“Our members are worried about a new Kiwanis club that’s being built in town. What should we do?”
Gus Dornbusch, Kiwanis Club of Lincoln Sunrise, Nebraska
2010-11 governor, Nebraska-Iowa District
My approach is to address a club’s concern from the community needs standpoint in a face-to-face conversation, using a series of questions that follow:
To help me understand a club’s concerns about building a new club in town, I need to better understand the community.
Has your club completed a community analysis in the past year or two to have an up-to-date list of needs for the community? If your answer is yes, with your present membership, will your club be able to address the identified needs with its present membership? If a community analysis has not been done, what percent of the needs are you handling now? In either case, does your club have a plan on how to address the needs?
Whether the answer is yes or no, the following questions needs to be asked:
I’m certain you’ll agree there’s plenty of service that needs to be done. So, doesn’t it make sense to help start and sponsor the new club? Perhaps a club that appeals to a different age group. A different business group. A club that meets at a time convenient to a new set of members. Wouldn’t it be fun to help them get involved in solving the community needs and, on big projects, to partner with your club to make your community a better place to live?
Doesn’t it make sense that the more minds, hands and feet you have available to address your community needs, the better off the children and community will be?
Mike Frailey, Kiwanis Club of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
2007-2010, Kiwanis International growth team
Join in, and watch your club grow. It's a fact.
While it may surprise you, the end result of your members inviting people to join the new club in town is that your club will add new members. How, you ask? Your members will learn inviting techniques, develop their elevator speech, and enjoy the thrill that comes from adding more hands of service in both clubs.
Growth is contagious! Join in and watch your club grow.
Jim Walther, Kiwanis Club of Arlington-North Star, Texas
2010-11 chairman, new-club building committee, Texas-Oklahoma District
Worry’s a natural response if you’re not involved. Get involved, and you’ll develop a broader vision so members see the benefits of this new club, including more schools with Service Leadership Programs, expanded youth service, interclub opportunities, joint projects and reciprocal support for your club. When all neighborhoods in your community are mutually supported by Kiwanis clubs, we achieve critical mass, build community awareness and make “Kiwanis” a desired symbol of altruistic service. This encourages greater membership.