There once were numerous organisations offering assistance to LUGs. One of the long-time ones remains active:
Tux.Org is an umbrella organisation for LUGs and open-source software development projects, providing a corporate entity, Web hosting, mailing lists, mirrors of popular software, and expertise and funding in planning special LUG events. More information can be found at the http://www.tux.org/ Web site.
Make the barriers to LUG membership as low as possible.
Make the LUG's Web site a priority: Keep all information current, make it easy to find details about meetings (who, what, and where), and make contact information and feedback mechanisms prominent.
Install distributions for anyone who wants it.
Post flyers, messages, or handbills wherever computer users are in your area.
Secure dedicated leadership.
Follow Linus Torvalds's benevolent dictator model of leadership.
Take the big decisions to the members for a vote.
Start a mailing list devoted to technical support and ask the "gurus" to participate on it.
Schedule a mixture of advanced and basic, formal and informal, presentations.
Support the software development efforts of your members.
Find way to raise money without dues: for instance, selling GNU/Linux merchandise to your members and to others.
Consider securing formal legal standing for the group, such as incorporation or tax-exempt status.
Find out if your meeting place is restricting growth of the LUG.
Meet in conjunction with swap meets, computer shows, or other community events where computer users -- i.e., potential GNU/Linux users -- are likely to gather.
Elect formal leadership for the LUG as soon as practical: Some helpful officers might include President, Treasurer, Secretary, Meeting Host (general announcements, speaker introductions, opening and closing remarks, etc.), Publicity Coordinator (handles Usenet and e-mail postings, local publicity), and Program Coordinator (organises and schedules speakers at LUG meetings).
Provide ways for members and others to give feedback about the direction, goals, and strategies of the LUG.
Support GNU/Linux and free software / open source development efforts by donating Web space, a mailing list, or an ftp site.
Establish an ftp/Web site for relevant software.
Archive everything the LUG does for the Web site.
Solicit "door prizes" from GNU/Linux vendors, VARs, etc. to give away at meetings.
Give credit where due.
Submit your LUG's information to all the LUG lists.
Publicise your meetings on appropriate Usenet groups and in local computer publications and newspapers.
Compose promotional materials, like PostScript files, for instance, members can use to help publicise the LUG at workplaces, bookstores, computer stores, etc.
Make sure you know what LUG members want the LUG to do.
Release press releases to local media outlets about any unusual LUG events like an Installation Fest, Net Day, etc.
Use LUG resources and members to help local non-profit organisations and schools with their Information Technology needs.
Advocate the use of our OS enthusiastically but responsibly.
Play to LUG members' strengths.
Maintain good relations with vendors, VARs, developers, etc.
Identify and contact consultants in your area.
Network with the leaders of other LUGs in your area, state, region, or country to share experiences, tricks, and resources.
Keep LUG members advised on the state of software -- new kernels, bugs, fixes, patches, security advisories -- and the state of the GNU/Linux world at large -- new ports, trademark and licensing issues, where Torvalds is living and working, etc.
Notify the Linux Documentation Project -- and other pertinent sources of GNU/Linux information -- about the documentation the LUG produces: technical presentations, tutorials, local HOWTOs, etc.