Chapter Registration FAQs

What exactly is a SADD Chapter?
A SADD chapter is a group of students with an adult advisor.  Most SADD chapters are in middle and high schools and function as school clubs.  Some chapters are community-based and are hosted at community centers, within a church youth group, as part of a community coalition, or in facility-based youth programs such as a Boys & Girls Club. 

Can I just join an existing SADD chapter?
If there’s a chapter in your school or community, absolutely.  If the nearest chapter is in a different school, then unfortunately, no – you couldn’t join another school’s SADD chapter any more than you could compete on their debate team or run for their student council.  But starting a chapter is easy and free – see for more information.

I see we don’t have a SADD State Coordinator (see  Does that mean we can’t start a chapter?
No, you’re still able to start a SADD chapter, even if your state doesn’t have a coordinator.  SADD works with state government and statewide nonprofits to establish a network of state coordinators, and our goal is to have a coordinator for every state, but this requires committed funding agencies.  See for more information on this process.

Can we call our chapter something other than SADD?  We have an existing group with a different name that we want to associate with SADD.
We allow “co-branding” of SADD chapters with other groups, such as SAVE.  You can also call your chapter something else, but there are advantages to using the well-known SADD name.  If you do make that choice, we ask that “a chapter of SADD” and/or the SADD logo appear on materials and press releases you send out as part of your activities.  When you register, you’ll receive a copy of our Graphic Standards Manual which contains more information about this.

I want to start a community-based SADD chapter.  I plan to just run it out of my house.  Is that OK?
Unfortunately, it’s not.  Community-based SADD chapters must have a supervising host organization – a community center, community coalition, county/city agency, church, or Boys & Girls Club.  This is for a number of reasons:

My agency is interested in starting a SADD chapter – we plan to work with groups of students in all the schools in our county.  We should just register one chapter, right?
Actually, each group of students with an adult advisor is considered a chapter, so if you’re part of a community coalition or agency wanting to work with students on the ground in multiple schools, it’s best to register each school as a separate SADD chapter, even if you’ll be working with all of them.  This best captures the on-the-ground presence of SADD for our records.  Contact us at with questions if you need more information about your particular situation. 

I don’t think the SADD chapter at the local high school is doing enough.  I want to start a community-based SADD chapter and try to get the students involved in the school-based chapter to join our chapter instead.
SADD chapters should not “compete” for students.  This is counter-productive and can permanently damage the reputation of SADD with local businesses, media, and other groups.  It’s best to work with the school administration to resolve any differences with the school-based SADD chapter rather than starting a competing community-based one.

We’re overseas and want to register our SADD chapter.  We might even want you to license us to run SADD in our country.
The SADD National office only supports and registers SADD chapters in the United States, U.S. Territories, U.S. Military Bases, and Canada.  If you live in a different country, you’re welcome to use our materials and the SADD name (assuming it’s not trademarked by someone else in your country), but we cannot officially support a chapter overseas.  The SADD National office is also unprepared to license others to start nationwide SADD programs in other countries.

When can I expect my confirmation email and permission to get started?
Since SADD is a grassroots organization, the SADD National office consists of just a handful of hard-working employees.  As a result, we don’t send confirmation emails, but once you fill out the registration form you’ll receive a packet with a SADD certificate and other information in the mail.  Please allow up to four weeks for us to mail the packet, except during the summer.  Certificates for registrations received after mid-June will be sent in early September.

But there’s no need to wait to get started, as our starter packet explains.  Once you send in the registration form, by mail, fax, or online, you’re good to start recruiting members, conducting activities, and more.  If you have a funder or someone else that requires immediate confirmation of your registration, contact us at and we’ll try to help.

Once I register, there’s nothing else I need to do again, right?
To be clear, we ask chapters to register/update their information once each school year.  If you’re a new advisor, we want to make sure we’re communicating with you.  SADD charges no dues or membership fees, and we believe that asking two minutes of your time to register once a year is only fair.

Beyond registering, we hope you’ll regularly visit our website at and our Facebook page at, and don’t forget to sign up for our e-newsletters.  Finally, we want to hear from you to learn how we can better help you!

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