SSAFE Chapter Application

SSAFE Chapter Application

SSAFE is an independent 501c3 non-profit organization consisting of residents in senior living communities that have been admitted as chapters.

Learn more about our mission and values.

Unlike many other organizations, SSAFE first grants admission to a senior living community as a chapter. Once a chapter is admitted to SSAFE, then individual residents can join SSAFE as part of their chapter.

To form a new SSAFE chapter, a representative from the prospective community must apply for membership. SSAFE is an independent organization run by volunteers and has no ties to any particular senior living community or organization. Most SSAFE chapters have been formed because a small group of residents, committed to achieving carbon neutrality, decided to join SSAFE as representatives of their community.  (It might be helpful to think of SSAFE as an environmental organization similar to the Sierra Club, but much smaller.) Because SSAFE is an independent nonprofit organization run by volunteer community residents, funded by resident donations, and has no ties to community administrations, the formation of a SSAFE chapter should be free from requiring the approval of your community administration or resident councils.

Membership benefits:

  • Participate in monthly General Committee meetings.
  • Participate in the Greening Our Campuses Project team to ask questions and receive feedback.
  • Participate in work groups and workshops to deepen your skills and obtain valuable tools to use in your community.
  • Meet other senior living residents across the country with similar interests and gain valuable referrals.

Membership expectations:

Board Representation: Each SSAFE Chapter is represented by a resident volunteer Board member who agrees to serve on the Board of Directors which meets monthly to discuss SSAFE business, create policy decisions, and provide guidance to the organization.

Participation: Each SSAFE Chapter will recruit residents to join SSAFE and encourage them to participate in monthly General Committee meetings.

Recruit at least one member to participate in the Greening Our Campuses Project Team to learn from other communities, ask questions, and receive feedback.

Participate in work groups and workshops as available to deepen skills and obtain valuable tools.

Financial Support: SSAFE is supported through generous donations from individual members. While joining SSAFE is free for individual members, each SSAFE Chapter is expected to participate in annual fundraising to support the operations of SSAFE. There is currently no fundraising target for SSAFE Chapters. The current annual SSAFE budget for 2024 is $125,000. An application and an onboarding fee for the new chapter will count as part of the chapter’s annual contributions.

Desired community qualities:

  • Has a current group in the community working on climate change issues, whether as advocates, educators, or changing norms in the community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Has a cadre of residents (at least 5-6) with the time and leadership skills who want to move their community toward carbon neutrality.
  • Is a community with active resident participation in the community decision-making process.

Application Process:

Read the following steps before completing the online application form.

  1. Online Application: Fill out the SSAFE Chapter Application form online, see form to the right.
  2. Application Fee: Paid staff and SSAFE Board volunteers will carefully consider each application. Because the application will use administrative hours, SSAFE asks for a $250 non-refundable application fee. Submit a payment using the Donation options. (Clicking will open a new browser tab.)
  3. Committee Review: Once your application has been submitted, it will be reviewed by the SSAFE Expansion Committee. A decision will be made and communicated to the applicant within 4 weeks.
  4. Committee Zoom Meeting: If the Expansion Committee would like to proceed with your application, they will contact you to arrange for a Zoom meeting with 2 or 3 resident representatives from your community.
  5. Board Visit: One or two SSAFE Board members will arrange to visit your community to meet representatives and administration in person, tour the community, and answer any additional questions. SSAFE encourages you to visit a SSAFE Chapter community to learn more and gain a deeper understanding of SSAFE’s mission but it is not required for admission.
  6. SSAFE Board Final Review: The SSAFE Board of Directors will review the application and the committee proposal to make a final determination of acceptance.
  7. On-Boarding Donation: On-boarding a new chapter requires many hours of staff administrative work. If your organization is accepted, SSAFE asks for a $1000 onboarding donation at the end of the Provisional period.
  8. Provisional Period: When a chapter first joins SSAFE, it is advisable that the proposed Board member attend the next available General Committee meeting (first Thursday of the month from 11 AM to 12:15 PM Eastern), the next available SSAFE Board meeting (2nd Thursday of the month from 11 AM to 12:15 PM Eastern Eastern) and the next Greening our Campuses project team meeting (3rd Thursday of the month from 10 AM to 11 AM Eastern). Until the chapter has contributed its onboarding donation, the chapter is considered a “Provisional Chapter”. During this time, the chapter should work on recruiting residents to join SSAFE as individual members to attend the next available General Committee meeting and raise the onboarding fee.
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The answers to the following questions will help SSAFE better understand your community and ascertain your interests. Give you a better understanding of SSAFE. Please note that your answers will not disqualify your community from participating in SSAFE. The person completing this form is considered the point of contact throughout the application process.
Point of Contact
Community Status
How interested are residents in sustainability? Is there a related committee or resident-run entity that initiates sustainability activities on campus? What kinds of activities have been undertaken? Have there been recent sustainability investments?
How committed is the administration to promoting sustainability initiatives? What investments in sustainability have been made recently? Is there an official sustainability commitment or policy? If the commitment or policy is available online, please provide a URL.
How strong are working relations between staff (CEO; facility/operations director; etc.) and residents in the area of sustainability? Are there joint resident/staff committees dealing with sustainability issues? Are there residents on the facility’s committees?
Community Details
What types of residential housing do you have on your campus?