Guidelines for Key Contacts

I. Purpose
The concept of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Key Contact Program is simple.  A cadre of volunteers called Key Contacts, under the supervision of the Key Contact Subcommittee members known as District Representatives work at the grassroots level in their state or province to welcome new members.  The subcommittee is guided by the SAA Membership Committee. The SAA Council approved the Key Contact Program in February 1996 after strong endorsements by former SAA staff member Debra Mills Nolan and Leon Miller, former Chair of the Membership Committee and the person who introduced the concept to the committee. This personalized means of contacting new members, in cooperation with and in support of the ongoing efforts of the national office, provides a stronger multi-level approach to our membership initiatives. The Key Contact Program volunteers reach out to SAA members throughout the United States and internationally, and their efforts to engage with members strengthen our global community.

The Key Contact Program has two major functions:

  • Welcoming new members to SAA.

  • Leveraging personal and professional connections to introduce people to SAA and to promote the value of the Society’s programs and services.

II. Subcommittee Makeup, Size and Length of Terms

The Key Contact Subcommittee is composed of 13 members: two Co-Chairs and 11 subcommittee members called District Representatives.  The District Representatives coordinate the activities of the many Key Contact volunteers. They represent the interests of the 11 membership districts that make up the program.  SAA office support is provided to the subcommittee by a designated staff liaison.

Subcommittee Co-Chairs are appointed to staggered two-year terms by the Membership Committee Chair from among the members of the seated Membership Committee.

District Representatives are appointed by the Subcommittee Co-Chairs. They serve for a three- year term.  A term may be renewed one time as determined by the Subcommittee Co-Chairs. District Representatives must be members in good standing of SAA, either as individual members or through institutional membership. Whenever possible, new District Representatives are selected from the Key Contacts in the relevant district.

Key Contact Volunteers are appointed by the Subcommittee Co-Chairs. They serve a three-year term.  They are recommended by District Representatives and must be members in good standing of SAA, either as individual members or through institutional membership. Key Contacts are, to the extent possible, residents of the geographic area they represent. Upon the recommendation of the District Representative, a Key Contact’s term may be renewed one time.

III. Reporting Procedures
The Subcommittee Co-Chairs will submit a written annual report to the Membership Committee Chairperson each year by December 1.

The Subcommittee Co-Chairs also provide a verbal summary of activities to the full Membership Committee at the Annual Meeting in August.

IV. Duties and Responsibilities

The Key Contact Subcommittee is responsible for the following:

  • Welcoming new members to SAA
  • Being available to SAA members to answer questions or address concerns about the organization.
  • Finding opportunities to engage members by supporting member events at the Annual Meeting and on a local level when possible throughout the year.
  • Identifying and developing ways to improve the Key Contact Program, ensuring that it remains relevant to the needs of the membership and that the Key Contact volunteer experience is fulfilling to those who participate.

V. Meetings
The Key Contact Program Subcommittee meets at least once during the Annual Meeting and at other times by conference call, virtually or other electronic means, if necessary.

Revised and approved by the Membership Committee on November 13, 2013.