Double-crested Cormorants | Jaime Lyons | Audubon Photography Awards

In 1916, Seattle Audubon was first founded as an independent nonprofit organization. During our humble beginnings our member community already had big ambition for bird conservation, just as they continue to have today. At our founding, we had 116 members and programs included field trips, youth mentorship, lectures, classes, as well as our first participation in 1919 the Christmas Bird Count. 

Now, more than a century later, our members remain at the heart of everything we are able to accomplish on behalf of local birds and people. Membership in our local chapter demonstrates a shared commitment to bird conservation, as well as important financial resources to fund programs and fuel our mission.  

Member Survey 2022

In June of 2022, we conducted a member survey to continue to understand the many ways our members intersect and support our work. This is a summary of some of those results.

What motivates our members? 

The top reasons our members mentioned as to why they maintain membership included: 

      • I want to support Seattle Audubon’s mission – 78% 
      • I enjoy being part of the community that appreciates birds & nature – 58% 
      • I enjoy Seattle Audubon’s classes, field trips, and bird outings – 34% 

 Of the benefits offered to our members, these were the most highly valued: 

      • Supporting Seattle Audubon’s mission (93% favorable) 
      • Special member pricing on books and bird seed at The Nature Shop (62% favorable) 
      • EarthCare Northwest member newsletter subscription (57% favorable) 
      • Priority registration for Field Trips (54% favorable) 

I feel very fortunate that Seattle Audubon is established in our community, and is contributing to the health and well-being of our birds, nature, and people of the Seattle Metro area. Thanks to all the staff and volunteers for your dedicated work and enhancing our lives and environment.

Seattle Audubon Member

How else are our members contributing to our mission? 

From volunteerism, to advocacy, many of our members are going beyond supporting Seattle Audubon financially and contributing to the success of our mission in additional ways. 

    • 41% volunteered in a community science program 
    • 38% made their voice heard, participating in a request to email local or national law makers about a policy relevant to our mission 
    • 35% participated in an adult class 
    • 28% attended at least one of our free quarterly program meetings  
    • 61% shopped at The Nature Shop, either online or in person 

I appreciate the wide variety of activities and events, especially the classes, trips, and citizen science

Seattle Audubon Member

I greatly value the adult classes and field trips I’ve participated in over the years. They are wonderful experiences. The instructors and trip leaders have all been fantastic.

Seattle Audubon Member

So who are our members? 

During the 2022 Fiscal Year (July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022), Seattle Audubon’s membership averaged 3,030 households, and 4,427 individual members. This included the addition of 580 new households who joined during the past year.  

The 2022 survey respondents represent 6.7% of our membership, a total of 297 individual responses. 

Zip code: The majority of respondents live north of the Ship Canal. The most common response was 98115, which is also the location of the Seattle Audubon Nature Shop and offices.  

Top five zip codes with the highest representation included: 

    • 14.2% = 98115: Wedgwood 
    • 5.6% = 98117: Ballard / Crown Hill 
    • 5.3% = 98105: UW / Laurelhurst / Ravenna 
    • 4.9% = 98103: Greenlake / Fremont / Greenwood 
    • 4.5% = 98112: North Capitol Hill / Madison Park / Arboretum 
    • 4.5% = 98177: Broadview 

Age: Overall, 88% of respondents reported being over 50 years old, and 78% reported being over 60. 

Race: 88.7% of respondents self-identified as white. In addition to the races reported here, less than 1% of respondents reported a racial identity of American Indian/Alaskan, Black/African American, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, or other. 

Gender: More than 70% of survey respondents were female.  

Additional demographics from our respondents included: 

    • 11% identify as members of the LBGTQIA+ community 
    • 100% speak English, and 2.5% speak Spanish at home 
    • 66.2% are retired 
    • 92% do not have a child under the age of 18 living at home 
    • 50.7% have a combined household income of more than $100,000 

While these demographics represent only a small portion of our member base, they demonstrate clear gaps and shortfalls in our ability to engage and include people of many different backgrounds and perspectives in our programs and membership community. As an organization we are investing additional resources to provide targeted programming, as well as intentional outreach and partnerships to encourage participation from new communities not currently represented in our membership.  

Seattle Audubon will only truly be for everyone when it is led, staffed, and supported by a diverse community of bird advocates.  

What do membership dues fund? 

Seattle Audubon offers three tiers of annual membership.  

    • Household Membership is $49 
    • Student Membership is $20 
    • Rookery Membership (youth only membership for ages 3-17) is $10 

Last year*, membership revenues generated $129,752 for Seattle Audubon programs and operations, equal to about 10% of our annual operating revenues.  

While membership dues play an important role in sustaining our programs, many members choose to make an additional contribution above and beyond the annual dues, which allows Seattle Audubon to offer more depth and breath of programming, and invest in our staff and volunteers who are at the front lines of bird conservation. Contributions, beyond membership dues, amounted to $485,481, an additional 38% of our annual revenue.  

Thank you to our members, who continue to fuel our mission to advocate and organize for cities where people and birds thrive.  

*Revenues statistics from Seattle Audubon’s July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021 audited financials.  

2022 Member Survey information: The survey ran from June 7, 2022 to June 21, 2022. Responses were collected anonymously using an online form and participation was encouraged via two email requests made to members. We received 298 responses from our member base of 2,909 valid email addresses, and 4,427 individual members.