So you want to start an American Begonia Society Branch in your area. It takes 7 people to form a branch. Along with your enthusiastic team you have the Membership Committee, ABS Treasurer and ABS Branch Relations Director to help you. Your first call will be to the ABS Branch Relations Director for guidance and direction, and review the information below. Here is a list of contacts to help you get started.

ABS Branch Relations
ABS Treasurer
ABS Branch Relations Director will connect you to one or more of the ABS Membership Committee members that will be assigned to your team.


While you work through the process, several things will need to happen. We’ve created a checklist to help keep your progress in check. Print it out or download and keep this as a guide. A short explanation on these items follow:

  1. Determine your board – you need a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and National Director. The National Director is your liaison to the American Begonia Society, is a member of the ABS Board of Directors, represents your branch in Board meetings and votes, and completes an Annual Branch Report to keep ABS informed on the status of your branch. (See 5 below)
  2. Decide on your Branch Name, usually the area you’re located in and establish an email address. Verify with the ABS Treasurer to verify there is no duplication with other branches.
  3. Branches under the umbrella of ABS and under its national nonprofit status as a 503(c)(3). You will need to request your branch IRS Tax Identification number as a subordinate organization under Group Exemption No 4014. You will need to complete and file the IRS FORM SS-4. Please have this form reviewed by the ABS Treasurer, before submitting to IRS to check for accuracy. The example Form SS-4  Forms Needed to Start a Branch has fields completed that should be used on your form.
  4. Prepare your Constitution and Bylaws. These documents are a guide to how your branch is managed. The Branch Relations Officer will assist you with samples and guidance to develop these important documents.
  5. Complete the forms found in the subject Forms Needed to Start a Branch.
  6. Review all the resource subjects in the How to Start a Branch category, including Duties of Branch Board.
  7. Open up your branch checking account with a local bank.
  8. The website resource category Membership Recruiting & Retention   contains several resources and topics for recruiting and retaining members as well as help with your branch meetings.