Starting a Chapter
If there is no Chapter serving your area (type your ZIP code at http://audubon.org/search-by-zip to search for a Chapter in your area) and you feel there would be support in your community to start one, please follow the recommended process below, excerpted from the Guide to Starting A Chapter In Your Community:
- Make contact with your State Executive Director or Chapter Services Office if there is no state program. Use this individual as your guide through the process of creating a new Chapter.
- Identify a core group of at least five committed Audubon members to form an organizing committee.
- Thoroughly review this Web page and all linked documents; then ask your State Executive Director/Chapter Services Office if you have any questions about the goals and objectives of Audubon and its Chapters, or about any aspects of the process of forming a Chapter.
- Appoint a temporary steering committee composed of at least a President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Membership Chairperson. Add other committee chairs and a Vice President as quickly as possible.
- Propose a Chapter name and territory through completion and submittal of a “Notice of Intent to Form a Chapter” application. When approved, the Chapter will have "Pending" status.
- Draft a Chapter Constitution and By-laws. Send the Constitution and Bylaws to the State Executive Director/Chapter Services Office for review and forwarding for approval to the Vice President for State Programs and Chapter Services.
- Plan for the first public organizational meeting. Select a date and place, and formulate a clear agenda and plan for an informative and stimulating program; your State Executive Director/Chapter Services Office can provide ideas. Obtain a mailing list of current National Audubon members in the Chapter territory from the State Executive Director/Chapter Services Office and send invitations to those members and all other persons or groups in the community who may be interested in the organizational meeting.
- Conduct the organizational meeting with members and non-members to introduce the idea of a new Chapter to them, to seek new members, and to urge attendees to volunteer to participate as officers, board members, committee members and activists.
- Conduct a recruitment drive to enlist 35 new National Audubon Society memberships - persons not already members of the National Audubon Society. A minimum of 20 new members recruited is required to move to provisional status with the additional 15 new members recruited within a year in order to move to permanent status.
- Prepare a slate of officers and board members for a Chapter election. Each candidate should review the by-laws and accept the nomination before the election date. Submit a Chapter Leader Report Form, containing names and complete contact information for all Chapter Officers, Committee Chairs and Board Members, to your State Executive Director/Chapter Services Office after the election and whenever subsequent officer elections are held.
- Convene a strategic planning session with Chapter leaders to establish goals, objectives, activities and the committees to carry them out before your final charter application. The Board should prepare a preliminary activity plan/annual plan for the next 12 months, and submit it to the State Executive Director/Chapter Services Office, demonstrating implementation of the Essential Elements of a Chapter (see Audubon Chapter Policy). It is recommended that the Chapter to hold an annual planning meeting to regularly revisit these goals and priorities.
- Notify the State Executive Director/Chapter Services Office that the Chapter has fulfilled all steps required, and wishes to be granted "Provisional" status.
Resources and Forms