"A Chapter is an organization of Audubon members that is chartered and annually re-certified by National to function in a designated geographic area. A Chapter territory consists of postal ZIP codes that are assigned by National in consultation with the Chapter and its State Office. It is the general intent to assign a geographical area so that members who live within it can easily attend meetings and take part in Chapter activities, and in general become part of a local Audubon community."
Member recruitment and assignment
National Members are recruited through a variety of methods by different entities, including National Departments and Programs, State Programs, Centers and Sanctuaries, and Chapters. If a National entity recruits the member, they are automatically assigned to the Chapter (if one is available) that serves the member's ZIP code. When Audubon receives a membership form for a Chapter-recruited member (the form needs to include the Chapter's 8-digit Membership Recruitment Code), that member is assigned to the recruiting Chapter--regardless of the member's ZIP code and Audubon will pay the chapter 100% of the member's initial donation. At any time, an Audubon member can request to be affiliated with a Chapter of their choice (call Membership Customer Service at 800-274-4201), whether or not the member lives in that Chapter's ZIP code. This can be helpful if a member moves away from a favored Chapter's service area but still wishes to keep up with that Chapter's activities. The member will be "hard-coded" or permanently assigned to the chosen Chapter unless the member makes another request in the future to change their Chapter affiliation.
Membership benefits & welcome
National Audubon Society membership benefits are listed here. Each Chapter determines any additional benefits and services--particularly those that incur a cost to the Chapter. Some Chapters send out membership cards and work with local businesses to offer discounts to card-carrying members. Be creative in supplying extra incentives!
All members should be welcomed to Chapter member meetings and offered the opportunity to participate in activities. Reaching out to new members through a welcome letter or personal invitation to the next Chapter activity may encourage them get them involved early on. It is also nice to acknowledge new members in the Chapter newsletter. When new members arrive at a meeting, field trip or event, make sure to greet them warmly and find out something about them. Introduce them to the rest of the group, ask them for their email address (if you don't already have it), and before they leave, let them know it was nice to meet them and that you hope to see them at the next activity (have a flier with the date/time handy). Once you begin to build a relationship with members, you can ask them to volunteer, donate, take action, and bring their friends along.