Secular Student Alliance Branded Affiliates Program
Becoming a branded affiliate of the Secular Student Alliance helps your group grow, helps the Secular Student Alliance national offices grow, and helps the entire secular movement.
Becoming a branded affiliate involves naming your group after the Secular Student Alliance, as described below, and using the Secular Student Alliance logo to represent your group. If you're a new group, it means you get an easy way to choose a name and you don't have to design your own logo! For existing groups, changing your group's name is usually very easy, and you have access to a professional, recognized logo.
It is our goal that more groups using the same name will increase visibility and recognition of secular student groups across the country. It helps people to recognize our organization locally and nationally, connects your group to an existing network including many other student groups, and creates momentum for the freethought movement at large.
- Association with a nationally-recognized name (hey, we're talking to the White House!)
- A professional brand and logo (which you can customize for your group)
- Support from and to other groups who share the name
- Brochures, business cards, and other tabling swag (as available)
- No exclusivity - you are welcome to maintain all ties with other organizations (in fact, we encourage it!)
- It helps the entire movement!
- Helps your group through greater name recognition
- Helps other groups through building the name recognition
- Name recognition helps the Secular Student Alliance as a whole, which increases our ability to help your group in terms of grants, speakers, opportunities, and other support.
What If Your Campus Has More Than One SSA Affiliate?
On those campuses with more than one SSA-affiliated group, we have some special considerations. If one group approaches the Secular Student Alliance about becoming a branded affiliate, the SSA will contact the other group(s) to also offer them the opportunity to become a branded affiliate. If multiple groups want to become branded, then all interested groups must use the Subtitle branding option for their group names, and none may use the "Secular Student Alliance at Your School" option. However, if only one group is interested in becoming branded, then the first group may choose either branding option.
If a second group is started on a campus where the original affiliate is not branded, and the new group would like to be branded, they are handled as above. If a second group is started on a campus where the original affiliate is already using the "Secular Student Alliance at Your School" branding option, that option is not available to them.
Here's what you have to do to become a branded affiliate:
1. Your group must be an affiliate of the Secular Student Alliance. If your group is not yet affiliated, you can join here. New Group? If you're just getting started and want to use the SSA name as you get things going, you can file a Name Use Agreement to gain permission to use the SSA name and logo while forming.
2. Either change the name of your group to "Secular Student Alliance at YOUR CAMPUS"/"YOUR CAMPUS Secular Student Alliance" OR add the subtitle "An Affiliate of the Secular Student Alliance" to your current group name. See details below.
3. Apply to become a branded affiliate at our handy webform. You will be asked to electronically agree to the Secular Student Alliance Name Use Agreement and to provide some information about your group.
Please note that your group must also submit an affiliation form to be an SSA affiliate. This form is only for becoming branded after affiliating with us.
All branded affiliates are required to provide a link to www.secularstudents.org on their website. This link should ideally use an image of the SSA's logo and be on the front page of the website above the fold. For groups that use Facebook groups, a link in the Group Description or Recent News section is ideal.
The full name of the group, with the subtitle if the group has opted for one, should be announced at or near the beginning of every public meeting or event (e.g. "Welcome to tonight's meeting of Students for Freethought at Ohio State, an affiliate of the Secular Student Alliance.").
Branded affiliates who use the full Secular Student Alliance name (instead of the subtitle) gain access to resources that subtitled groups cannot get. For instance, fully branded groups can get a free SSA banner for their table (see right); subtitled groups are not eligable for a free banner, though they can buy one at our cost to use.
If your group opts to name itself "Secular Student Alliance at YOUR CAMPUS," it will be easier for your group to use bulk printed banners, buttons, stickers, gel bracelets, T-shirts and other promotional materials printed by the Secular Student Alliance home office.
When using this form of the SSA name, please note that you must include the school name when referring to your campus group. If your email signature says you're the SSA president, you've just proclaimed yourself the president of SSA National, and that's no good. Help us avoid confusion by including your school name, especially in email and online.
If you're using this form of the SSA name, you also get a free logo! You can use the SSA logo as is, or you can create a version customized to your group according to our Logo Alteration Guidelines.
Using this name option will also save you some of the extra work of using a subtitle…
If your group opts to use the subtitle "An Affiliate of the Secular Student Alliance" in addition to your current group name:
Because some schools do not allow for longer group names, your group is not strictly required to change its official name with your host school. However, if your campus does allow for longer names, we do encourage you to use the full name as your official name with them.
If your group opts for the subtitle, it should be used along with the name of the group in every situation where that is practical. The subtitle should be used on all of the following every time the group uses them:
• Facebook, MySpace, or other social networking site
pages for the group
• Business cards
• Membership forms
• Sign-up lists
• Newspaper ads (if they ad will be more expensive because of the subtitle, groups may opt not to use it, but are encouraged to contact the SSA to see if the SSA can pay the difference)
• T-shirts and other swag (obviously the subtitle may not fit on some smaller swag like gel bracelets or buttons)
If your group opts for a subtitle, the subtitle should be told to any media who contacts the group. Obviously it is under the control of the media if the subtitle is used in whatever coverage results.
Is this agreement forever?
No. Either your group or the Secular Student Alliance can end the agreement at any time for any reason. Do realize that if our agreement ends, you will have to change your name to something that does not involve "Secular Student Alliance."
Will the Secular Student Alliance have control of my group?
Absolutely not! Even if we wanted to (which we don't!), there is no way we could micromanage even a fraction of our affiliate groups. Your group will be completely autonomous - as our affiliates always have been.
Will you be phasing out benefits to groups that don't use your name?
Again, absolutely not! We have no intention of dropping any support to any of our affiliates. While branded affiliates may occasionally get a few benefits based on their name (let's face it, a "Secular Student Alliance" banner isn't going to do your group much good if you're named "Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster"), we will not use this program to deny benefits to other affiliate groups. We see it only as a way to create additional support for those groups who are interested.
How do I get an SSA logo to put on my website/T-shirt/brochure?
We've uploaded several .jpg versions of our logo here. If you need a logo in a vector format or another format, just contact us and we'll be happy to get you what you need.
Can I customize the logo to make it unique to my group?
Yes, there are some ways in which you may customize the logo. Any logo customizations must be within the Logo Alteration Guidelines and receive approval from a Secular Student Alliance staff member. Contact us if you have questions!
Can I create my own logo for my SSA-branded group?
No. The name and logo are part of the same package and you must use the provided logo if you are using the "Secular Student Alliance" name. However, you can customize the SSA logo according to these guidelines. Any other designs must be approved in writing by the national office staff.
Are there any legal agreements we have to sign?
Yes. To protect our ownership of the name "Secular Student Alliance," we do have to ask that you sign the Name Use Agreement. You will be asked to electronically agree to the agreement when you submit your Branded Affiliate application.
What if my group isn't official on campus yet?
If you are in touch with SSA national and have received a Group Starting Packet, you can complete a Name Use Agreement to get permission to use our name while your group is forming. This temporary Name Use Agreement can be revoked if you fail to get your group started within one year of receiving your packet, decline to affiliate with us once you receive campus recognition, or violate our Minimum Standards for Affiliation.
I have a weird situation on my campus…
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org! We know that every campus is a little different. Don't hesitate to send us any questions or concerns you might have. We'll be happy to address them.