Source codes serve two main purposes: As carriers for finance codes, and to identify the origin of new contacts. For more details on the subject, please refer to our article about EveryAction Data Structures. But we'll reiterate the structure here:


There are five positions, each separated by a hyphen. Let's go through each position one by one.

Position 1: Department

The largest group of departments represented are the state offices, here coded by their state initials, e.g. "ca" for California. Centers are preceeded by the state and an underscore, e.g. "ca_richardson" for the Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Sanctuary in San Francisco, California. As you can see, center names are usually truncated to save space.

Regional offices, geographically agnostic departments, and National departments are usually abreviated, but not all. For instance, the Seabird Restoration Program is "srp" but the Great Lakes regional office is "greatlakes".

Position 2: Engagement Type

In this context, "type" refers to a general category of activity. They roughly correspond to the various types of work Audubon does. This position and the next two have few acceptible values, so I will list all of them for each. 

CodeIs Short ForDescription
acqAcquisitionReserved for passive acquisition; signup forms, center visitor logs, facebook acquisition campaigns, etc.
advAdvocacyUsually online advocacy like our action alerts, but not necessarily, I suppose.
campSummer CampOr Winter Camp, for that matter! Attendees of multi-day, spend-the-night type programs. Or their parents.
specialeventFundraising EventUsually fundraising events; also appropriate for prospect/donor cultivation type events.
fundFundraisingUsually online donations like our donation forms, but not necessarily, I suppose.
outreachOutreachReserved for active acquisition; usually tabling at festivals and such, but any active outreach acquisition.
programCenter/State ProgramsBird walks, banding demos, field trips, school group visits, trail rides, canoe rentals, planting days, etc.
retargetRetargetingThose ads that follow you around on the internet and make you feel like someone is spying on you.
volVolunteeringVolunteer activities either in the field or at an Audubon location: habitat monitoring, maintenance, data entry, community science, hill days, etc.

Position 3: Source

As you might have guessed with something called a "Source Code" position #3 is the heart of the matter here. It answers the question, "where did this contact come from?" for anyone to whom it is applied as an Origin Source.

For digital engagement, there is a clearly established group of sources that roughly corresponds to the "referral" information. For real-life engagement, how to use source is not so clear, and thus I would be open to suggestions. But here's what we have so far:

CodeIs Short ForDescription
audubonwebAudubon WebsiteEngagement occurred on one of Audubon's web properties; typically or one if its subdomains.
upworthy, care2, etc.A variety of cause marketing platformsPetitions, Letters, Votes. Online Platforms like these often partner with nonprofits and share leads generated through particular issue actions.
facebook, twitter, etc.A variety of social media platformsIt's very unlikely that I have to explain this one.
webreferralother digital referral sourcesLess common referrals we lump together into a single source designation, and then put the details in, you know, the details.

Happening at a center/officeWhatever it was that happened, it happened on-site at an Audubon Center, Sanctuary, or Office. Or what have you.
offsiteAway from a center/officeFestivals, carnivals, rallies, demonstrations, field trips, not-at-center habitat stewardship and conservation.

Position 4: Strategic Priority

If the activity or program you're engaging in corresponds directly to one of the pillars of Audubon's current strategic plan, this is the place to say so. If you want to know more about this plan, there is a whole website about it.

CodeIs Short ForDescription
workinglandsWorking Lands
bfcBird-Friendly Communitites

Position 5: Details

Anything else you think would be important in parsing out different sources of acquisitions and engagement for the purposes of measuring value. Do paid social events lead us to more committed supporters than free ones do? Details is the place to mark people accordingly, and then we can find out.

This position is perhaps most heavily used by finance-ferrying source codes, because of all the various General Ledger distinctions there are.

Postscript: THE X

Any position where you don't have anything to add or specify, it won't be blank or left out. Instead, there will be an "x" in its place. This makes it easier to use robots to parse out different facets of information.