I would suggest the first thing is to work out what you want to do in the club. A couple of options would be:
Social Meeting and discussion
Lectures and Presentations by club members
Lectures and Presentations by visitors
Workshops and knowledge transfer sessions
Intra-club competitions (i.e. between yourselves)
Inter-club competitions (i.e. against other clubs)
Day trips and outings
Weekends away to further locations (with or without guide/tutor/ workshop leader)
Other things to consider are meeting venue and equipment - will you need to buy computer and projector for presentations/competitions? Will you need an illuminated stand to display prints? Do you want to project slides - do you need a slide projector?
How will this all be funded? Is there anywhere you can apply for a grant for capital equipment purchases or will you beg, borrow and steal (...I didn't suggest that last one) what you need?
In the UK most clubs are a Federation/Association/society and are affiliated with the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB
PAGB), which is then part of Federation International de l'Art Photographique (FIAP
FIAP). In the US you should also have similar associations which provides a framework for arranging and competing in various competitions. Through these associations you should be able to find someone in the US who could provide information on starting a club in your local area.
If you are having competitions you will need to think about rules and standards for judging competitions.
e.g. Print Competitions
2 Images per photographer maximum
All images to be mounted
Maximum mount dimensions (40cm x 50cm - or US Imperial equivalent).
Colour or Monochrome
Photographers name and print title on the back of the image.
Judges then critique each image and give a score from 1-10 (in reality judges only score from 6-10, this is a club to promote photography not to demoralise people...we can safely leave that to JW). The critiquing is the most important part of the process as it provide CONSTRUCTIVE feedback to club members. Try and get experienced judges (a good photographer does not necessarily make a good judge) from surrounding area - I appreciate the US is large and has a low population density in some areas so inter-club interaction may be limited.
As time progresses you may want to consider separate competitions for print, digital projection and slide. Will you have a picture of the year competition? You may also want to split between club/ beginner level and advanced. In the former judges are looking for good things to say and trying to encourage the photographer, in the latter the judge is looking to be harsh and pick nits with images. This helps cater for a wide range of competance and experience levels.
Make sure that you have a good website. The better the quality of your website the greater the number of photographers that will want to join you and the better quality member you will attract.
Make sure that you have proper club governance (chairman, club secretary, treasurer, internal and external competitions secretary, owners for events or regular meetings) and ensure that you meet all relevant legal regulations with respect to insurances and health & safety (this may be UK specific requirement as our legislation is quite onerous in this respect). Meet regularly, take minutes of meetings and ensure everything that is agreed is noted (as the club grows you can guarantee that interpersonal issues and politics will become and intrinsic part at some point or another)
There is a lot involved in setting up and making a club work. Don't expect it all to come together in year one and try to get as many people involved as possible (having proper club governance with regular meetings helps). For reference the club of which I am a member (Guildford Photographic Society
has been around since 1892...longer I believe than Michael Reichmann, though only just ;-)
I hope that give some thoughts, I am not sure what sort of club you are aiming for, however, if you want more information then drop me a private message and I will see what else I can dig out.