Saturday, June 8, 2013

June Membership Drive

It's time for another membership drive!

But wait, you say.  We just had one last October for International Babywearing Week.  We have to hear the sales pitch again?

Well, yes.  Like public radio, we are run through memberships.  But this membership drive is a bit different, and if it's successful, will set the tone for future membership drives.  How is it different, you ask?

For the entire month of June, Babywearing International will let all chapters keep 100% of membership dues.

Normally, when we receive membership dues, half of the dues are remitted to the mothership, and we keep the other half.  But in order to grow our chapters and expand our libraries, headquarters has generously allowed us to keep everything for this month.  Imagine being given twice as much allowance for the next 22 days!  That's 200% of normal proceeds!  We need to jump on this now!

Okay, you say.  That's really awesome for you.  Here's the rub, though.  Why should I join BWI?  What makes this so compelling that I should just shove my money into your face?

Why should you join Babywearing International?  Why, indeed?  Dear reader, here's why.  Please imagine this in your best Ira Glass voice.

Reason 1: We need you to help us keep going.  

BWI of Atlanta, just like all the other BWI chapters, is completely, totally, absolutely 100% volunteer-run.  The Volunteer Babywearing Educators - there's that word, volunteer - are so passionate about babywearing that they devote hours every month to help complete strangers.  BWI of Atlanta holds 3 meetings of 2 hours each every month and every single official BWI meeting has at least 1, preferably 2 VBEs in attendance.

The Atlanta metro area is huge and sprawling, so the VBEs spend additional time driving to get to meetings.  Not to mention the time that's taken to answer questions on the Facebook page, write blog posts (hi!), compile information, build a lending library, write helpful documents for the chapter meetings, and participate in the mandatory VBE round tables.  We've been tested multiple times by BWI and we've had years to build up experience and knowledge.

We don't get paid for this.  We love what we do; we get paid in gratitude.  We get paid every single time a fussy baby falls asleep in a sling, every single time a tired, worn-out caregiver looks up and gives us a radiant smile.  We live for these moments.

But you, dear reader: we need you to become members so that we have the funds to grow, add more meetings, add more educators, and see more smiles.  We need you to help by chipping in a yearly fee of $30.

Reason 2: This is important to you.

You might already be a babywearer.  You might even be a babywearing proselytizer.  Your life has been taken over by Facebook swap groups and the for sale or trade forum on The  You keep coming to meetings even though there isn't anything else for you to learn.  You've had so many moments when you've wished you had some pamphlets or business cards to hand over as you gush about how great babywearing is.

You are a babywearing addict.

We can help you with that.  We can help you help others...but only if you help us.

More seriously, we all believe in the benefits of babywearing.  We've seen first hand how it decreases crying, helps build secure attachments, aids in reflux, provides tummy time, and encourages strong bonds between infants and caregivers.  We've seen how quickly babies calm down once they're in a carrier and in motion.  We've read the studies on how babywearing helps regulate temperature and heart rate for newborns and premature babies, how the simple act of a caregiver's constant touch lends strength to those who need it.  This is important to us, and this is important to you.  That's worth $30.

Reason 3: Membership can be a fantastic deal.

What happens if you or someone you know is struggling financially but still needs a quality baby carrier?  What happens when the carrier you have isn't the one that fits your needs?  $30 a year allows members to check out any carrier in the lending library for a month at a time, 12 months a year.  This is an unbelievably good deal.  This is better than finding a carrier on Craigslist.  This is better than hunting down sales online or at Babies 'R Us.  This is better than that steal you got at the consignment store.

This is a great gift, period.

Here's how you can help.

The membership drive will run from June 9th to June 30th.  For every 5 memberships, BWI of Atlanta can purchase a much-needed carrier for the lending library or provide a perk to BWI members.  This is the breakdown:

  • 5 memberships will allow us to buy a Kalea Baby and a Sleeping Baby Productions ring sling.  We do not currently have these shoulder styles in the library.  BWI of Atlanta will also provide business cards for members to keep on hand.
  • 10 memberships will allow us to purchase a Chimparoo wrap conversion mei tai as well as provide membership cards for all members in good standing, present and future.  The Chimparoo mei tai is especially attractive to us at BWI of Atlanta because it can be cinched down to accommodate newborns, lengthened for older babies and shared between multiple caregivers.
  • 15 memberships will allow us to buy a Babyhawk Oh Mei! half-buckle mei tai.  If we hit this goal, at the end of the month we will raffle off a $50 gift voucher usable at certain vendors to any new or renewing member.  This is only for people joining or renewing during the drive.  Renewing members will still be counted from their original join date.  So, for example, if a member joined in October of 2012 and renews June of 2013, that member will not need to renew again until October of 2014.
  • 20 memberships will give us the funds to purchase a 4.5 meter Vatanai Orkney for the lending library.
  • 25 memberships will give us the funds to purchase a standard/standard Kinderpack for the lending library.  Additionally, we will raffle off two t-shirts emblazoned with KEEP CALM AND WEAR YOUR BABY.
We have been lucky enough to catch the eye of an up-and-coming online retailer in the Atlanta area who sells carriers, cloth diapers, and other baby accessories.  Giggling Goat Kids (website still under construction) is owned by Emily, and she has issued BWI of Atlanta a Refer-A-Friend challenge.  Any member who joins or renews during the drive who successfully gets a friend to join will get a $5 gift certificate to use, as well as a BWI of Atlanta car magnet.  The referred member will also receive a $5 gift certificate and a BWI of Atlanta car magnet.

I am looking forward to this membership drive.  Please spread the word, join BWI of Atlanta, or renew your membership.  Look at all the stuff we could get if we just got 25 new or renewing memberships!  Keep babywearing alive and well in Atlanta!  I'll see you on Facebook.

Here's how to join: