- How can I update our Chapter leader contact information?
- How do I order Audubon educational materials, brochures, pamphlets and other outreach materials?
- What is the direct deposit our Chapter received from Audubon?
- How do I request a Meritorious Service Award or Great Egret Award for our Chapter, and how much lead time is needed to prepare them?
- Can I start a new Chapter in our area? What do I need to do?
- What is Audubon's Membership Policy and how does it apply to our Chapter?
- How do I order membership brochures?
- How do we properly code membership forms, and where do we send them, so we may receive payment for each new member?
- How do I obtain access to our National member lists and Membership Incentive Payment reports?
- How do I retrieve my forgotten username or password so I can log in to view membership rosters, change reports and membership incentive payments?
- On the roster and change report files, why do some of the numbers appear as "#####" symbols or "1.02E+08"?
- What is a member's ACS ID?
- Can we share our Chapter membership list with other organizations, agencies or businesses?
- What does COMP mean on the membership Change Report?
- How will having a website benefit our Chapter?
- What costs are associated with building a website?
- Does Audubon provide Chapter website templates or training on web design/management?
- What type of software will I need to build our website?
- Do you have any tips on website design or content authoring?
- What are some characteristics of good web page design?
- What considerations do we need to make for vision-impaired Web visitors?
- How can I find a list of other Chapter websites?
- Can we use Audubon's logo on our website?
- How do we get photos and graphics for our website?
- What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and how do I do it to our website?
- What other resources are there for web design?
Please complete a Chapter Leader Report Form whenever your Chapter elects new officers and assigns committee chairs. In addition, any time Chapter leader contact information changes throughout the year, please forward that information to Chapter Services.
Please browse our catalog, complete the order form and send by email. You will receive an invoice with your order to be paid by check.
Audubon directly deposits three types of payments into Chapters’ checking accounts:
- Baseline funding - deposited the month after receiving a Chapter’s complete annual report. (The amount will be the same this year as last year). Contact Chapter Services to determine whether or not the payment was baseline funding.
- Membership Incentive Payments – quarterly payments made to the Chapter for 100% of the first year’s dues for each new Chapter-recruited Audubon member. Log in to My Audubon Gateway to view your Chapter’s quarterly reports (see FAQ #1 if you don’t yet have an account).
- Audubon Grant funding (e.g., Collaborative Funds, TogetherGreen grant, etc.) – if the Chapter has been awarded a grant, the deposited funds should match the grant award. Contact Chapter Services for questions about these amounts.
Audubon offers four standard awards, each with different criteria.
The following three awards are offered as a service to Chapters only. They begin with the Chapter nominating the awardee and sending a description of the awardee's accomplishments to Chapter Services. An award draft will be sent to the Chapter award coordinator for approval before signing and mailing the final version. Please allow approximately four weeks prior to your award presentation event after sending the nomination to Chapter Services. Allow additional time if you plan to frame the certificate and/or the photo (in the case of the Great Egret Award).
The Charles H. Callison Award is a National award available to all Audubon staff, volunteers and Chapters. Deadline for nominations is January 15 each year. Awards are presented at the May Audubon Board Meeting. Read more about the Callison Award.
There are generally two reasons that a new Chapter may be formed:
- Your current Chapter serves such a large area that it cannot adequately serve all membership within that territory.
- There is no Chapter that serves your ZIP code.
If you believe there is strong interest and support in your community to start a Chapter, please read more details here.
Unfortunately, it is not possible for Audubon to provide that certification. Once the roster or mailing labels are downloaded from the Chapter Reporting System website, Audubon no longer retains control of the membership list. PS Form 6014 must be certified by the owner of the mailing (i.e. the Chapter).
There are several different ways to comply with the USPS bulk mail Move Update requirements. You can learn more from Publication 363 at http://ribbs.usps.gov/move_update/documents/tech_guides/PUB_363_January_2009.doc.
A no-cost option is to bypass the Move Update standard by including “OR CURRENT RESIDENT” or “OR CURRENT OCCUPANT” on the address label (Audubon’s Web-generated labels now offer this option). However, if the resident or business has moved, that mail piece will not be forwarded or returned to the Post Office.
According to Audubon’s Chapter Policy, all National members who reside in a Chapter territory are assigned to their respective Chapter; a Chapter serves members throughout its territory. However, it is up to the Chapter what benefits to extend to its members. Read more about membership.
Please browse our catalog, complete the order form and send by email. You will receive an invoice with your order to be paid by check.
In order to receive payment for Chapter-recruited Audubon members, please use the membership recruitment code for 2011: C1Z _ _ _ 0Z. Your unique, three-digit Chapter code must be inserted in the blanks. For example, Whidbey Audubon Society’s Chapter code is Y20, so their full recruitment code would be C1ZY200Z. If you do not know your three-digit Chapter code, please email Chapter Services or call (800) 542-2748.
The second digit indicates the year the member was recruited (1 = 2011), Chapters are encouraged to update that number each year (2 = 2012, 3 = 2013, etc.) though that change is optional at this time.
If the tear-off postcard from the National Audubon Society membership brochure is used, the mailing address in Palm Coast, FL is pre-printed on the back of the form.
If sending one or more completed membership forms (Chapter or NAS forms) in an envelope with a first-class stamp, please use the following address instead:
National Audubon Society
P.O. Box 422250
Palm Coast, FL 32142-2250
Learn more about Membership Incentive Payments.
To create an account on My Audubon Gateway, where you will have access to your Chapter's membership rosters and/or membership incentive payment reports: (NOTE: Please do NOT create a new account if you already have an account but have forgotten your username or password. To retrieve your username, contact Chapter Services. To retrieve your password, click the "Forgot Password" link on the login page)
- Go to http://app.audubon.org/chapter/ and click “Register New User”
- Enter all the required information in the form and click the “Save” button.
- Send an email to Chapter Services indicating that you have registered with the Chapter Reporting System for [your Chapter Name and 3-digit Chapter code.
- We will then send you an email confirmation when we have accepted your registration in the system.
To retrieve your My Audubon username, send an email to Chapter Services with your first and last name as well as the Chapter name and ask for your forgotten username. To retrieve your password, go to http://app.audubon.org/chapter/ and click "Forgot Password" under the login area. On the next screen, type your username and submit the form. After a few minutes (or longer, if your Internet connection is slow), check the email address with which you registered for your My Audubon account, and your password should have been sent. You may then log in at http://app.audubon.org/chapter/ with that username and password.
When using Microsoft Excel to open the roster or change report CSV files, columns are set at a default width. When number fields are wider than the width of a column, the number will display as #### or 1.02E+08. The solution is simply to widen the column to fit its contents. In Microsoft Excel 2003, you can widen all columns at once by selecting all data on the spreadsheet (click in the blank gray cell above the "1" and to the left of the "A"), then go to Format --> Column --> AutoFit Selection.
An ACS ID is the unique identifying number that every member is initially assigned when they first donate to Audubon. This will be the number that appears on the member's magazine and Chapter mailing labels. It is also the first column/field of the Chapter roster and change reports. The ACS ID is also used to look up a member or omit a member from mailing labels created through the Chapter Reporting System.
The membership list belongs to National Audubon Society and may not be shared or exchanged without Audubon's permission. Please contact Chapter Services to submit your request.
COMP refers to a gift membership. National Audubon Society generally notifies the gift recipient about their gift within a week or two after the gift donation was made.
More and more often, people turn to the Web as their primary resource for information. Potential members may want to know how to contact a Chapter, read about Chapter accomplishments, view the field trip schedule, or find out how to become a member. The Chapter can be found more easily by potential supporters through a website, blog, forum or other Web presence.
Learn more about websites.
The cost of having a website can range from free—if using a free website authoring/hosting interface and a public library with
The cost of having a website can range from free—if using a free website authoring/hosting interface and a public library with Internet access—to thousands of dollars, depending on what type of website is desired and what kind of budget looks like. Here are the potential costs:
- You will need to purchase a domain name (URL) for the website, such as [www.birdieaudubon.org], unless you will only be using free blogging or social networking services. Domain names expire after a year or so, depending on your contract, and must be renewed to retain the website. One or more domain names are often supplied for free by the hosting service (see below), but may also be purchased separately from a domain name registrar.
- A website hosting service provides servers (very beefy computers) that store your website files and make them accessible around-the-clock via the Internet. Some free website hosting services are available, such as Geocities.com or a free blogging service. Often, the hosting company will offer one or more free domain names (see above) with their service. The host may also offer a variety of other services, such as email accounts, databases, statistical analyses of page visits, and more. Examples of hosting services include Bluehost.com and GoDaddy.com.
- You’ll need an Internet connection if you plan to author the website yourself. A dial-up connection is the least expensive option, but can be somewhat cumbersome for uploading large files to the server. A Cable Modem or DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) is much faster.
- If you plan to build the website yourself, you may need to purchase website authoring software, such as Adobe Dreamweaver, if you are not going to use a free, open-source program, such as KompoZer. If you plan to purchase software, and you are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, get registered with techsoup.org and search for discounted software on their website.
- If you plan to seek expertise outside of your Chapter for website authoring, you’ll call on a Web Designer and possibly a Web Developer. A Web Designer focuses on the look and feel of the website, whereas a Web Developer, or Programmer, builds the functionality that allows for a more complex, interactive website (such as one that involves a database, or requires programming, e.g., for a “join now” membership form). If you are planning for a static website (one that provides information only and no user interactivity), then a Web Designer is all you need.
Not at present. There are many free website templates currently available online, such as through http://www.freecsstemplates.org. As Chapters are incorporated entities separate from the National Audubon Society, their websites cannot mimic the design of the National Audubon Society website nor be hosted on the national website. Techsoup.org sometimes has free Webinars for non-profits on social networking services, website authoring, and more.
Depending on what type of website you want, you may not need any special software at all. You’ll need to do a bit of research on your own to see what is available for your needs, but here is a sampling:
Website hosting and/or Website authoring:
- Open-source or free programs: Bluefish, CoffeeCup, KompoZer, and Yahoo! Geocities. Joomla!, Mambo, Drupal and WordPress are Content Management Systems (learn more from this TechSoup.org article that compares different CMS). You might also look into setting up a free Facebook page or a blog instead of or in addition to a website. See SiteProNews for an extensive list of freeware and shareware tools for website authoring. DreamHost offers free website hosting for 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations.
- For purchase: Adobe Dreamweaver, Microsoft Expression Web, Sharepoint Designer (check TechSoup for discounted software for non-profits)
Think carefully about the purpose of your website and your target audience. Is your purpose to draw in new members? To provide information? To show off beautiful photos of birds or your Chapter’s conservation projects? To sell products? Or all of the above? What demographic are you trying to attract? What is your budget for building and managing the website? Who will build and manage the site? All of these questions will help you focus in on appropriate design and content.
Keep your home page simple, attractive and easy to navigate. Visitors will decide in less than 1 second whether to stay on your site or not, so keep the number and size of images to a minimum (each image should be optimized to 72ppi and have a size no greater than 10KB, except maybe for your banner image or feature image on a page), make the navigation menus and buttons easy to find (usually horizontally near the top or vertically near the top right or left of each page).
Each page on your site should have a similar design theme. For example, use the same colors and place the navigation menu in the same spot. Give your potential customers/members the feeling they are still on your site when they visit different pages, yet be sure to identify each page with an appropriate title (e.g., instead of a general title tag for every page, such as “Birdie Audubon Society”, tailor the title to the content of the page, as in “Audubon Birding Field Trips in Pocatello, Idaho”). Colors and patterns should be pleasing to the eye—not busy or distracting.
To keep visitors from having to scroll horizontally on your pages, build your design at no greater than 750 pixels wide, or create a flexible design that can expand for those with higher-resolution monitors. When possible, use text instead of images for links (especially for the navigation menu).
Flash intro pages may annoy repeat visitors, cannot be viewed by vision-impaired people (see below), and do not help to boost your Search Engine Ranking (see below).
For more information on website design, search online for “web design tips”.
Be mindful of visitors with vision impairment, including color-blindness. Black or dark text on a white background is the most easily read. Stay away from busy backgrounds behind text. Sans-serif fonts, such as Arial and Verdana are the easiest to read on screen, and the font size should be no smaller than about 10 point. Vision-impaired Internet users may use an electronic screen reader that reads the text aloud to them. Therefore, building a website mostly or entirely using images would be mostly inaccessible to this subset of users. Be sure that all links are actual text (not images), limit the use of PDF documents (e.g., provide an HTML newsletter version if possible), and provide “alt tags” (HTML tags used to describe an image) for all images. See http://www.w3.org/WAI/eval/Overview.html if you would like to delve further into website accessibility.
You may gather ideas for your site by browsing other Chapter websites through the Chapter Locator. Select a state to view from the dropdown menu and click on the underlined links on Chapter names, which will take you to their websites. You may use the websites to get ideas about what sorts of content the various Chapters post, but do not copy the Chapter’s website design or content, as copyright laws apply.
According to Audubon’s Logo Use Guidelines, Chapters may use Audubon’s logo on their Chapter websites, though it is not incorporated into the Chapter logo or website banner. The Audubon logo may only be linked to www.audubon.org and must be accompanied by the text “YOUR CHAPTER NAME Audubon Society is a Chapter of the National Audubon Society”.
Image considerations: When using photos and other graphics on the Web, be sure that they are optimized. That means saving photos in .jpg format and illustrations/clip art as .gif at 72ppi (pixels per inch) resolution and a small file size (generally 10KB or less, unless the image will be used for a banner or other large, feature image). Be sure to get the permission of the photographer or artist and always credit them appropriately. Be wary of using photos of people, especially children, unless you know the individuals or parents have signed releases that give permission to use the photos for public posting on the Web.
Just because you have a website doesn’t mean that people will automatically be able to find it when they search various keywords and phrases (such as “Missoula Audubon”, or “birding group Missoula”). There are literally hundreds, or even thousands, of techniques for Search Engine Optimization you may use to try to boost your Search Engine Ranking, although there is no guaranteed formula. Type “search engine optimization” into your favorite search engine (e.g., Google, Yahoo, etc.) and browse the many (SEO) techniques. See http://www.seochat.com/seo-tools/ for a wealth of ideas.
- Tips for Designing (or Redesigning) a Nonprofit Web Site by Chris Peters of Techsoup.org
- Website Design Tutorial by Alan Flum of Celestial Graphics, Inc.
- 10 Crucial Steps to Create an Online Presence by Niquenya Fulbright of EzineArticles.com
- Non Profit Website Design: Examples and Best Practices by Cameron Chapman of Smashing Magazine (be sure to read also “Further Resources” at the bottom of this article)
- News & Announcements
- What is a Chapter?
- Find Your Local Chapter
- New Leader Orientation
- Annual Reporting
- Membership Reports
- Collaborative Funding
- Conservation Programs & Projects
- Outreach Materials
- Licensed Product Discounts
- Meetings & Events
- Regional Directors and Elections
- Update Leader Contact Info
- About Chapter Services
- Contact Us
Chapter Resources Handbook
- About this Guide
- Starting a Chapter
- Running a Chapter
- Leader Roles & Resources
- Connecting with other Chapters
- Conservation Tools
- Education Resources
- Funding & Fundraising
- Marketing Resources
- E-Outreach & Networking
- Regional Directors and Elections
- Chapter-Created Products & Publications
- External Resources
- Online Training Schedule and Archives