BC Guide - Voting Membership

Breastfeeding USA is a public benefit corporation incorporated as a membership organization in the state of New York. All Breastfeeding Counselors who hold a current membership are voting members of Breastfeeding USA. Volunteers who are not Breastfeeding Counselors but who serve the organization at the national level as participants on any of the working committees are also voting members. Voting members have the right to participate in the Board of Directors elections, attend meetings of the organization, and even have the ability to vote to amend the organization’s bylaws. As voting members, Breastfeeding Counselors are encouraged to participate in the governance of the organization and exercise their voting rights to select the Board of Directors and influence how Breastfeeding USA is managed.

Current Membership

Voting members must renew their membership annually in Breastfeeding USA to maintain the privileges of voting membership. Voting members who allow their membership to expire may incur a temporary suspension of voting privileges and may not participate in Board of Directors elections. For more information about this requirement and instructions to renew membership, see here.

Board of Directors Elections

Voting members elect the members of the Breastfeeding USA Board of Directors and thereby select the leadership of the organization. The Elections Committee communicates with Voting Members to solicit nominees for all open Board of Directors positions and share information about the candidates prior to the election, and then to distribute confidential ballots in advance of the election closing date. Voting members are encouraged to vote in the Board of Directors election, and to respectfully voice their opinions about candidates, the election, and other issues relating to the management of the organization on Breastfeeding USA voting member communication channels (such as the Breastfeeding USA Volunteer Google group. BfUSA_volunteers@breastfeedingusa.org.)


Voting members have the right to attend all official meetings of the Board of Directors as observers. The Board of Directors may choose to provide an opportunity at the conclusion of the board meeting for voting members to ask questions or otherwise address the board members. Voting members also have the right to attend the Annual Meeting of Voting Members of the organization. At the Annual Meeting, voting members receive reports on the activities, strategic plans, and financial status of the organization and have an opportunity to address the Board of Directors and the voting membership. Breastfeeding Counselors are encouraged to participate in all these meetings to learn more about Breastfeeding USA operations and provide feedback to the organization.


All voting members have access to the For Volunteers section of the Breastfeeding USA website. This part of the website contains information internal to the organization’s voting membership, including forms, internal policy and procedures documents, and resources for Breastfeeding Counselors and national volunteers. Voting members are encouraged to visit the For Volunteers section of the website regularly to keep up-to-date on organizational information. Voting members are required to participate on the Google group, BfUSA_volunteers@breastfeedingusa.org, which the organization uses to distribute announcements to voting members. All voting members may post questions and comments on this list, so it can serve as a discussion board among voting members as well as an announcement list.


Breastfeeding USA relies upon and values its volunteers and has developed a volunteer support structure to assist volunteers in their work. All volunteer obligations and the requirements of Breastfeeding Counselors are documented in the Code of Ethics and Breastfeeding USA Policy Manual. Voting members who do not meet the requirements may be subject to consequences including loss of privileges associated with voting members. These requirements and consequences are further detailed here. To provide further protection for voting members, the Breastfeeding USA bylaws require the organization to maintain a standing Grievance Committee. Voting members who have had membership privileges revoked may request that the Grievance Committee initiate a review of the actions taken in accordance with the Grievance Policy. Individuals can initiate a request by contacting Grievance@BreastfeedingUSA.org. Breastfeeding Counselors who lose accreditation for failure to meet volunteer obligations may only be reinstated by the Board of Directors. Decisions to reinstate any voting member privileges which are revoked will be made with consideraton of the findings and recommendations of the Grievance Committee.