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Saved by the Web

Connie Boord
Brooklyn Park MN USA
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 38 No. 6, December 2002 - January 2003, p. 126.

During the past five years as Contributing Editor for this column, I have received a lot of articles from Leaders from all around the world. They—you—have contributed great ideas about the importance of promoting membership and how to do it. It’s been a rewarding job contacting different Leaders to solicit articles, and even more gratifying to have Leaders send me articles without having to contact them first!

This month, as the Leaven deadline loomed closer, I didn’t have a Leader’s article to submit or even an idea to write one myself. I was worried that maybe there just weren’t any more new ideas. Maybe we’ve printed everything that there is to know about membership!

I considered going back in the files and reprinting each article one by one from the past five years. Besides the fact that I wouldn’t have to worry about any more deadlines, I rationalized that there are a lot of new Leaders who may not have had the opportunity to read the previously published articles. Many experienced Leaders might have forgotten some of the excellent ideas.

Still trying to find an author, I decided to follow up on a lead from a Leader in my Chapter. I phoned her co-Leader, Rachel Russ of St. Francis, Minnesota, USA who described a clever poster she had made to promote membership. Rachel used graphics on her computer to make pink and blue "baby alphabet blocks" to spell out the letters of the word "membership," with each letter spelling out one of the benefits:

Mother-to-mother support
Encouragement through rough times
Members-only discounts
Books for sale and loan
Everyone’s input and suggestions
Regular monthly meetings
Subscription to New Beginnings
Helpful hints for mothering
Information about breastfeeding
Phone help from LLL Leaders

What a great new idea! But as we finished our phone conversation, Rachel told me that the concept for the visual wasn’t original. She had found the idea on the LLLI Web site and embellished it. This poster idea, originally from Becky Cook of Carmel, Indiana, USA, had already been published in the Leaven article, "Worth a Thousand Words" (October-November 1998).

Still no new idea for an article. But, although Rachel didn’t have an original idea for the column, she made me realize that my original idea hadn’t been original either! Articles from past issues of Leaven have already been reprinted on LLLI’s Web site!

To get a few new ideas or refresh your memory, go to www.lalecheleague.org and click on "For Leaders." In "Resources for LLL Leader," click on the Leaven article database (by topic). This section has articles from past issues that both Leaders and Applicants can access (not password protected). Click on "Leadership Responsibilities, Resources, and Skills" and you will find a section entitled "membership." Even easier, you can go directly to www.lalecheleague.org/llleaderweb/LV/Leader.html#Membership

There you will find over 20 articles about membership, reprinted for your reading pleasure. You can find ideas for promotion, visuals, what to say at meetings, or inspirational articles such as "Membership: A Best Buy," by Mary Ann Kerwin.

By "net-working" with other Leaders, I found my "safety net" on the Internet—LLLI’s Web site. I found an idea for this article and was able to meet my deadline! Saved by the Web! The next time you need an idea to promote membership, use your computer to check out www.laleche league.org/

To help Connie with her next deadline, send your ideas for membership to cboord at earthlink.net (email) or mail to: 4417-78th Ave. N., Brooklyn Park, MN 55443 USA.

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