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 Audubon mission (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