Interested in finding out more about starting a chapter? All your questions answered below!
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;
- 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!
- Satisfy your own passion for educating others about holistic health and conscious parenting.
The Holistic Moms Network provides support to chapters with leadership training, through our Leader to Leader Support (LLS) Program, a step-by-step chapter co-leaders’ manual, and a wealth of resources – including both online advice through our chapter co-leaders’ Google Drive, a closed Co-Leader Facebook group, and written materials.
As HMN Chapter Co-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. Your Leadership will profoundly affect not only you, but an entire generation of parents. HMN is dedicated to helping make your chapter a success! We provide the tools to make your chapter possible and build a thriving community!
Please note: We are a community-building organization and abide by a non-solicitation policy within our Chapters. Some of our existing Chapter Co-Leaders are holistic healthcare professionals or business owners whose purpose is to build a chapter and strengthen HMN’s Vision and Purpose. If you are a holistic business owner or healthcare practitioner looking to build your business, being a Chapter Co-Leader is not for you. Our communities are not about marketing a specific product, company, or practice, but rather about building authentic grassroots communities.
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 co-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 Leader to Leader Support 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 one mom to get the ball rolling!
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.
- 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 choose to 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.
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. 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 the longevity of our Chapter communities.
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.
How much does it cost to start a Chapter?
All chapter leaders must also be members of our organization. Annual membership is $30 per year, a tax-deductible contribution to our organization. For just $30 (just $2.50 per month!) you receive lots of great benefits.
Chapter co-leaders pay an additional $25 for a Leadership Training Kit, which includes the Chapter Co-Leader Manual, leadership materials and online trainings, plus access to our online resources – all of which are benefits of being an affiliated HMN Chapter Co-Leader. Chapter Co-Leaders are eligible to be reimbursed from Chapter funds for this Leadership Training Fee, once their Chapter has been launched and is in good standing (has five members or more).
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?
After filling out a leadership application, all Chapter Co-Leaders are interviewed and approved to start a chapter in their area by HMN National. Every leader is required to watch our leadership video, fill out our Co-Leader questionnaire, and review the Co-Leader Manual before they can move forward. In addition, we recommend at least 6-8 weeks of publicity to get the word out about a new chapter before a 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 and have done a lot of publicity about their new community.
Okay, I want to get started! What do I do now?
Great! First, make sure we don’t already have an active or launching chapter in your area by clicking here. If there is no chapter in your area, you may request information on starting a new Chapter. Our Director of Chapter Development will send you a link to a short video that describes what is involved in starting and running a new HMN Chapter, plus an application for chapter leadership. We look forward to working with you to build a new holistic community in your area!
If you have any questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (877) HOL-MOMS. Thank you!