How to start a Key Club

Nov 15, 2010

by: Amanda Spice
Key Club Communications Specalist


Key Club, is Kiwanis service leadership program for students ages 14-18.  As the largest organization of its kind, Key Clubbers are making a striking impact in the world today.  If you don't have a Key Club in your school, but you are interesed in creating one follow these steps to create your club.


Whether you are an adult or a high-school student, the first step you need to take in building a Key Club can be the hardest, or it can be the easiest because you are laying the foundation for a great club. First, you will need the basics, the meeting place, the supportive adults and the members.


  1. Find a meeting place. The site where your club calls home doesn’t have to be the same place that you meet, but it can be. It could be a school, a community center, or another facility. You need to talk with the administration of a school and let them know why they should want Key Club in their school.


  1. Find adults to support the club and the students in it. A Kiwanis club in your area can sponsor your Key Club financially, as well as administratively. Kiwanis clubs appoint a Key Club advisor, attend club meetings and events, meet with school or site staff, help with club business, train officers, be strategic and hold joint events. Key Clubs can be chartered without a Kiwanis sponsor, but clubs that have a Kiwanis sponsor tend to be more effective.


  1. Find an advisor from the school or site that your club calls home. This advisor works with your Kiwanis advisor to support your club. Within your school or site, your advisor will help you follow rules, form partnerships with other clubs, find meeting space, recruit members and gather ideas for service and fundraising projects. All of your supportive adults will bring different expertise to the table to help guide your club to excellence.


  1. Establish your core membership. This group of students helps to figure out your club’s potential at the school or site. They will create a prospective member list, help to recruit those members, determine the club’s structure, and begin publicizing the new club!


Once you’ve done these steps, you are ready to get serious. It’s time to get your charter paperwork prepared to send to Kiwanis International. You must have 15 members to charter, but you can have as many members as you can recruit, so aim high and charter with as many members as possible. Once this is done, plan a special charter ceremony to recognize your hard work, and the existence of Key Club’s newest club.


Once the celebrating is through, it’s time to turn your focus to helping your community. It’s important to make sure the new Key Club knows how to be successful. That includes doing hands-on service projects that involve all the students immediately. Get all the members involved, and keep them involved. Your club can make a difference through the participation in meaningful service projects. Assess the needs of your community and make your mark. Remember, service cannot be learned through talking, it can only be truly learned through doing.

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