CTA members may have recently heard some talk about our association being a Chapter of ATA. What does that mean and why is it important for all members of CTA, whether they are ATA members or not? These are a few questions we will explore in this blog entry.
In 2012, the current incarnation of the Colorado Interpreters & Translators Association was legally organized as a Colorado Non-profit Corporation. Shortly after that in 2013, CTA leadership collected signatures from CTA members who were also ATA members, and submitted a petition to be recognized as a Chapter of the American Translators Association. This required the signature of 20 ATA members who were also CTA members. CTA currently has nearly 50 members who also maintain ATA membership.
Why be an ATA Chapter?
ATA Chapter status provides CTA with some significant benefits. When we hold educational events, conferences and webinars, we can apply for ATA continuing education points free of charge. This makes the webinars and conferences more appealing to a wider audience. Additionally, when we hold in-person events that require liability insurance, we are able to be added to ATA’s insurance policy via a rider at minimal cost.
Another really outstanding benefit of being an ATA Chapter is the membership rebate. You’ll hear about this when you renew your ATA membership and your CITA membership. What this means is that if you are a member of both organizations, CTA will receive a rebate of 15% of the dues you pay to ATA. This check is usually in the range of $1500 and that amount is a great boost to CTA’s budget. If you are a member of ATA, please be sure to check the box on your renewal form stating that you want your dues rebate to be directed to CTA!
Lastly, one more benefit that CTA receives as a Chapter is that when routine legal questions come up, our Board can consult ATA’s attorneys, who are well-versed in the law regarding non-profit corporations. This was particularly helpful to CTA recently when we were initially considering our merger with CAPI. We were able to ask ATA’s counsel for legal guidance about how to proceed, without incurring extra legal fees.
CTA’s Responsibilities as a Chapter
In exchange for these benefits, we have some duties to adhere to as an ATA Chapter. One of the ones that members see most prominently is that every year, we promote ATA membership through an email blast. I know, people who are already ATA members might be bothered by this extra email, but it is a responsibility we have as a Chapter. If you are already an ATA member, we appreciate your membership and you can just ignore that email every year. If you are not, perhaps you should consider joining ATA.
Another responsibility that we have as a chapter is that our President and Vice President must be voting, individual members of ATA. The association must also review and approve any changes to CTA’s Bylaws. This is to ensure that no provision of our Bylaws will prevent the national organization and the local chapter from working together.
Collaboration between Chapters
There is frequently cooperation among the leaders of many ATA Chapters. We have an email listserv where we can ask questions, promote each other’s events, etc. We also have opportunities to join quarterly Leadership Summits organized by ATA to present us with common questions and issues faced by local non-profit organizations.
Our relationship with ATA is a good and beneficial one, and at the same time, we Coloradans maintain our own independence. The actions and activities of CTA are in no way controlled by ATA. We steer our own ship, though sometimes we do rely on ATA for guidance and advice. And we greatly appreciate the support and assistance, financial and otherwise, that our national association provides.