Even if you are only a chapter member of NARGS, you get a lot of benefits from the national organization without paying.
-- One is that your chapter wouldn't even exist if it weren't for NARGS.
-- Ask any knowledgeable stalwart in you chapter: "How did you get so smart?"; the national organization is integral in their learning. And you benefit because they bring their knowledge to you.
-- Something else they bring to you: plants. Plants that you never would have seen or knew about. This, because of the seed ex (from which they propagate plants) or knowledge and contacts through the many facets of NARGS.
-- We used to have international speaker tours that were offered to chapters for a ridiculously low cost, the bulk of the dollars and logistics absorbs by NARGS. But, due to declining membership
that had to be cut.
-- I could mention more.....
So "chapter members only" members are already piggybacking on the national organization free of charge. Unlike a business, plant societies rely heavily on the good will of their people.
The seed exchange is run exclusive through volunteer work. The seed supply fluctuates from year to year because it is donated by members (not bought), who have given freely for
members. Because of this, participants usually don't get all of their first choice seeds filled. All buyers have a finite number of seed packets they are allowed to order. Realize that if a NARGS member answers your plea for seed, they are not just getting seed for you; that generous person is actually giving up a seed packet that they would have otherwise had for themselves!