|What is this group about?
Whatcom Women’s Network (WWN) is a partnership of individuals and business owners dedicated to in-person networking. Our weekly lunch meetings are a time to get to know each other and to learn more about our different businesses. We recommend each other, refer potential customers and do a great deal of business together as a result.
What do the “Dues” pay for?
Dues are $20 monthly with a one-time joining fee of $30. The dues pay for our website, where each member is given a directory entry with a link to members’ individual sites. Material costs are limited, such as printing business cards, our P.O. box and a few others. Each member receives a professional business card holder. We direct a portion of our dues to our local charitable giving program.
How long has this group been around? How was it established?
The group was founded in Bellingham in 1994 as the Bellingham Women’s Leads Club, part of Ali Lassen’s International Leads Club. Lassen founded the Leads Club business in the 1970s to give women an alternative to the “men only” groups she had been barred from joining. We found the structured meetings, one-on-one focused networking, opportunity to practice our “30 second promotional” and 10-minute presentations to be empowering and effective in developing our businesses. We chose to become an independent group in 2003. As the Whatcom Women’s Network we have lower dues and a local focus. We support local non-profit organizations of our choosing, which primarily provide services to women and children. To promote connectivity with other local businesses and support the environment, WWN became members of Sustainable Connections in 2007.
How often can I visit?
Visitors are welcome to attend two meetings prior to making a choice to apply for membership. Only members may attend regularly.
Can I come just to promote my workshop/event/products without intending to join?
Maybe – please check with the Director to see if your event or product is something that might infringe on the business category of a current member. If it does not, we certainly welcome your visit.
How can I apply to join?
You may get an application at a meeting, or download one from our website. Once we’ve determined your business is not already represented in our group, please complete the application and email or mail it to the Director. If your proposed business category might possibly interfere or overlap with an existing member’s category, that member will be asked to review, and will have the right to block, your application. If a conflict arises, we may also contact you to discuss possible modification or limitation of your category. In order to simplify the process, it’s important to clearly name your business category. For example, “On-line Marketing” is too vague, while “Send out Cards online correspondence business” is wonderfully specific.
How will my application be processed?
The Director will check your business references. Your application is then discussed, typically at the next business meeting (you are asked to refrain from attending). The Director will notify you regarding the status of your application. We are looking for professionals who want to build and improve their business, and prospective members must have evidence of business experience and success to qualify as a member. Any business that requires licensing or professional accreditations to operate must be in compliance.
Can I bring my kids?
Babes in arms are welcomed. To help minimize disruptions we ask members to step out of the room when babies become fussy. For other children, visitors and members are requested to make childcare arrangements, as this is intended to be a business-focused meeting and a chance to socialize with other adults. Upon occasion, members who’ve needed to keep their children with them have done so.
Can multilevel marketing businesses join?
You may apply to join to represent the products or services of your business, but not to market the business opportunity itself. Members are already busy professionals in their chosen field. Promotional materials that include mention of the business opportunity may be distributed as long as this is not their primary purpose. Members may contact you outside of the meeting to discuss the business opportunity.
What is the Charitable Giving Program?
How can my non-profit apply for funding? The focus of the Whatcom Women’s Network Charitable Giving Program is to fund local programs that benefit women and children. The grants are modest, and have been made periodically since 2007 by agreement of the group subject to availability of funds. At present, there is no formal process for soliciting applications. Past recipients of donations have included the Boys & Girls Club of Lynden, Girls on the Run, The Assistance League Bellingham and the Whatcom Community Foundation.
||Whatcom Women’s Network is a partnership of individuals and business owners dedicated to in-person networking.
Our weekly lunch meetings are a time to get to know each other and to learn more about our different businesses.
We recommend each other, refer potential customers and do a great deal of business together as a result.