Start a Local MBDCA Chapter
Would you like to enjoy the benefits of a local MBDCA chapter in your town? We'd like to help! Enjoying activities with your mixed breed dog are so much more fun when you can enjoy them with others who also one mixed breeds. Each local club sets their own agenda, depending on the interests and talents of the local members. National MBDCA does not require you to hold certain events or shows, that is up to the local membership to decide.
There are probably many other mixed breed owners in your neighborhood who would like to join such a club. The following pointers may help you locate some of these people. Print flyers announcing an organizational meeting. Distribute them and talk to local vets, shelter operators, the humane society, and purebred dog club members. (Yes, many of our members also own purebreds and would like the opportunity to show their mixed breeds, too!) Be sure to contact your local media about your organizational meeting. They are usually interested in covering unusual human-interest stories, and forming a club for mixed breed dogs and their owners in your community would meet that test.
Tips for Starting a Successful Chaper
- First Meeting: Prepare an agenda and send out to those who would be interested in joining (should have at least 20 people). Have a map with good directions on how to get to the meeting location. Ask for a response back before the meeting if they cannot attend.
- Introductions: List some items to mention to help people open up such as: name, where you presently live, profession, goals in dog training, dog experience, how did you find out about the club, pet's name, age, what kind & pet's background (personality/titles).
- Volunteers for positions - Officers must be 18 or older & member for 90 days at next election date.
- Requirements - Attend almost all the meetings & activities - cannot attend, work with Vice President so they are comfortable taking over position for day. Should have experience in dog sports, a good organizer and not have a problem speaking in front or others. Most of the time at activities they are busy keeping others active rather than getting involved themselves. Be familiar with Mixed Breed Dog Club of America rules, regulations & bylaws.
- Responsibility - Run & organize activities & meetings with a team spirit rather than autocratic. Prepare an agenda for meetings & activities. Make arrangements and keep membership posted on dates. Be a spokesperson for publicity.
- Vice President
- Requirements/Responsibility: Same as above. Be prepared to take over as President either temporary or till end of term. Assist President.
- Requirements: Should be a legible writer that can take notes quickly or doesn't mind rewriting/typing. Should have a good attendance at meetings.
- Responsibility - Take minutes at meetings & discussions at activities - keep minutes, treasurer's report, insurance policy and any other legal papers.
- Requirements: Should be an honest person with no financial problem. Good at math.
- Responsibility: Get a tax number from Internal Revenue to open a bank account (checking & or savings) with a bank that doesn't charge much for check writing. President & Treasurer are the ones who sign bankcard. Prepare each month an accounting sheet recording past month's debits/credits and ending balance. Submit to President at each get together (once a month). Secretary keeps records. Issue checks for reimbursement costs (prepare form for itemization of costs and have people fill out when they want a reimbursement). Deposit money from membership & sales. Keep items for sale & bring to all meetings/activities.
- Board Members(3)
- Requirements: Good attendance, have storage space, thrifty shoppers and fair people.
- Responsibility: Keep club property, approve disbursement of funds and bear complaints.
- Requirements: Good at helping people, access to cheap high quality copies, easy to understand, quick to respond with sending out material. Should have no problem calling long distance.
- Responsibility - List name & phone number on brochures, cards, ads. Be prepared to call & verify the club is what inquirer is interested in. If yes, send out a new member application and keep track of those who were interested. Call to be sure they received the application (mail service is not what it use to be) and see if they have any questions. Call and invite to upcoming meetings and activities. When they become members, hand out at get togethers their new member packet & rules & regulations. Send out renewals, and keep folders on each member. Bring copies of new membership packet & rules & regulations to all get togethers.
- Newsletter Editor
- Requirements: Good writer/speller/typist. Big undertaking. Involves time to write, research, type and distribute copies. Must be a person who can keep deadlines. Try timing distribution so newsletters can be handed out at meetings; saving postage.
- Responsibility: Fill 10 pages with dog data that fits with activities/seasons coming up. Make calls to get an agenda for upcoming events that Mixed Breed dogs can participate in. Also, list club's meetings/activities. Write up an article on each meeting/activity. Have extra copies of current newsletter at all get togethers for joining members or for those that didn't get their newsletter through the mail. Check with membership chairman periodically to see if any new members to send newsletter to. Update roster on new members joining.
- Requirements: Creative person, familiar with dog activities.
- Responsibility: Come up with ideas on how to let the people who would be interested in joining know about the club.
- The following positions can be filled at a later date:
- Judge Chairperson: Makes sure judges at fun matches are qualified MB Judges.
- Judge Chairperson - Keep MB Judges list current, recruit judges, and keep judges updated on rule changes.
- Conformation Chairperson - Makes arrangements with other clubs to set up a MB Conformation Class.
- MB Representative - Answer any questions at fun matches that pertain to our rules & regulations.
- Photographer/Historian - Take pictures at fun matches & events for scrapbook & newsletter.
- MB Recruiter - Contact dog trainers, adoption places, pet stores & veterinary offices and provide them with brochures.
Before your first meeting is over you should have plans on how to raise money for your #1 biggest expense: insurance. In March of 1991 the Wa. MBDC paid $250 for one year's worth of coverage. It is needed to hold a dog show of any type. It protects all the members from being sued from unscrupulous people & insurance companies. Clubs have been sued for the stupidest reasons. Think out and research the ideas before presenting them. Our club had the idea of making squeaker toys and selling them before the holiday. Good idea, but it disintegrated quickly when 1) the squeaker parts were not easily obtained from a local source 2) you need product insurance in case someone has a problem with the toy (dog chokes to death on it when it falls apart) 3) you need commercial sewing machines to keep the toys together made for dogs. Found a distributor who would sell us a large quantity at wholesale cost (they had product insurance & commercial sewing machines), but that required us to put our personal money up front on a product we hadn't seen. So when you bring an idea to the meeting - have the details worked out so the plan can be immediately put into action.
Also, before the membership leaves you should have plans & schedules set for at least the next two get togethers. What works the best is one month a planning meeting, the next a dog activity. Of course, when your just starting you have no money (dues money is used for copies & postage) so you have to find free places. Parks are usually free and if you're lucky, a member might have a training facility they are willing to let the club use. For planning meetings check with libraries and humane shelters. Just like the money raiser ideas - come prepared with details worked out. Have dates and times of when places are available. Know who will help with an activity, where, and when,
Other items to be accomplished at the first few planning meetings are:
- Pick a name for your chapter.
- Come up with a logo. Have a contest to get different ideas. Simpler is usually better in terms of cost when reproducing it on items.
- Establish by-laws. Obtain copies from other chapters to give members a good idea of what to cover and different options.
- Get incorporated.
- Decide on chapter dues. Remember each chapter pays the national $6.00 for each registered dog (before July first of that year) in October. The Washington Chapter went to a pro-rated system for people joining during the year. Dues should also cover the cost of the newsletter plus postage.
Behind every successful club there is always a strong driving force. Usually it is a handful of people who believe in the good of the club so much they spend a lot of extra time and absorb extra expense to see that the club thrives and flourishes in a positive direction. These people give unselfishly for the benefit of others without expecting any accolades, but for the reward of seeing the club do good. The more of these self-motivated members in the club the faster your chapter will grow and the more fun it will be.
Any questions? Please write our Membership Secretary. We'll be glad to help you get your new club up and running. Once your local chapter is established, contact our Membership Secretary for a Member Club Application Form so your club can enjoy the benefits of being an official affiliate of the Mixed Breed Dog Clubs of America. (We'll add your chapter information and pictures to our web page!)