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Frequently Asked Questions
We have attempted to answer the most common questions you might have on this page -- click the question to go to the response. If you still have a question, please refer to our Contact Us page for the correct contact for your question.
 
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ) About Us

MEMBERSHIP

NEWSLETTER

EVENTS

 

MEMBERSHIP

  • What are the criteria for membership?
    You must be a woman who lives in San Francisco and is expecting a child or has at least one child younger than 6 years old. Our organization is intended solely to support mothers and to explore the issues that arise in motherhood.
  • What does it cost and how is the money spent?
    Both our initial and renewal fees are $75 for membership for one year. This covers the administrative and operating expenses of our group including various programs such as educational events, kids activities, social events, Just For Moms events, playgroups, newsletter and more. Any credit card charges made to GGMG will be listed on your statement as "BigTent".
  • Can I pay by check?
    Our primary method of collecting membership fees is through BigTent. Because our approval process and newsletter distribution relies heavily on BigTent, we are not able to process any membership fees through paper check. Alternatively, membership fees can be collected though the gift membership process. Information can be found at www.ggmg.org/giftmembership.html.
  • What are the benefits of joining GGMG?
    We have so many! We publish a fantastic newsletter 10 times a year along with a very strong online forum where you can communicate with other members about the joys and pains of motherhood in SF. We take an active role in helping you to meet other moms in person through our playgroups formation process where we coordinate your first meeting and provide a facilitator! We host several annual family events and many Moms-only events during the year. We schedule fun and entertaining events for members and their children in the city several times a month. But the most important benefit is we have over 4000 members who have pledged to support you and each other as mothers.
  • How do I join?
    Go to our Membership page and submit your name and email address to start the process. You will receive an email invitation to complete an application through the BigTent interface. Once you've submitted your application, it will be reviewed for approval. Once your application is approved, you will receive an email from BigTent inviting you to activate your membership.
  • How do I renew my membership?
    You will receive a renewal invite 60 days prior to the expiration of your membership. BigTent will also send two renewal reminders. Just follow the instructions for renewal. Your renewal is subject to re-approval to ensure that you continue to meet our membership criteria.
  • When does my membership expire?
    Information can be found in your BigTent account:
    - Click on "my big tent" on the black banner at the top of the page then select "settings"
    - To the left, you'll see several items to choose from. Click on "membership info".
    - Under "Golden Gate Mothers Group" you will see the date your membership will expire
  • How do I show proof of membership?
    You can print your GGMG membership card by downloading the file from BigTent (BigTent login required.)
    Detailed instructions on creating and printing the card are provided in the file. The back cover of your newsletter showing your name, address and the GGMG logo can also serve as proof of membership. In addition, you can print out your membership information from your BigTent profile.
  • What do I do if I want to end my membership?
    Contact our Membership Committee chair so she can convince you to stay! If, however, you do wish to end your membership, you can contact our Membership Committee Chair at membership@ggmg.org and she will remove you from our roster. You will no longer receive our newsletter and all group benefits will be terminated. We do not refund any membership fees.
  • I joined, but I'm moving out of San Francisco. Can I remain in GGMG?
    Absolutely, you may remain a member of GGMG for the remainder of your current membership year. While our meetings and almost all of our activities for children, mothers, and families are based in San Francisco, we do have members who continue their membership for our very informative online forum and newsletter. You will still continue to receive our newsletter only if you reside in the United States. If you should move outside of the United States, you may pay the additional shipping cost to continue to receive the newsletter.
  • Can I use my membership for professional purposes?
    We at GGMG take our members' privacy very seriously. As such, we currently do not allow members to have access to the personal information of other members. You must agree to a legally binding agreement when you apply that you will not use any member information you many gain through our forum or playgroups (names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, etc.) for commercial purposes, which means you cannot use member information to benefit your business, a family business, a friend's business, or ANY business you have a direct or indirect interest in. Further, ALL member information, both personal and anything posted on our forum, is confidential and legally owned by GGMG and for the personal use of members only. You may not solicit other GGMG members. GGMG reserves the right to suspend or terminate your membership for any violation of this policy.
  • How do I find a particular group member?
    Want to find someone and send them an email? Depending on your groups' privacy levels, you can click on "my groups" in the upper black banner and choose your group from the drop down menu. Under the group name, you'll see a tab titled members. Click on members and then search by your friend's name. When you find them, click on the profile picture and it will take you to their profile page where you'll find their email address. Or, from this page, you can send them "Tent Mail".

magazine

  • When should I expect my magazine?
    Our very popular magazine contains articles, advice, events, and other club news. We print ten magazines a year; July/August and December/January are double-issues. We print the magazine at the end of the month so it is ready to mail in the beginning of the next month. Depending on when you paid your dues, you will receive the next or following month's magazine. Past issues of magazine are available online. To change your delivery address, sign into www.bigtent.com/log_in, then click 'settings', then 'contact info', then 'Add a new address', then click 'Add'. Once you've entered the new address, click 'set primary' to make that your primary mailing address. For other delivery problems, please email membership@ggmg.org.
  • How do I advertise in the magazine?
    The newsletter accepts advertising from outside sources, and you can view our ad rates here. (Members do not receive discounts on our advertising rates.)
  • Can I submit an article to the magazine?
    Absolutely! Our Magazine Committee is always looking for members to participate in writing articles for the newsletter. Please read our newsletter article guidelines and let the committee know you are interested!

EVENTS

  • How do I find an event?
    There are several different ways to view events for the calendar.

    1) When you first log in, you're immediately taken to your "what's new" tab under "my bigtent." To your left, you'll see a box called "Upcoming Events". This list will be integrated to include upcoming events for each group you are a part of. You can click on the title to be taken to the event and read more.

    2) The second way to view events is to look under your Group's name, by clicking on "my groups" from the black banner. The bottom left of your group's "buzz" page will display upcoming events. You can click on "view all" to see a more comprehensive list.

    3) The third way to view events is to click on your group's name under "my groups" listed in the upper black banner. Once inside your group, click on the "events" tab. You'll see featured events on the left, and upcoming events on the right. If you click on "View my calendar" you'll see an integrated calendar of all events for all groups you are a part of.
  • How do I register for a GGMG event?
    On BigTent, find the RSVP page for the event you want to attend and follow the directions to register.
  • How do I pay for a GGMG event that requires payment?
    At the time you RSVP, you will be asked for your credit card information to pay for the event.
  • How do I find out which events I've successfully registered for?
    To see your events, sign into BigTent, go to My Calendar, and pick the month that you want to view. All events are shown on the calendar, and the ones you have registered for are outlined in RED. This is also a good way to go through all the month's events - you can see everything available, click on whatever you want and register right then and there.
  • I signed up for an event, but now I can't go. How do I cancel?
    If you have registered via BigTent, check if the registration is still open on the event page.
    • If it is open and you do not wish reimbursement or the event is free, change your answer to "No" in the "Your RSVP" box.
    • If it is closed, or still open for registration but you hope for reimbursement, DO NOT change your RSVP. Post the availability on either the Parenting or the Miscellaneous forum. Once a replacement has been found, please inform the organizer (listed under "Contact" on the event page) so they know who to expect. Arrange payment exchange with the member who has agreed to take your spot. GGMG Kids Activities does not provide refunds.

    If you have registered with the vendor, cancel by contacting the vendor directly. A refund may be granted upon their discretion.
  • Can my caregiver bring my child to a GGMG Kids Activity?
    In general, caregivers including fathers, nannies and grandparents, are invited to bring members' children to GGMG Kids Activities events. Each caregiver may bring up to two children. The exceptions are New Moms events, which are limited to GGMG members and their very young infants.
    However, attendance at GGMG Social Events (the large weekend events including the Easter Egg Hunt, Halloween Party and Summer Fair) is limited to members and their immediate families.

PLAYGROUPS

WEBSITE & BIGTENT

GGMG's online community and forums are hosted by BigTent. After signing in, select Golden Gate Mothers Group from the "my groups" dropdown at the top of the page. Then you can access GGMG's Forums, Events, Reviews, Classifieds, Files, and more.

Email FAQs

Forum FAQs

Classifieds FAQs

Miscellanous FAQs

 

PLAYGROUPS

  • My baby is too little to play. Why should I join a playgroup?
    Playgroups are designed to connect new mothers with similar age children to create a small support system and resource within our large club. GGMG playgroups and special interest groups are organized according to a variety of factors including due date, child's birthday, neighborhood, work status and other unique interests. Our sub groups are a wonderful way to establish yourself with a small group of women whose primary goal is to support one another through the challenges of motherhood. If you have additional questions, email playgroups@ggmg.org.
  • I only want to join a playgroup. Do I have to be a member?
    Yes. Organizing playgroups for our members is one of the many benefits of our organization and you must become a member to receive this benefit.
  • How do I join a playgroup?
    GGMG members can attend a monthly playgroup formation event to join a group of moms with similarly-aged babies (or expecting!) at a Playgroup Formation event. RSVP at http://www.bigtent.com/group/calendar. Or join a special interest group online anytime at http://ggmg.org/groups.html. These groups have been formed by members with unique interests, such as Spanish-speaking moms, vegetarians, designers & artists, book clubs and more. Most groups have mixed age children. Some meet with children, others without. More information on joining a playgroup can be found on our Playgroups page.
  • How do I leave a playgroup on BigTent?
    If you are finding that your playgroup is just not right for you, you can choose to leave at any time. To do so, sign into BigTent and go to 'Settings'. In the left-hand column choose 'Membership Info'. You will then be presented with a list of groups you belong to. Find the group you would like to leave and click 'Leave group'. You might also want to send a note to your playgroup leader letting them know you have decided to leave the group.
  • What if I want to start a new playgroup based on something unique?
    First, check out the list of existing special interest groups and see if it hasn't already been created. If not, send us an email at playgroups@ggmg.org with your specific request and we would be happy to create a new GGMG special interest group for you.

WEBSITE & BIGTENT

Email

  • How do I stop the emails?!?
    - Click on “my big tent” on the black banner at the top of the page then select “settings”.
    - To the left, you'll see several tabs to choose from. Click on “email options”.
    - Under Forums, check all the forums listed and change "Change Notification to" Web Only, than click Save.
    - Under Classifieds, check No and make sure the other options are unchecked, then click Save.
    - Under BigTent Blink, choose "Do Not Send", then click Save.
    - Under Personal, set Bookmarks to "None", uncheck other options, then click Save.
    After that, you should no longer receive any BigTent emails.
    You are still able to view the forums, classifieds, etc., online, and you can change these settings at any time.
  • How do I change the type frequency of emails I'm receiving from BigTent?
    You can change your email settings at any time:

    1) Click on “my big tent” on the black banner at the top of the page then select “settings”.
    2) To the left, you'll see several tabs to choose from. Click on “email options”.
    3) Under “My Email Options” you can select each category that generates emails and customize how you want to be notified.
    4) Click on “Forums” and you may change your preference to:
    -None, hidden: you will not see this forum in BigTent or receive any emails from it.
    -Web Only - you will not receive any emails from this forum but you can view the forum in BigTent.
    -Summarize in Blink - the Blink is like an electronic digest that comes to your email box on the days and times you specify in the next tab to the left "BigTent Blink"
    -Email Daily Message Digest (topics only) - an electronic summary of forum postings listed for the day or every 25 posts on the forum - you can click on any post to read more on it. Comments are not included in the digest but can be viewed online.
    -Email Daily Message Digest (topics and comments) - an electronic summary of forum postings AND comments listed for the day or every 25 posts on the forum - you can click on any post to read more on it (this means that the topic will be included in the digest as often as it is commented on)
    -Email Every Topic (Comments web Only) - This option will send you emails of all the original forum topics. If you want to read the responses, or comments, you'll have to log into the site
    -Email Every Message and Comment - This option will send you every original forum topic and the comments connected to it.

    5) Click on “Classifieds” and you may choose whether you want to receive an email for every classified posting, a daily digest, or nothing. You may also specify if you want to receive emails if a classified listing meets a keyword based criteria you select.
    6) Click on BigTentBlink to turn this update on or off.
    7) Click on "Email Format" to specifiy your preferred email format.

    Visit BigTent Help here for more detailed instructions on changing your email settings.
  • I am not receiving some emails. Why?
    Emails may end up in your SPAM folder. You might want to modify your SPAM filter to accept any email with BigTent in the sender name and/or add the email aliases to your contacts: ggmg_general@lists.bigtent.com, ggmg_caregiver@lists.bigtent.com, ggmg_classifieds@lists.bigtent.com, no_reply@lists.bigtent.com. Also, anonymous posts are currently moderated; the message you were looking for may still be in the queue for moderation, or may not have been approved because it did not adhere to the forum's policies. Occasionally there are also the usual delivery problems associated with email.
  • How do I change my email address in the online forums?
    Your primary and sign-in email address is the address you use to sign in to your BigTent group as well as the email address at which you receive group announcements and forum messages.

    To change your primary email address:
    - Click on “my big tent” on the black banner at the top of the page then select “settings”.
    Click "personal info," then click "change" next to your email address.
    - Click "Add another email address" and enter your new email address in the box. Click "Add."
    - An email will be sent to your new address so that you can verify it. (Please note: The email comes from no_reply@lists.bigtent.com, so please check your spam or junk folder if you have difficulty finding it.)
    - Click the link provided in the confirmation email to verify your new address. You'll be taken to back to your BigTent "settings" page.
    - Click "make primary" next to your new email address. You'll need to enter your password for security reasons.
    - Once you add a new primary email address, you'll also have the option to remove your old email address. Remember that after you change your primary email address, you'll need to use this address to sign in to BigTent.

Forums

  • How do I post to a forum?
    We have two forums: one for General Parenting questions, and one for Caregiver-related topics (nannies, babysitters, etc.). We have a separate section for Classifieds and business Reviews, so do not post items for sale or wanted to the General Parenting or Caregiver forums. For more information see: What can I post to the online forums?

    There are several different ways to post to the forums.

    1) Open the "Quicklinks" menu on the right-hand side of the page and select "Start a topic". Check the appropriate forum for your post (choose only one), type in your topic and message, and click Post Topic. Your message will be posted online and e-mailed to members who receive postings via email.

    2) Or you can click on the "forums" tab. (If you don't see the "forums" tab, click on "my groups" in the black banner at the top of the page and select "Golden Gate Mothers Group".) Click the blue "Start a Topic" box. Check the appropriate forum for your post, type in your topic and message, and click Post Topic. Your message will be posted online and emailed to members who receive postings via email.

    3) Or you can post via email. Questions for the General Parenting forums should be sent to ggmg_general@lists.bigtent.com. Caregiver-related messages should be sent to ggmg_caregivers@lists.bigtent.com. Your message will be posted online and e-mailed to members who receive postings via email.
  • Can I post to the forums via email?
    Yes, you can. Questions for the General Parenting forums should be sent to ggmg_general@lists.bigtent.com. Caregiver-related messages should be sent to ggmg_caregivers@lists.bigtent.com. Your message will be posted online and emailed to members who receive postings via email.
  • How do I create a bookmark to follow a conversation I am interested in?
    You can follow any topic you find interesting, or any classified listing, calendar event, or journal entry by bookmarking it.

    To do this, for instance, find a topic you want to read. Once you're in the post, at the top, in a blue link, you'll see "Bookmark Now..."

    Once you've added the bookmark, go to your "What's New" page by clicking on "my bigtent" in the upper right hand side of the black banner. Here you'll find a box to the right that includes "quicklinks" as well as a list of any bookmarked items that have been updated.

    You can also see any bookmarked items that have new activity by clicking on "bookmarks" under "my bigtent".

    Forum topics you start are automatically bookmarked.
  • How do I post a private comment to a forum topic?
    Want to post a comment to the author of a forum topic or anonymous post and not reveal your identity to the group?

    You can do this by posting a private comment that will only reveal your identity to the author of the forum topic.

    To do this follow these steps:
    - Sign into BigTent and go to "my groups" in the black bar at the top. Next, click on the name of your group.
    - Click the "forums" tab and click the topic you wish to comment on.
    - Go to the comment box, enter your comment and check the box underneath it labeled "Private Comment". Click the "Post Comment" button.

    Your comment will only be viewable by the author of the topic and yourself.
  • What can I post in the forums?
    We have two forums: one for General Parenting questions, and one for Caregiver-related topics (nannies, babysitters, etc.). Please post to the most appropriate forum only.

    We have a separate section for Classifieds, so do not post items for sale or wanted to the General Parenting or Caregiver forums.

    Our online forums are an excellent way to communicate with other members, but we do have strict guidelines governing our online forums because of the high number of messages. When you joined GGMG, you agreed to adhere to our forum policies. We reserve the right to suspend or terminate your participation in the online forum, or your membership with GGMG, due to violations of these policies. We reserve the right to change our policies at any time.
  • How do I search the forums?
    Click on the Forums tab; the search box is at the top. You can search all forums or just a particular forum, topics only or topics and comments, and filter by screen name/e-mail address or date. Note that Classifieds and Reviews have their own tabs, which you would browse or search separately.
  • Why hasn't my forum posting shown up yet?
    Posts that are submitted anonymously are moderated and must be approved before they appear on BigTent. Normally postings are reviewed and accepted within 24 hours. If, after 24 hours, your posting does not appear, please review our forum policies, and if you have any questions please contact webmaster@ggmg.org.

Classifieds

  • How do I post an item for sale in the Classifieds listings?
    - Click on the "classifieds" tab. (If you don't see the "classifieds" tab, click on "my groups" in the black banner at the top of the page and select "Golden Gate Mothers Group".) then click "add listing".
    - Add the listing type, category, title, and description.
    - Add optional information such as price, location, your contact info, notification options, listing expiration, and sharing with other groups.
    - Click "Add more details" to add photos, condition, payment information, and tags.
    - Click "Add listing".
    - You can edit any of the information on your listing at a later date. However, once your listing has posted, you can move the expiration date to today or to three or seven days from now. By default, listings are active for 30 days. However, you can select an active time period between two and 60 days when creating your listing.

    You may also post a Classifieds listing via email by sending an email to ggmg_classifieds@lists.bigtent.com. The subject line will become the title of your post. Be sure to include the name and description of the item, the listing type (e.g., for sale, for trade, looking to borrow, etc.), and the price (if applicable) in the body of your message. Your post will appear in your group's Classifieds area in the category "mixed bag".
  • How do I find items for sale or wanted to buy?
    There are several ways to search or monitor the classifieds listings:

    1) You can search by keyword or listing type by clicking on the “classifieds” tab. (If you don’t see the “classifieds” tab, click on “my groups” in the black banner at the top of the page and select “Golden Gate Mothers Group”.) then click "search & browse”.

    2)If you can't find a specific item you're looking for, use BigTent’s notification system to ping you when it becomes available.
    - Click on “my big tent” on the black banner at the top of the page then select “settings”.
    - To the left, you'll see several tabs to choose from. Click on “email options”.
    - Under ‘My Email Options” click ‘Classifieds:
    - Enter keywords for the item you're seeking in the field provided.
    - Click ‘Save”
    - You can then choose to get updates via email, in your Blink, or on BigTent when a matching listing is posted.

    3)You can also daily digest of classifieds listings.
    - Click on “my big tent” on the black banner at the top of the page then select “settings”.
    - To the left, you'll see several tabs to choose from. Click on “email options”.
    - Under ‘My Email Options” click ‘Classifieds”
    - Check the box to receive the daily digest
    - Click "Save”.

    4)To receive every new classifieds listing via email at the time it's posted.
    - Click on “my big tent” on the black banner at the top of the page then select “settings”.
    - To the left, you'll see several tabs to choose from. Click on “email options”.
    - Under ‘My Email Options” click ‘Classifieds”
    - Check the box to receive an email for every new listing
    - Click "Save."

Miscellanous

  • HELP! I can't sign in!
    If you forgot your password, click the "Forgot Password" link on the BigTent sign in page. If you still have problems signing into BigTent, go to www.bigtent.com/help or e-mail support@bigtent.com.
  • How do I add a picture and update my profile page?
    To update your profile, and add information for your administrator and group members to see, click on "my bigtent" in the upper left hand corner of the black banner and then choose "settings".
    To your left, you'll see several tabs with information that can be updated or added.

    On the Personal Info tab
    1) If you fill in "About Me" information, this will be found on your profile for all members to read about you. Same with interest tags and affiliation tags (Think of the word tag as the more commonly used word "keyword"). Profile picture is the picture of you that is going to be represented next to all your postings and calendar RSVPs. To add a picture, click on "change". If you choose "Flickr" you can find some pre-loaded pictures by keyword (called tags here) and use them as your representative picture.
    2) If you click on Upload, you can find a picture on your computer and upload it. Once it's uploaded, it appears next to the upload box. You'll need to be sure to click on it to make sure it is selected as your picture. You can also choose a picture from the web by clicking on that option.

    Click on Profile Privacy tab
    3) If you belong to more than one group on BigTent, you can specify what parts of your profile to show or hide for each one. Choose Golden Gate Mothers Group in the drop down. Wait for the page to refresh. Check or uncheck the items you wish based on your preference, then scroll down and click save.