00: Fill in


  • 19h00 - 19h55: Fill in

        Presentation + Discussion?

  • 20h05 - 21h00: Fill in

        Presentation + Discussion?

Frequently Asked Questions

I don't know the list of members. Can you advise how I can stay updated about this?

You can get the membership for your chapter from the administrative interface for your mailing list. If you've forgotten your password, please contact Larry Casey ( to reset it for you. If you need to contact all the members, you can send a message to the mailing list, and they should all receive it.

I seem to have forgotten the list admin passwd

If you've forgotten your password, please contact Larry Casey ( to reset it for you.

How is a chapter funded from the membership fees?

Chapters are not funded from membership fees, although OWASP is considering just how to share a portion of the membership fees from members that are affiliated with a particular chapter.

Does enrollment to the mailing list mean official membership to OWASP?

Membership details are here -

How do I update my OWASP Chapter page?

First, create your Wikimedia account. Then go to your chapter page and hit the edit link. You can use the Chapter Meeting Template above to list your next chapter meeting details.

If you have any questions you can simply email or contact one of the other chapter leaders.