Membership Chapters of the AHA are
independent but integrated local organizations that agree with and support the
mission of the AHA. They closely coordinate with the AHA and receive
preferential benefits not available to Affiliates and Chartered Chapters.
Becoming a Membership Chapter signifies an integrated
relationship with the AHA. There is a high level of identification and
involvement between the two organizations, sealed by the fact that all members
of a Membership Chapter are members of the AHA. Membership Chapters enjoy
considerable operational support from the AHA and know that they are working
closely with America’s
oldest and largest Humanist organization.
Benefits provided exclusively to Membership Chapters
A portion of AHA dues (new members and renewals)
of those who elect to join a Membership Chapter will be sent to the Membership
Chapter. All they have to do is check a box and designate a Membership
- The AHA shoulders the time consuming administrative
burdens of maintaining active membership records, responding to inquiries,
and mailing and tracking renewals. No longer do you have to rely on over
burdened volunteers for this essential aspect of institutional survival!
- The AHA will provide the Membership Chapter up to the
minute information, lists (formatted for
mailing), and statistics upon request and as often as needed. This is done
by email with a 24-hour-or-less turnaround time at no charge!
These are amazing advantages for Membership Chapters because
they allow much of the paperwork to be handled by the professional staff of
AHA’s national office, allowing the leaders of the Membership Chapter to focus
more on expanding public outreach, developing programs, and concentrating on
issues. It also may give a financial boost to the local group.
This type of relationship allows for a clear sense of
vision, identity and mission for the Membership Chapter. By being independent,
yet integrated with the AHA, a Membership Chapter can know that it is in full
concert with the largest democratic organization in the nation that is
dedicated to promoting the Humanist lifestance.
Membership Chapters also have the same benefits as Chartered
Chapters, but may receive priority in the allocation of these resources:
Chapters will be able to join the AHA’s Chapter Assembly. The Chapter
Assembly is an organization within the AHA, run by Chapter leaders, and
exists to serve as a forum to address Chapter issues, as well as ensuring
that the Chapters have a voice within the AHA.
AHA will make possible Membership Chapter membership drive mailings to AHA
members in the Membership Chapter’s surrounding area. The AHA national
staff may assist in the mailing if needed.
AHA can help publicize major Membership Chapter events by mailing a flyer
or letter to current national and Membership Chapter members in the area.
AHA can additionally help publicize major Membership Chapter events by
distributing a Membership Chapter press release to its database of press
contacts in the local media market.
AHA can also assist with developing press releases and speeches for public
Chapters have the opportunity to apply for grants – ranging from $300 to
$2,500 – from the AHA’s Chapter Assembly
Chapters have access to the Chapterzone
information center on the AHA’s Web site, www.americanhumanist.org.
AHA can provide Membership Chapters with a non-profit tax exemption.
Membership Chapters can use this designation to accept tax-deductible
donations and to apply for a sales tax exemption in their state.
Membership Chapters will also receive the benefits
Chapters’ contact information will be publicized on the AHA’s website
(which currently receives 400,000 hits a month), on official documents, at
the national conference, and to the general AHA membership.
Chapters will receive bimonthly field action packets. These field action
packets will usually contain a updated
Affiliate/Chapter list, the most recent copy of The Humanist, the
most recent copy of Free Mind, action items local groups may wish
to pursue, occasional press releases and press clippings, and any other
current information the AHA feels that the local group can benefit from.
Chapters will have low cost and usually free access to resources. This
includes AHA pamphlets, magazines and books. The AHA is also happy
to provide speakers; however, this would require some form of cost sharing
with the Membership Chapter.
Chapters can contact the AHA’s national office to speak with the
experienced, professional staff, which they would normally not be able to
afford or otherwise have access to.
Membership Chapters will receive action alerts
and press releases from the AHA’s national office, which will also be made
available for local group contacts and newsletter editors formatted for easy
manipulation and reproduction.
Chapters can also receive assistance from the AHA’s national office in coordinating
major public events.
Membership Chapters have two primary requirements:
members of the local group are AHA members in good standing.
Chapters cannot share their membership list with other organizations.
Membership Chapters must also meet the same requirements of
the Chartered Chapters:
Chapters are “self-governing within a framework of democratic
organizations and procedures” consistent with the AHA’s bylaws.
Chapters must select a name that contains as its
only philosophic or lifestance identification
the word Humanist(s) or Humanism unmodified.
Chapters provide contact information for the person to whom the AHA should
address correspondence, as well as for listing in AHA publications.
Chapters cannot work on behalf of a political candidate or party, or
engage in other activities that are illegal for 501(c)(3)
Chapters should send newsletters, bulletins or meeting announcements and
public articles to the AHA’s national office.