RURAL VERMONT MEMBERSHIP OVERVIEW
Rural Vermont is a member-based organization. We depend on the support of people who have a strong desire to live in a landscape populated by thriving community-scale farms, and an economy that prioritizes reverence for the land and close relationships.
Rural Vermont Offers Four Types of Membership:
Base membership to Rural Vermont is $35 per year. (Of course all are welcome to support us at a higher level; smaller donations are also welcome, but do not confer membership status).
“I am thrilled to support an organization that holds at its core the belief that our well being lies in connection to, and in purposeful action for, our small Vermont farmers, healthy working soils and nutritious food.” – Elena Gustavson, Rural Vermont Board Member, Montpelier
2. Sustaining Membership
Sustaining members make a budget-friendly automatic monthly contribution via our website or a direct deposit through your bank. Sustainers enjoy uninterrupted membership status while providing Rural Vermont with a reliable stream of income and minimized administrative costs. Monthly contributions can be of any size ($5 minimum).
“We love the sustaining member program because we want to support Rural Vermont continually, and always felt bad when we'd realized we forgot to renew or donate. We've received so much benefit from the educational programming, community events and networking as well as the bills that have been passed into law with dedicated support from Rural Vermont. Our monthly donation hardly begins to cover the value we receive, but we're grateful to be part of this unique and powerful organization and happy to help in any way we can.” - Dawn Hancy & Phillip Yacovella, members since 2007, Sherwood Farm & Forest, Vershire
3. Working Membership
To maintain accessibility for all, we also offer a Working Member Program, which grants membership in exchange for three working hours per annum. This commitment can be fulfilled all at once, or spread over the year; and done from the office in Montpelier, your home, or in the field. Please call the office or email firstname.lastname@example.org to join as a Working Member.
“I want the food we eat in Vermont to care for our land, farmers, farmworkers, and communities, which is why I spend my school’s summer vacations farming and winter vacations doing phone calls for Rural Vermont. As a college student, being a Working Member has given me the flexibility to stay involved and support Rural Vermont, even if I don’t have the resources to donate.” – Marya Merriam, previous intern, Brookfield
4. Partner Membership
Rural Vermont’s Partner Members are businesses and organizations that make an annual gift valued at a minimum of $1,000, and in return, Rural Vermont offers a number of visibility perks among our broad and statewide network. For more info and to join as a Partner Member, please call the office or email email@example.com.
“We appreciate Rural VT's efforts and perspective... They are in touch with farmers, community members and legislators; and are very articulate about legislation implications, as well as how to work together to achieve a shared goal.” – Meghan Sheridan, Vermont Grass Farmers Association, Partner Members since 2018
What Does Membership to Rural Vermont Mean?
Membership to Rural Vermont is a vote for an equitable local food system that benefits all Vermonters, along with a vibrant working landscape that supports generations to come. It is a vote for our efforts to advocate on behalf of Vermont farmers and the consumers who depend on them, and for our work to build resilient coalitions of related organizations and engaged individuals. But perhaps more than anything, membership to Rural Vermont means that you are one of the many who believe that this state is stronger and more vibrant when all Vermonters have equal opportunity to live in deep connection to one another and to the land that nourishes us all.
What Are the Benefits to Rural Vermont Membership?
Voting rights at annual meeting
Free or discounted admission to many events and social gatherings
Stipends for attendance to many events and State House opportunities
Direct access to all resources at our disposal
A voice in our decision-making process around specific campaigns
Our enduring gratitude and perhaps the occasional fist bump
Why Does Rural Vermont Need You as a Member?
Like all member-based organizations, Rural Vermont’s influence and capacity to carry out our work correlates directly to the strength of our membership. Part of this strength comes from membership dues, which comprise a significant portion of our modest annual budget. But equally, this strength derives from the simple fact that your membership means that your voice is added to the chorus of Vermonters (and a growing number of non-Vermonters) calling for the on-going resurgence of community-scale agriculture, for living soils and healthy humans, and for a vibrant working landscape that delivers vitality to all. Less visible (but no less important), Rural Vermont’s members are a wellspring of morale support for our small, hardworking staff.