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So you're thinking about starting a BWI chapter...

That's great! We receive several emails every day from individuals or groups interested in completing the affiliation process with us. In the past four years, weíve grown from an organization of 4 local chapters to almost 60 local chapters, and counting. This kind of growth is so exciting to us, and we want to make the most pertinent details easily accessible to you, the information seeker. Groups come to us both already established or starting from the ground up. We are fine with either of these and are excited that you are considering joining as well!

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

Perhaps the greatest benefit of affiliating with Babywearing International is the knowledge that you are becoming part of an internationally recognized organization, and participating in our work to promote safe and accessible babywearing throughout the world! Of course, there are some tangible benefits as well, including the following.

  • Library and Funds. Chapters are allowed to keep two thirds 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. (Chapters 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.)

  • Media. Groups have the ability to use the Babywearing International name and logo, including a personalized version of the logo with the chapterís name. Chapters are able to post about events through our Facebook and Twitter accounts and gain publicity automatically through their association with us.

  • Non-profit status. Chapters of Babywearing International are covered by our 501(c)3 status, and can receive donations and make purchases as a non-profit organization.

Chapter Responsibilities

  • 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 International.

Process of Affiliation

So, you might ask, what work is actually required to become an affiliate chapter of Babywearing International? The process is fairly simple and can be completed in a matter of weeks.

  • 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 of it.

  • 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 partnership.

  • Cost. The group pays dues of $20/year, which is due with the completed application.

  • 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 applications.

If becoming an affiliate chapter sounds like a good match for you, contact your stateís Regional Director to begin the process!

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