By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE
DONA International was founded 26 years ago by five of the most amazing people! Dr. John H. Kennell, Dr. Marshall Klaus, Annie Kennedy, Penny Simkin, and Phyllis Klaus sat down and established the organization we now know as DONA International. How did this group of visionaries lay down the building blocks for DONA International that has stood the test of time for almost three decades? I am very grateful for their efforts, as well as their vision and thoughtfulness in establishing a scope of practice and code of ethics for this organization.
I am very proud to be a member of this phenomenal organization and if I can be honest, I am happy to support this non-profit with my yearly membership and certification dollars. I have supported my family as a birth professional for 15 years and I owe a lot of my success to the foundation and professionalism that I receive from the DONA International leaders, trainers and colleagues all around me.
Membership in DONA International affords me many benefits that I want to share with you now. My membership dollars support the DONA organization and in turn, DONA supports me directly in the following ways:
- Discounted savings on the alternating in-person and virtual conference on top of early bird pricing available to all for advance registration.
- Member discount on valuable DONA International webinars and business webinars good for additional contact hours.
- Quarterly hard-copy of the International Doula and online access to back issues. This journal is a great resource full of wonderful insights and top-notch contributors and topics.
- Member discount on fantastic DONA merchandise and swag from the DONA Boutique.
- Active DONA International Member Facebook Group for members only.
- Regional/state/provincial/country private Facebook Groups led by DONA International Ambassadors.
- Access to customizable DONA International “Dads, Partners & Doulas” and “What is a Doula?” rack cards, where you can add your business info. Download these cards from the link in the February 2018 eDoula.
- Member only promotional materials for your business.
- Member discount on professional liability insurance for your doula business (in the US) from CM&F Group.
- Office Max/Office Depot excellent discounted prices on hundreds of office products and printing services for US members. DONA International is exploring access to similar programs outside the United States.
- Additional savings when you purchase a three-year membership over renewing yearly.
When all is said and done, membership fees break down to (roughly) $8 per month. While the tangible benefits of membership are awesome, it’s important to remember the great benefit of a DONA International affiliation. There is definitely a sense of a bigger picture, especially with DONA’s partnering with and support of advocacy causes like maternal health outcomes and health disparities.
Become a DONA International Ambassador
Are you interested in supporting DONA International members in your area? Consider joining DONA leadership and becoming a DONA International Ambassador. The former “SPAR” position has been updated and renamed DONA International Ambassadors and these people play a critical role in connecting local membership with the organization as a whole, representing DONA International and building community in your area. The benefits of being a DONA International Ambassador are:
- A wonderful opportunity to grow your leadership skills.
- Be mentored and connect with Regional Directors,
- Have exposure and access to Board Leadership.
- Connect and meet many DONA members in your area.
- An excellent listing for your resume or CV.
- Free membership for every year you serve in the Ambassador position.
- 50% discount on conference registration for exemplary Ambassadors at the discretion of the Regional and Membership Director.
- It’s fun!
If an Ambassador position sounds like something you are interested in exploring, find out more info and consider applying at the Ambassador job description link.
What benefits would you like to see?
What other member benefits would you like to see DONA International explore on your behalf? In what ways do you appreciate and find value from your DONA International membership? What kind of DONA connections have you made? Let me know in the comments below.