Buttonbytes chat group is a great forum for ideas. Increasing membership is an ongoing project that should be encouraged at the National, State, Club and individual level. Here are just some of the ideas that various members of buttonbytes have suggested. Perhaps you can take some back to your club to consider.

Every new member to the National Button Society helps the long term prospects of our organization. Special thanks to Sara Carroll for collecting this information, and to all who contributed. As Sara says, keep those ideas coming. We will continue to add to this list.

First, know the benefits of membership:

1) Five  Bulletins per year with beautiful color pictures and great articles written by established collectors

containing  educational articles about the history of buttons, and related subjects, and calendar of button events & shows nationwide

2) Classification book published every other year  that will help you organize and catalogue your collection, and teach you the competitive rules used to enter awards at state and National conventions.

3) Membership directory published every other year which gives you the opportunity to know other button collectors throughout the world and form a network with other collectors for buying and selling buttons.    

4) Take part at National Button Society and State shows by clerking, attending workshops, and socializing with other collectors.
5)  Receive recognition for competition which is encouraged and supported by National Button Society. 
6) Purchase educational material published for sale to members.

7) Opportunities for young adults to learn a life time Hobby.

Let’s Get New Members!

Your Local Library – a good place to start:

* Try contacting the librarian to see if you can set up displays in the library cases, or front hall, or schedule to present short programs on buttons in history... Also invite the Principle to visit. Suggest that this could be presented each March... you might also suggest after school program at the schools care centers... and while it may too late for my next suggestion, many school districts have evening enrichment courses for adults, offer a presentation of history in buttons, with an informal appraisal of their own family sewing baskets. This last idea could even provide you with some cash for buttons! Not to mention the nucleus of new members/clubs. The NEA  magazine indicates that with the focus on math/science/literacy, both history & social studies are suffering in our schools.  Buttons are a visual expression of both.

Chris P.  -  btnbtn@gmail.com

* The displays always get someone's attention.  We used to put club contacts at all displays and we always had something for the young folks.  It is always.....always such a great experience to see ordinary faces with joyful expressions when they view some great buttons for the first time.  Don Bardon56@aol.com

* What we did was ask the Library to make a brochure listing all their button books,

this was done for a State Show and handed out to button collectors.

 Sarah   carrollsar@gmail.com

*This is the time for a library display but now is not the time  to approach the library to set it up. Our library has a two year

waiting list for people wanting to display their treasures. We have  to learn to think ahead. As with the NBS anniversary, now is the

time to plan the 75th, not the 70th which upon us now.



*We meet in a public library in Port St Joe, Florida.  The folks are most kind to us.  Helen Boop mentioned the club paying for a membership for the Library as a token of our gratitude.  I liked it!   On the way home (2 and 1/2 hours away) I got to thinking about it and SHAZAM!!!.....the NBS bulletin will go to the library, THE LIBRARY...where they read books, papers, periodicals and if the club approves....NBS Bulletins.  Gadzooks...two birds with one stone...a gift to the sweet ladies at the library and folks who will have access to our bulletins!  If any of you meet at a library..need I say more?  Let's build on this one.  There are other applications where we could give a gift and it be accessed by others.  If you come up with a good one, please post it.     We don't actually have to meet at the library to give a gift of NBS membership, we, as clubs, can do it from our club treasury or an individual doing it, to any library.  The bulletin has names of officers, etc in them so folks can get in touch with someone.  BUT the www.NationalButtonsociety.org printed on the cover will let them be visually bombarded with the miniature artful beauty of great buttons.  I'd suggest the web page be printed somewhat larger on future covers as it can be the one thing, when accessed, that can win one over.  Don Lanier  Bardon56@aol.com

*Today was the San Diego Button Club meeting and we had a long discussion about membership.  Right now the club is doing displays in 6 libraries during the month of March.  We purchased a LOT of the old Bulletins and stacks of them will be put in each Library.  The club put stickers on each Bulletin telling people about NBS and giving the website.  We've also had bookmarks made in color showing pictures of super buttons.  How to join NBS, CSBS and our local club is included on the back.  These are also left in the Libraries along with an informational sheet about buttons in general.  The club seemed very concerned and a chair was appointed to head up a committee to come up with ways to publicize our hobby and bring in new members.  It was a good discussion.  Susan Poter snoozin8@cox.net , 


* Our very small rural library has no place to display, no display cases and such...so I asked around and got our local County Paper to put our buttons and information in their display window facing Main Street...it works for us.  Marti C. - rusmar31@yahoo.com

*With many libraries having extensive lending opportunities, I like the idea of donating memberships to the local libraries.  Kathy - bbdeli@comcast.net

If you sell buttons – here are some ideas for increasing membership

*Since so many of us sell as well as buy buttons, why not include a short blurb and link to the NBS site in our ads, websites and/or stores? It could just say something like "To learn more about the fascinating world of button collecting, click on this link to the National Button Society."  Susan Grant  sag122143@yahoo.com

* Ebay doesn't allow links outside the store, BUT, I have always included a little blurb about collecting and  the next show nearest to them in with the item bought  Gil - dbgb@charter.net

* Wouldn't a bookmark with all kinds of buttons on it be great?  Then on the back you could put the Nationals website.     Mary    dfurey@nycap.rr.com


 *Several of our members sell antique and vintage buttons at needlework shows and vintage clothing shows.  This has generated a new interest in buttons. 


* Now, I think I will print out a mini info sheet with the NBS website listed and my email address  and put it in with their new buttons. That way, "when they have time" or have thought about it after receiving their buttons, they will have something in hand to save and refer to. The people I had emailed may now be interested and not have a clue who told them about NBS or even what it is called. Sally - norcalsal@artelco.com


* It's time for me to print up some new business cards and I intend to add some NBS info, including the website, along with my own information.

Just a thought, Sheila Brudno  sheila@sbbelle.com

 * Ask everyone that has a web-site to put a link to NBS and also mention the 70th Anniversary for this year.  Sarah Carroll  carrollsar@gmail.com

 * Here's an additional way to get the word out!  I know it's a little long -

but it's for a good cause and will now go out with every email I send! Snooze ;-)

Snoozin aka Susan Porter in San Diego  snoozin8@cox.net

"Some day I might lose my marbles, but I'll never lose my buttons!"

How to join the National Button Society:

Mail a $25 check, payable to NBS, to:

National Button Society

c/o Susan Porter

1564 Wilson Road

Ramona, CA  92065

OR use PayPal via the NBS website:


Still more ways to get new members:

* I had an idea for campaigning for new members.  A contest between the states to increase NBS members.  The state that has the most members join will be featured in an NBS Bulletin article telling about their state, clubs, shows, etc.  Just a thought to put there on that table that hopefully gets more and more enthusiasm going.  Gwenn:  gwenn22c@comcast.net

*How many of us have husbands that are not members?  an extra $10 fee is all it cost and only one bulletin comes to the home.  Sarah carrollsar@gmail.com

* I have found by giving someone something, like a membership, is better received if you give it to them as a:

1. Thank you for something they did for you.

2.  For their birthday.  I have given people gifts that were needed immediately, and given a "early" birthday card with it.  This would be great with the membership, because it would be needed now.

3.  A "Just because you are you" gift.

4.  Christmas, or any other holiday gift given under the same "early" excuse.

5.  This one is always nice, and can be used often, and with most people.  "This is for you, just BECAUSE".  Mary Furey dfurey@nycap.rr.com

* If you haven't "browsed" the magazine sections lately, I see that Janet White has a nice article "How to shop for vintage buttons"  in the April issue of Bead & Buttons (pages 19-20) with info about NBS ...

Also the Dec/Jan 2008 issue of Quilting Arts cover/story showing those plain little mop buttons. 

Our club has put flyers for the upcoming ASBS show in the quilt shops.  There's a lot more magazines out there for bead/jewelry and quilting hobbiest and they both are using buttons.  Another resource for publicity for our shows and perhaps getting some new members into our clubs.


* Need ways to bring local clubs to the public attention for this will increase State and NBS memberships.  Membership forms available at registration desk at all shows and a contact

person to answer questions.  Great volunteer spot for a Junior (s) gives them a feeling of being important too.  Hand outs available for Benifits to Joining NBS to be available.  Work on input

from general membership for ideas ..this needs to be on a regular bases.  List of all membership chairperson for each state or a special mark by their name in NBS Bulletin.  This way people know who they may contact locally or near them.  Reach out program!

 Sarah Carroll inspired by Gwen (membership chair of Michigan State)  carrollsar@gmail.com

Serious subjects always need a break with a sense of humor.. method of last resort ...............


We can always resort to kidnapping people off the streets and brainwashing them to love buttons.  Jenny from Nottingham    j.swindells@btinternet.com    


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Ideas for Increasing Membership