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USBC Membership FAQs

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General Membership Questions

Why should my organization consider membership with USBC?

The USBC is the national partner to advance policy and practices and facilitate the implementation of The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding. The cross-cutting nature of breastfeeding calls for collaboration and outreach across a spectrum of sectors to ensure consistency and quality of breastfeeding support to every family. Becoming an integral part of this grassroots to treetops movement will provide members with sustained capacity building support from USBC, and opportunities for collaborative action with local, state and national partners.

Who is a member of the USBC?

The membership of the United States Breastfeeding Committee represents the most unified voice in advocating for breastfeeding policy and practice change in the US. This includes National Nonprofit members, Governmental Members, Coalitions and Community Based Organizations. Visit the membership directory to view a list of current members.

How does my organization become a member of USBC?

To begin the application process, please review the USBC Membership guidelines. Once reviewed, you may submit an application and the associated processing fee. To submit an application for membership, please see our Prospective Members page.

What might make my organization exempt from membership to USBC?

Organizations whose primary purpose is to market or sell products or services in support of infant formula feeding are ineligible for membership with the USBC. The USBC champions honesty, transparency, and accountability as integral to the success of our collaborative efforts. Representatives of membership organizations should uphold scrupulous regard for the highest standards of conduct and integrity.

Membership Structure

What are the membership categories?

The USBC has two major membership categories: Voting and Non-Voting Members.

Voting members include the following subcategories 

  • National Non-profit Organizations
  • Associate Non-profit
  • Affiliate Non profit
  • State/Territorial Coalitions
  • Tribal Coalition/Organizations
  • Local/Community Coalitions
  • Cultural Coalitions

Non-Voting Members include the following subcategories: 

  • Governmental Members
  • Honorary Members
  • Affiliate For-Profit Members
  • Emeritus Members

We welcome you to read about each category on our membership categories page.

Why did USBC add new membership categories?

In April 2018, USBC's membership approved bylaw amendments by a 2/3 majority vote, expanding membership categories to include State, Territorial, Tribal, Local and Cultural (STLTC) coalitions, and Community Based Organizations (CBOs). This historic change solidifies USBC and its membership’s commitment to inclusive, equitable collaboration to build a robust grassroots to treetops movement in the breastfeeding field.

What is the difference between voting and non-voting members?

  • Both voting and non-voting members (with the exception of Emeritus and Honorary Members) may assign member representatives to the USBC. Each of these member representatives may serve on USBC committees, according the guidelines in the Committees Policy, and participate in USBC-affiliated Constellations.
  • Only member representatives of voting membership organizations can serve on USBC’s Board of Directors and cast votes in USBC elections or for approval of bylaws changes.

What is the role of member representative within USBC?

  • With the exception of emeritus and honorary members, member organizations are expected to send at least one representative to attend the general session portions of every membership meeting. Member representatives are also expected to participate in USBC-affiliated Constellations and report on organizational activities related to breastfeeding via their Group profiles in the USBC website.

Application & Fees

What is the application review process like?

The Executive Director and/or Membership Relations staff will individually review each submitted initial and renewal application package against an Application Review Checklist to ascertain. If determination of membership eligibility remains unclear; the application will be forwarded to the USBC’s Membership Engagement Committee. The Membership Engagement Committee will then make a recommendation to the USBC Board of Directors, who will then make a final decision.

Why do I have to submit proof of state registration?

Organizations applying for membership under the national, affiliate or associate nonprofit categories are required to submit proof of state registration to confirm their nonprofit status. Nonprofit status may also be confirmed by providing proof of tax-exempt status.

Is there a fee for membership?

Yes. The membership fee schedule for voting and non-voting members can be viewed here.

Can I pay the organizational membership fee in installments?

Fees may be paid in annual installments or as one-time payments. Annual installments must be paid by October 1 of each year during an organization's 5-year membership term.

What is the rationale behind the new membership fee schedules?

The USBC has a fiscal responsibility and need to generate revenue that more properly reflects the value and robust capacity-building supports we provide to the First Food field. Considering these changes through an equity lens, the Board has approved a "pay it forward" or "load sharing" model that has worked well in earlier, isolated experiments we've conducted, such as the registration structure for various meetings and our national conference. Applying this approach to Membership, we are asking that large, established organizations in the USBC network with the ability to pay in accordance to their operating budgets, support a representational share of the cost of supporting the field. In this way, organizations with financial ability PROVIDE value to the field, while also DERIVING value from the USBC Membership Benefits. 

Is there special pricing for under-resourced organizations?

The USBC recognizes that an organization may be under-resourced or could experience a temporary, yet significant financial setback at any point and may submit a membership fee adjustment request form.

Can I pay my membership fee online?

Yes, membership fees can be paid online or via check.

How long does it take for membership to become active?

  • Once the application and processing fee is received, please allow between 4 and 6 weeks for processing and notification. Membership is active once membership fees are received.

I paid my annual installment with a credit card. Will my next installment be charged automatically?

No. You will need to resubmit your credit card information each time you submit payment. 

Membership Terms & Renewals

How long is my organization’s membership term?

Each organization has a membership term of five (5) years unless terminated earlier pursuant to Section 2.2.3 of the Bylaws.  Note: Terms do not apply to honorary members—honorary membership continues as long as an individual serves in a specified position.

What is the membership renewal process like?

Membership renewal notifications are delivered via email in October of the final year of the organization’s membership term. Renewal applications and membership fees must be received by October 1 of the following year.

What if my organization doesn’t renew membership?

Should membership not be renewed, per the USBC membership policy, membership and voting rights will expire on March 31st, following the renewal deadline. 

Membership Engagement

I just received approval for membership. Now what?

What is the Members Connection?

  • The Members Connection is the online community for member representatives. This community workspace houses important documents accessible to members, including USBC 990s, Board Meeting Minutes and USBC Policy documents.

When are membership meetings held?

  • USBC membership meetings are held virtually every January and in-person every June. Details of each meeting are announced several months in advance.

Can non-member representatives be engaged with USBC?

  • Yes, we invite other members of your organization (non-representatives) to create an individual profile in the USBC website, join learning communities and register for USBC hosted webinars. Non-member representatives do not have access to “members only” sections of the website.

What are constellations and how can my organization get involved?

  • Constellations are USBC supported, action-focused work teams populated by interested member and partner organizations. Each member organization receives an Engagement Survey to inform USBC of its involvement in various topic areas. To learn more about constellations and the formation pathway click here