Membership Premiums

It may seem an easy prescription to follow for running a non-profit organization. You create a mission, build a website and collect members. You assume that everybody wants a hat, a tee shirt, a tote bag or some emblem of his or her affiliation with the organization. You visit the local embroidery store and are overwhelmed by the unlimited selections of promotional items that can be used as membership premiums.

The little voice in my head, or actually, the louder voice that is my conscience, reminds me that that there is already too much stuff in our lives. Do we really need another logo hat, tee shirt, or tote bag?   How can we tell our story and promote our organization without further contributing to the endless supply of toxic debris that fills our homes, our landfills and frankly, even our harbor?

Next month’s Creek Clean-up will likely uncover more of the plastic bags and bottles that litter our marshes. And once again I will consider a reusable tote bag and or metal canteen as a membership premium.   But not before I am confident that such choices are part of a solution, not just further contributing to the problem.

In the meanwhile, I encourage our membership and our community to take every opportunity to re-cycle and re-use all plastic items. Further, in the spirit of less is more, all members will simply receive a sticker, a Friends of Barnstable Harbor sticker that can be proudly displayed on a car, boat, or wherever you choose.