photo credit: cfinke photo licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
By: Earl Forbes
If members are asked to describe Kiwanis in only one word . . . that word is usually service. The message we send verbally to potential members is that Kiwanis is a service organization. However, surveys of Kiwanians indicate that they are spending more time in meetings than actually doing service. Think about how you have spent most of your time in Kiwanis over the past two months . . . doing service or going to meetings? Our behaviors might not be supporting the message that we are a service organization. Potential members in our communities might conclude that we are a meeting organization.
As the world changes, Kiwanis clubs need to change to remain relevant in their community. It might be time for change in your club. Let your club members imaginations go to work to create more exciting ways for your club to attract and keep more members. One of the changes a Kiwanis club can make will affect how members spend their time. Make your club about service as members spend their time doing service projects rather than going to meetings.
I am encouraging your club to try something new. An idea that is really catching on with Kiwanis clubs is the 3-2-1 concept for club operations. The name itself describes the amount of time a Kiwanian spends each month in meetings, fun and service. This concept puts service first, and keeps the meetings in perspective. Most of the time, energy and resources are focused on service while the least amount of time is spent going to meetings.
This type of club is especially attractive to young professionals. Younger members value the time spent doing service. They would rather build friendships while doing hands-on service than over a meal. A club following this concept schedules several service project (three hours), conducts a fun social event for members, families and friends(two hours), and conducts one business meeting (one hour)each month.
You can increase your club’s service impact in your community, increase member enthusiasm and involvement and attract more members to your club if you are willing to change.
It’s a matter of time.