Mensa Support Documents

Handbooks and Guides from Mensa National

Officer Handbooks

American Mensa's officer handbooks will introduce you to all the possibilities and responsibilities of the various positions available to American Mensa's volunteers. If you're currently holding an office, please familiarize yourself with the relevant handbook. This valuable resource will assist you in your volunteer duties.

If you have questions about or suggestions for any of these or for a future handbook, please contact the Handbooks Coordinator.

This handbook is meant to help transition new Board members from being private members or Local Group officers to being members of American Mensa’s board of directors. It outlines the general course of an Board meeting and describes the duties and activities of the offices and some of the national policies in effect. It explains the support services available and administrative procedures.

The creation of a subgroup with an active Area Coordinator helps members in that immediate area get more from their membership by providing them with more opportunities for face-to-face interaction with other Mensans. This handbook provides information on how to start and successfully run one of these subgroups.

Newsletters, websites, and social media are the key connections for members and their Local Group. Together, they provide the membership with information about events, report local and national Mensa news, and facilitate communication. This guide focuses on basic rules, questions of content, copyright and libel, design, distribution, best practices, and resources to help Editors, Webmasters and Social Media Coordinators deliver value to their members.

The Gatherings Handbook is intended as a reference for all Mensa members who wish to plan, conduct, or take part in gatherings at the local, regional and national levels. This Handbook is intended to transmit information and best practices for event planning.

Mensa is not an adults-only organization. Highly intelligent children need friendship and support, and yet meeting intellectual peers is more challenging for children due to limited contacts and mobility. This is where the Gifted Youth Program comes in. This handbook is intended as a reference for Local Groups and others in their Mensa activities and interactions involving minors — whether members or guests.

The Local Membership Officer's role in the health of the group is vital: this individual is on the front line in meeting, greeting and involving new members. This handbook is intended to help provide fun, creative events and services for your members.

Reflecting Mensa's British origins, the Local Secretary, or LocSec, title is a holdover from the time when this officer was simply a secretary reporting to national Mensa. The LocSec serves as the chief point of contact between American Mensa and the Local Group. This handbook comprehensively covers many of the aspects of this important office.

Since the inception of American Mensa, conflicts have arisen between members. And when they arise, the local Ombudsman (some groups use Mediator instead) can become the most important officer in the entire organization. This handbook provides important information about serving as an ombudsman and about finding and recruiting the best ombudsmen to serve at the local or regional level.

A retreat is structured discussion that creates teamwork and focus. This guide provides step-by-step direction to plan and facilitate a retreat for the leaders of a local Mensa group.

Regional Vice Chairmen act as liaison between Local Groups in their respective regions and the Board. They also carry out the policies and programs formulated by the Board for their regions. An expanded description of RVC duties can be found in the AMC Handbook. All new RVCs should read the AMC Handbook as well as the RVC Handbook.

The Special Interest Groups program allows Mensa members to find other members who share the same interests, and in this way helps them customize their membership experience however they individually want it to be. This handbook focuses principally on how to found, operate and grow a national SIG.

SIGHT Coordinators serve traveling Mensans worldwide. The SIGHT Coordinator’s primary function is to find members to volunteer as hosts and to keep track of the hosts’ requirements for guests. The only requirement to be a Coordinator is friendliness, information and a desire to help others.

One of the most important elements of American Mensa is the Proctor system and our Proctors perform a valuable service on behalf of Mensa. Our Proctor Network consists of several hundred proctors who administer the supervised tests to qualify prospects for Mensa membership. Each month, many prospective Mensans are given proctored tests by one of these approved administrators who, quite often, are the first Mensa contact these prospects may make.

This handbook makes a special effort to guide the new nonprofessional local Treasurer through the unfamiliar territory of bookkeeping, record keeping, financial reporting and budgeting by providing a recommended simplified method, practical examples and the necessary forms to get started.