By Stephanie Ursini, Area Director
May is membership month at Kiwanis. So, to help our members prepare here are some practical club building tips. Enjoy!
Inspire members. To attract new club members, you have to motivate your current members first.
- Consider a letter or e-mail from the governor announcing exciting membership ideas, recognitions and awards.
- Convey the message: It’s about service.
- Set up challenges in the district, division or clubs and recognize each leader in by percentage of growth.
- Use Service Leadership Program members to inspire your club and any prospective members who may be attending.
Recognize and reward members. In any recruitment campaign, recognition and rewards are effective motivational tools.
- Special recognition/awards/prizes for lieutenant governors and the new-club builders who build a new club between now and May 31st as a way to recognize their club-building efforts.
- Hold a Governors reception for those who have earned bronze, silver or gold keys for new membership through the 1-2-3 You Hold the Key program.
- Follow up with personal thank-you notes and/or e-mails to new members and the club members who sponsored them.
- Other types of recognition could include Kiwanis shirts, pins, key chains, flashlights, golf balls, etc. Just order from the Kiwanis International Store catalog.
Campaigns/Drives/Ideas: We’re providing a list of events and ideas that you can use for recruitment and promotion. Make them available on the district and club websites and at club meetings. Visit the webinar archives. Under the Club Excellence category, listen to the Successful Membership Campaigns webinar. Or register for the May is Membership Month webinar on April 19th at 8 p.m., EST. Contact your area director for more information.
- Kiwanis One Day. Invite prospective members to come and help out. You could even prepare cards, bookmarks, etc., to invite them to the club’s next meeting or service project.
- Personal communications. Send a letter or visit businesses in your area to promote one of our Flexibility Membership Initiatives - Corporate Membership.
- Four for One Challenge. Divide your club into teams of four– and challenge each team to recruit one member.
- M&M’s. All month, use a sweet treat to remind members and guests that May is for Membership.
- Recognition campaigns in districts. Recognize and reward the district’s best achievers for highest retention, net growth and back-to-charter strength.
- New-club building workshops. Contact your district new-club builder or your Kiwanis International area director for information.
- Membership teams and competitions:
- For clubs: the club that recruits the most new members receives a check for their SLP or service project.
- For individuals: the club members who recruit the most eat steak, and the rest eat hamburger!
- Media blitz:
- Explore Kiwanis-member sponsorship for pull-out ads or sections in newspapers and magazines, as well as radio and television. To find more marketing and public/media relations resources, click here.
- Send a letter to the editor about your club’s campaign. Describe who you’re looking for and the benefits of joining.
- Local awareness campaigns:
- Local advertising. Kiwanis in town logo signs, billboards, hotel/business marquees, movie-theatre intro slides, etc. Ask whether a club member has connections—you never know!
- Adopt a Highway. Make sure your Kiwanis Club has a sign.
- Signs for Service. Place the Kiwanis logo sign at Little League fields, soccer fields, playgrounds, parks, roadside/town welcome, storefronts, golf carts, etc.
- Service Leadership Program campaigns:
- Graduation/end-of-school-year party for parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents—sponsored by SLP members.
- Create an “Invitation to join our young people.” Use this as marketing for CKI and Key Club district conventions—and offer it to K-Kids and Builders Clubs.
- Free lunch for a special guest. Entice people with a free lunch, and make them feel special at your meeting.
- Fun incentive programs
- Flamingo program. Put a bright pink flamingo in each member’s yard until they bring in a new member!
- Hamster or fish program. Buy a hamster or fish, and make a member responsible for care and feeding until he or she brings in a new member. Then pass it on to the next member throughout the year!
- Giant stuffed animal program. Purchase a giant stuffed animal and make a member put it in the passenger seat of the car until he or she brings in a new member. Then pass it on to the next member.