So you're thinking about starting a BWI chapter...
There are two important elements to starting a chapter. The first is the accreditation of leaders. For more info on this process, click here. The other piece of the process is the chapter affiliation.
Benefits of Affiliation
Library and Funds. Chapters are allowed to keep half of the dues from
their members, which are $30/year per individual. As chapters increase
their membership, they therefore gain funds to increase their lending
libraries. (Most chapters then make access to the library a members-only
privilege, which seems to reduce the incidence of lost or damaged
carriers, and ensures the maintenance of a healthy library.)
Carrier review program. This is a fairly new and very exciting perk.
Chapters are able to submit reviews for carriers in their library, and each
review submission is entered into a bi-monthly drawing to receive a new
carrier for the chapter. Reviews are also submitted to the manufacturers,
ensuring that the people who make the carriers we all need and love are
hearing your essential feedback about their products.
Media. Groups have the ability to use the Babywearing International name
and logo, including a personalized version of the logo with your chapterís
name. Chapters are able to post about events through our Facebook and
Non-profit status. Chapters of Babywearing International are covered by
our 501(c)3 status, and can receive donations and make purchases as a
Meetings. Groups are expected to hold at least ten meetings per year.
These meetings should be free of charge and open to the public.
Reports. Groups submit web-based reports for each meeting and for each
quarter of the fiscal year.
Membership. Groups are asked to encourage membership in Babywearing
Name. Chapters are named according to the format Babywearing
International of Location. The location name can be the city or county
where you meet, or a well-known nickname for the area.
Incorporation. This is an optional element of the process. Incorporating as
a non-profit in your state means that you can raise more funds for your
group than you would otherwise be allowed, but also means an increase in
financial paperwork for the chapter. Incorporation laws are different in
each state, and should be researched independently if you are curious
about what this would entail for you.
FEIN. Chapters apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number, using
a web-based form.
Bank account. Chapters establish a free or low-cost small business or
non-profit bank account in their chapterís name. Chapter funds are kept in
this account and dues payments to Babywearing International are paid out
Affiliation agreement. Once the FEIN and bank account are obtained, a
formal Chapter Affiliation Agreement is completed. This is a legal
document outlining the chapterís and organizationís responsibilities in the
Cost. The group pays dues of $20/year, which is due with the completed
Submit forms. The completed Chapter Affiliation Agreement is scanned
and submitted digitally, and the original is mailed to our secretary.
Approval. Completed applications are processed in the order that they are
received. Groups are usually approved within a week of submitting their
If becoming an affiliate chapter sounds like a good match for you, contact Christie to begin the process.