Setting up a State Society

The Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations is pleased to provide aspiring physician leaders with resources to support the development of state and regional societies.

These tools are not designed to replace legal counsel, accounting advice or a management plan. After reviewing these materials, you and your colleagues should have a better understanding of what is required to develop and formalize your own state society.

Countdown: Initiative, Motivation, Patience

The process of forming a Rheumatology Association is not difficult or different from forming any organization. It only requires initiating the effort, motivation, a small amount of startup funding and a little bit of time and patience.

It is extremely helpful to enlist colleagues who share the vision of a state organization and understand the enormous influence that is inherent in speaking with a collective voice. The rewards of joining your colleagues in a professional organization will be well worth the effort.

Step One: Work with an attorney to develop Articles of lncorporation that will be filed with your state's Secretary of State. (see Establishing the Legal Framework)

Step Two: Obtain a Federal Tax ID number. (see Establishing the Legal Framework)

Step Three: Draft Bylaws to be voted on during an organizational meeting of the state's rheumatologists. At the same time, the organizations board/officers will be elected. (see Establishing the Legal Framework)

Step Four: File a 501(c) 3 status form with the IRS. 501(c) 3 status will be most helpful when requesting unrestricted grants from industry leaders. These unrestricted grants will cover costs related to meeting planning, administrative costs, CME filing, and related activities. (see Generating Funds)


Your state society can then begin work on issues that affect Rheumatology care in your state and act as the official voice for your colleagues and subspecialty patient care. The sharing of experience of other state societies in this area will be of additional value to your association in these efforts.

We hope that you will strongly consider joining the Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations and become part of our network of state and regional societies dedicated to promoting our subspecialty and access of care for our patients with rheumatic diseases.