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Membership Chapters

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 include:


·        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 Chapter. 

  • 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:   


  • Membership 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.
  • The 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.
  • The AHA can help publicize major Membership Chapter events by mailing a flyer or letter to current national and Membership Chapter members in the area.
  • The 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.
  • The AHA can also assist with developing press releases and speeches for public events.
  • Membership Chapters have the opportunity to apply for grants – ranging from $300 to $2,500 – from the AHA’s Chapter Assembly
  • Membership Chapters have access to the Chapterzone information center on the AHA’s Web site,
  • The 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 Affiliates receive:


  • Membership 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. 
  • 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.        
  • Membership 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.
  • Membership 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.

  • Membership Chapters can also receive assistance from the AHA’s national office in coordinating major public events.


Membership Chapters have two primary requirements:


  • All members of the local group are AHA members in good standing.
  • Membership Chapters cannot share their membership list with other organizations.


Membership Chapters must also meet the same requirements of the Chartered Chapters:


  • Membership Chapters are “self-governing within a framework of democratic organizations and procedures” consistent with the AHA’s bylaws.
  • Membership Chapters must select a name that contains as its only philosophic or lifestance identification the word Humanist(s) or Humanism unmodified.
  • Membership Chapters provide contact information for the person to whom the AHA should address correspondence, as well as for listing in AHA publications.
  • Membership Chapters cannot work on behalf of a political candidate or party, or engage in other activities that are illegal for 501(c)(3) non-profits.
  • Membership Chapters should send newsletters, bulletins or meeting announcements and public articles to the AHA’s national office.