Where it all began
Last week I went to San Francisco, the birth place of Sierra Club. I was very lucky to meet a few people from the San Francisco Bay Chapter, the second largest chapter in the US, and two volunteers from the Northern Alameda County Group (NAC). It was amazing and inspiring! I learned a lot from them about group governance and member engagement, and got a glimpse on where we could be ten years from now.
The San Francisco Bay Chapter has 23,000 members that belong to eight groups. NAC is the largest and most active group within the Chapter and has about 9,000 members. The conservation committee discusses environmental issues and proposes resolutions to the executive Committee. There is also a political committee that monitors council members and their votes on environmental topics. They are also in high demand to endorse candidates in upcoming elections. On the social side the group hosts a green potluck once a month and three or more outings per week.
While the groups take care of local issues the Chapter is responsible for regional issues that concern more than one group like regional transportation or the CleanPower SF campaign, an initiative to promote renewable energy in the Bay Area. They also support the groups in their governance and inform members through regular newsletters.