“Now, not even a year since our chapter started, I can’t imagine life without HMN. I have met amazing people and my life has been changed a little bit each day (some days a lot) from the knowledge that I have gained by being connected to this organization. I feel like I knew so little before joining and was in the beginning stages of my journey. At times I felt overwhelmed by all of the information I was getting and didn’t always know where to start. OK I still feel that way sometimes! But I love being an HMN Chapter Leader!” Kasey, NJ Chapter Leader
Local Support, National Community
Looking to connect with other holistic moms but no Chapter exists near you? Joining the Holistic Moms Network connects you with thousands of other women who support our mission to encourage and promote holistic living, who encourage each other, educate one another, and learn from one another through our online communities and monthly newsletter. Or, consider starting a chapter in your neighborhood and connect locally with other holistic moms!!
Building a new community takes energy, passion, dedication, and commitment. HMN looks for Chapter Leaders who possess these virtues, as well as leadership and organizational skills. Not everyone qualifies to be a Leader, but those that do find it rewarding and satisfying. We are looking for a select few Leaders who are willing to bring change and support to their area! If you feel you are a good candidate for leadership, read on!
How is Holistic Moms different from other local support groups? Click here to learn more!
Some New Chapter FAQs:
Click here to download the PDF version.
Why should I start a Holistic Moms Network Chapter?
Starting a new chapter within our organization is an exciting and rewarding adventure! You will meet others who share your views and passions, develop new friendships, and foster a nurturing community. Create a positive environment where holistic moms share their parenting experiences and natural health knowledge, without criticism. Provide valuable support to moms throughout your area who may be struggling to parent mindfully in the face of pressure from well-meaning family members, friends, or society at large. Organize monthly meetings to help your community learn about numerous topics of interest from each other or from holistic experts, who may serve as guest speakers, and strengthen the network of holistic moms, alternative health providers, and holistic professionals in your own backyard! For many moms, starting a new chapter helps them to satisfy their passion for educating others about holistic health and conscious parenting.
Starting a chapter of the Holistic Moms Network differs from other moms groups – not only in our emphasis to bring about change through support and education, but also because of the assistance given to our leaders to help them along the way. The Holistic Moms Network provides support to chapters with leadership training, access to chapter mentors, a step-by-step chapter leaders’ manual, and a wealth of resources – including both online advice through our chapter leaders’ email loop and written materials.
As HMN Chapter Leaders, you have a voice both within your Chapter and beyond. You are given an opportunity to speak for parents to the media, to represent thousands of members, and to share your ideas and inspirations on a National level to create a more impactful network. Through that opportunity, your Leadership will profoundly affect not only you, but an entire generation of parents. We are dedicated to helping make your chapter a success! We provide the tools to make your chapter possible!
Please note: We are a community-building organization and abide by a non-solicitation policy within our Chapters. Some of our existing Chapter Leaders are holistic healthcare professionals or business owners whose purpose is to build a chapter and strengthen HMN Vision and Purpose. If you are a holistic business owner or healthcare practitioner looking to build your business, being a Chapter Leader is not for you. Our communities are not about marketing a specific product, company, or practice, but rather about building authentic grassroots communities.
Here is what some of our HMN Chapter Leaders have said about their leadership experience:
“I started my chapter of the Holistic Moms Network mainly because I wanted to get to know other holistic moms and I wasn’t finding them at the playgroups and other Mom’s groups I was involved with. Once I created the chapter, the moms came, I knew they were there, but I couldn’t find them. It takes courage to believe that there are other Moms like you and to take the leap of faith to create a community. I am grateful every day that I took the chance.” Denise, WI Chapter Leader
“I’m just blown away by the wonderful people I am meeting through this group. It’s such an enriching experience and I’m so grateful that you’ve created this opportunity! There is never enough time at our monthly meetings! The participants are interested and interesting and the conversations and dialogue have been rich and meaningful. We recently decided to do a follow-up Saturday meeting, as everyone had more questions and information to share. Now THAT is a sign that this type of forum is not only needed but is being embraced!” Lisa, CT Chapter Leader
“I’m getting really excited, thanks so much for making the whole organization run so smoothly and giving all of us such great opportunities! I’ve already found people who are becoming close friends and the support of the loop is precious.” Lucy, NY Chapter Leader
There are no holistic moms near me! How could I possibly start a Chapter?
Being an “alternative” parent may be challenging and can sometimes feel like you’re the only one who is breastfeeding a toddler, using cloth diapers, seeking out natural remedies, or living green. Chances are there are lots of moms out there in your community, just like you! Many holistic moms are less than public about their choices because of years of feeling like the only one or having faced pressure and criticism from friends and family. Just like the movie “Field of Dreams” where they said “If you build it, they will come” – it’s true! Our chapter leaders have been amazed that once the word gets out that they are creating a new community for holistic moms; members seem to materialize from surrounding neighborhoods and towns. The HMN Mentoring Team works with you to help publicize your chapter and to help you find new avenues for getting the word out. All it takes is for one mom to get the ball rolling!
But starting a Chapter sounds too complicated!
Every successful and meaningful venture involves time and effort. There is some work involved in getting a new chapter up and running and the road is not always easy, but HMN offers fabulous resources to assist you along the way. Know that you will not be alone! The HMN Mentoring Team will help you to start your chapter through our Chapter Leadership Manual, a step-by-step guide to creating your own holistic moms community, connect and learn from other Chapter Leaders through our online loop, and access to mentor support. Some of the tasks you will need to take on include learning group leadership, finding a meeting location, publicizing your chapter, getting your chapter started, and actively keep your chapter growing. As your Chapter grows and evolves, every member should play an active role and take on responsibilities of running your community. We encourage you to gather a leadership team to work together and to take on only what you can handle. Getting started is just the first step! Many moms will be grateful that you took the initiative to create the chapter and before long, you’ll have an amazing community with plenty of willing helpers!
It sounds like you have a set structure and format for your Chapters. Why isn’t it more free-flowing?
It’s true that we have worked hard to develop a structure for our chapters, from tools for building local communities to procedures that help make chapters successful. Why? We believe that providing structure and ensuring quality are the keys to success for our chapters and for our members. We want you to be able to build a successful and thriving community. We have years of volunteer and non-profit experience on our team and have seen many organizations come and go. Support groups that lack structure don’t have much of a foundation to build on and often fall by the wayside. Building holistic communities in a society that does not always welcome them may be a challenge. By providing guidelines, we’re laying the groundwork for the future. Without that level of commitment from us and our leaders, we could not count on our communities being around for very long.
In addition, Holistic Moms Network Leaders are the Ambassadors of our organization and play a very important role. As a Leader, you are not only a representative of your local Chapter but of HMN as a national organization. Each Chapter of HMN is part of our National organization and operates according to our policies, mission, and purpose. In return each chapter benefits from being an affiliate: being part of our 501(c)3 non-profit organization, gaining valuable resources and training in successful community building, access to exciting membership benefits, and being eligible for Chapter Rebates. Every Chapter is an extension and representative of our entire National community. There isn’t any separation of entities. As an Ambassador of our organization, a Leader is expected to act with integrity and professionalism.
I already meet with a group of holistic-minded moms. Can we become a Chapter?
Absolutely! Becoming a chapter of the Holistic Moms Network provides you with an opportunity to join a larger community and to be part of our not-for-profit corporation. Our National organization will help guide your chapter, provide you with ideas for future activities, develop a webpage to attract new members while keeping existing ones informed, and assist you to set up your chapter’s own online loop. All of our chapters have the freedom to meet their members’ needs, so if your existing group has specific interests, you will likely be able to incorporate them into your HMN chapter. In addition, a significant portion of each annual HMN membership fee is given to the chapter in order to fund its activities and cover local expenses, such as the costs involved in creating fliers or renting out meeting space, if necessary. You will also become part of our national community and can join our National Online Member Community (OMC) and participate in HMN events and conferences. In addition to these benefits, you may invite new moms to your existing group and help other moms looking for the support and friendship you have found within your own group. As moms, we all recognize how vital connecting with other parents can be for our sanity, to learn, and for the success in our own parenting. Our mission is to serve holistic parents everywhere by offering support, education, and to help them find their own local communities. Local chapters are the heart and soul of our organization! This is why we work so hard to help our moms start local chapters. But, we don’t expect you to do it all yourself. Being part of a National non-profit organization has great benefits. Click here to learn more about the HMN difference!
So, what’s involved in running a Holistic Moms Chapter?
As with any organization, running a chapter of the Holistic Moms Network brings with it certain responsibilities. New Chapters are required to have two Co-Leaders to kick off. Friends or other moms are great to recruit as Co-Leaders. This will make it easier as you can work as a team and share your chapter responsibilities. You will find that many moms will volunteer to get involved early on and will be more than happy to help out! To get the chapter started, you will need to set up a meeting location, date and time; select topics of interest for the group; advertise your chapter locally; and field inquiries from prospective members. HMN will help guide you through each of these steps. Once your chapter is up and running, you and your local co-leaders will continue to plan meetings, invite guest speakers, advertise your chapter, and manage your chapter funds. You may also add new activities to your chapter, such as playgroups, a book club, or a lending library, for example – but these are not requirements and you can add activities as your chapter grows. The more members you have, the more activities you may wish to offer – and to delegate to your members. Most importantly, you need commitment, passion, and energy to see your Chapter through to success. Getting your community going and seeing it thrive may not always be a smooth process, but our Leaders are dynamic and persistent, and are motivated to succeed.
How much does it cost to start a Chapter?
All chapter leaders must also be members of our organization. Annual membership is $45 per year, a tax-deductible contribution to our organization. For just $45 (less than $4 per month!) you receive lots of great benefits! In addition, chapter leaders pay an additional $25 for leadership materials, which include the Chapter Leadership Manual, leadership materials and trainings, and access to our online resources – all of which are benefits of being an affiliated HMN Chapter Leader. Chapter Leaders are eligible to be reimbursed from Chapter funds for this Leader fee, once their Chapter has been launched and is in good standing. If, in starting your chapter, you spend money out of pocket for such things as photocopies, printing, or postage, you may be reimbursed from your own chapter funds, as resources allow. Each chapter receives a portion of each of their member’s dues back from HMN National to help with chapter expenses. However, since our membership fee is so low we advise all chapters to be frugal!
How long does it take to start a Chapter?
All Chapter Leaders must be interviewed and approved by HMN National, are required to attend our Leaders Training Session and must complete our Leadership Commitment, Publicity Worksheet, and New Leaders Checklist before they can move forward. In addition, Leaders should have at least an additional month to publicize their chapter before they kick off with their Chapter Kick-Off Event. Generally, it takes at least two months before you are ready to start your Chapter. Chapters that move forward too quickly tend to encounter more challenges than those that are well-prepared.
Okay, I want to get started! What do I do now?
Great! First, take a moment to email us at mentoring [at] holisticmoms.org to introduce yourself and be sure that a new Chapter is not already in progress in your area. We are always opening new Chapters and if one is already underway, we will connect you so that you can work as part of a Team!
The next step is to complete our New Chapter Start Up Guide Request Form. Once you complete this form, the New Chapter Start Up Guide will be emailed to you for completion. You can return it to us by fax or email and sign up for your membership and leadership fees online at http://membership.holisticmoms.org or by mail.
You will then be interviewed by our Director of Mentoring and Chapter Development about your interests, goals, and ideas for your chapter. This is the first step in our Leadership process. Once the application and approval process is complete, we will provide you with copy of our Chapter Leadership Manual, a step-by-step guide to creating your own chapter that will give you an abundance of great tools to help you get started. With the manual and the support of our leadership community, you’ll be on your way!
For more information on starting a local chapter of the Holistic Moms Network, please complete our New Chapter Start Up Guide Request Form by clicking here.
If you have any questions, contact us at mentoring [at] holisticmoms.org or by phone at (877) HOL-MOMS. Thank you!