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La Leche League International
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Center for Breastfeeding Information

Betty Crase and Carol Huotari
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 33 No. 4, August-September 1997, pp. 86-87

Dear LLLI,

We recently wrote a grant to send 13 Central Ohio, USA, Leaders to the LLLI Conference. Facts and figures were needed to support the application so I contacted LLLI Headquarters to find out if any studies documented La Leche League's success helping mothers breastfeed. Since we were requesting the grant from a doctors' organization, we wanted to show that La Leche League contributes more effectively to breastfeeding success than other community services.

When I contacted the Funding Development Department, I learned that there are studies which show that mother-to-mother support groups--not just LLL, but a variety of groups--are more effective than other groups and services. I also learned that to get copies of those references, I would need to contact the Center for Breastfeeding Information (CBI) and that I would be charged a fee.

Since we intend to continue writing grant applications and anticipate the need for similar information in the future, I would like to know why the CBI charges Leaders for its services and if the Board of Directors could see a way to change that. I understand that there are costs involved in running the CBI but there must be another way to fund this department other than asking Leaders to foot the bill.

Terri Maloney Houston Columbus, Ohio, USA

Dear Terri,

The Center for Breastfeeding Information (CBI) is happy to supply Leaders with LLLI information and resources that can be shared free of charge (within copyright limitations). LLLI Position Statements, Information Letters, Selected Bibliographic Lists, Brief Media Responses and Press Releases produced by the CBI are always available to Leaders for no fee. The CBI staff has already gathered and prepared this information so it can easily be provided to anyone who calls.

When Leaders request other types of information, such as breastfeeding statistics, we are able to oblige without a charge if the answer is readily at hand. Indeed, the vast majority of inquiries are handled free of charge.

When a Leader calls the CBI to request general information, she is usually referred to her Area Professional Liaison (APL) Leader or other Area resource personnel. The A/APL is an important Leader resource providing information above and beyond what is available through LLLI publications. The CBI keeps Division/Affiliate PL Program Administrators up-to-date, who in turn make current information available to A/APLs. The A/APL is also in a position to provide Leaders with ongoing help and support, something the CBI is not able to provide.

The CBI is designed to be the last link in the LLLI resource chain, mainly available to the Division/Affiliate Administrators. It has a staff of only two to serve thousands of Leaders and others worldwide. When Leaders seeking information go through their PL Program, no charge is incurred. This has proved to be the most efficient use of our resources. In addition, a flow of information along the chain of communication has the benefit of dispersing resources throughout the organization.

The LEADER'S HANDBOOK (p. 215) explains when the CBI must charge Leaders for its services:

There is no fee involved in researching individual questions that come through regular LLL channels. Leaders who request reference material or background information for individual research needs or personal counseling situations will be expected to pay the usual fees.

Time and money are the reasons why. It can take many hours or days to gather information on new questions or questions not yet thoroughly explored. Expenses are determined by the research time of salaried staff and the number of photocopies needed to handle the inquiry. If research articles are going to be shared with mothers, health care providers or others, the CBI is required by law to remit copyright fees through the Copyright Clearance Center. These fees vary by publisher and range from $1.50 per copy for an article from Pediatrics to $11.50 for the Journal of Advanced Nursing. The CBI must remit the entire copyright fee to the Copyright Clearance Center. This is an issue we must take seriously. There has been an increase in the number of lawsuits in the U.S. concerning copyright violations, and many have involved educational institutions.

If a Leader is conducting research, naturally LLLI wants to help. While the basic CBI search and copy fees still apply, we are able to waive copyright fees if the articles will not leave her hands. However, if an article will be given to non-Leaders, copyright fees are required. This is why we advise Leaders to have people asking for published research information contact LLLI directly so that they incur the fees for the documentation they are requesting.

The CBI is not supported by grants or other sources of funding at this time. It costs money to get information into the CBI and it costs money to distribute it. A single professional journal subscription may cost LLLI $250 (US) a year. Current CBI income covers only about one tenth of its total budget. The Board of Directors plans on technological upgrades for the CBI which should facilitate more rapid and less costly searches. These upgrades will be funded by contributions to "LLLI Capital Improvements."

For now, Leaders who make individual requests for information that require research will be asked to pay the costs. It is the hope of the Board and the CBI that someday the CBI will be adequately funded and staffed to provide faster, less expensive services to Leaders.

Leaders should also keep in mind these free or low-cost resources.

The Funding Development Handbook, No. 79F, $8 (US), provides Leaders with ideas for Group fundraising as well as an entire chapter on grant writing. Sample letters from this handbook can be supplemented with statistics available through a variety of sources. LLLI conference attendance figures are available from the Education and Outreach Department; LLLI budget or charitable status information is available from the Funding Development Department. Leaders can contact their Area Coordinator of Leaders (ACL) for Area information.

The LLLI Web site ( is a new, speedy, low-cost way for Leaders and the general public to access information. The Public Relations Department includes materials that have been produced by other LLLI departments including Funding Development and the CBI. Many of the materials mentioned in the first paragraph of this letter are available there. The [yearly] Annual Report, which contains many statistics Leaders find helpful when filling out grant applications, is also posted on the Web site.

Betty Crase
CBI Director

CBI Billing Schedule

The first 15 minutes of research is $25 (US); it is also the minimum fee. Additional blocks of 15 minutes are $15. Fax charges are extra - a $3 service fee plus $2 per page. Shipping and handling are also assessed. If a customer wants a specific article, we usually suggest consulting a local hospital or medical library first. If the CBI sends the article, costs might be:

CBI Charges (in US dollars)

Minimum order $25.00
Photocopying - 5 pages @ $.20 1.00
Copyright fee 11.50
Shipping/Handling 3.00 $40.50

A typical request might be for a bibliographic list on one or two subject categories. These could be run within 15 minutes and, with shipping and handling, the cost would total $28. Charges for most requests are $28. See LLLI Publication No.471 for a list of subject categories and more information.

[Editor's note: the entire CBI is now available on the LLLI website, free of charge.]

Related articles

Harding, P. Writing a Grant to Attend the LLLI Conference. LEAVEN Aug/Sept 1996;55-56.

Huotari, C. Inside the CBI. LEAVEN Jun/Jul 1996; 38.

Liotus, B. LLLI's Annual Report. LEAVEN Jun/Jul 1997; 57.

Vance, L. Starfish and Conference Fundraising. LEAVEN Oct/Nov 1996; 87.

Wolk, M. Keeping up-to-date. LEAVEN Oct/Nov 1996; 88.

It is always helpful for Leaders to share their successful grant-writing experiences in their Area Leaders' Letters and LEAVEN (See "Grant Funds Community Awareness" by Terri Maloney Houston[...])

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