Not too many things last a century, let alone thrive. But that's just what Kiwanis has done. Launched in 1915 by a handful of civic-minded community businessmen, it has since grown to become a global service organization whose impact is felt throughout the world.
There will be much to celebrate when Kiwanis marks its first century of service in 2015. That's 100 years of fellowship. Of service. And of working to bring real, lasting change to children and communities.
It's a major accomplishment and a great source of pride. The achievements of our first century show the world the relevance of our organization, inspire current members and attract new ones.
But this is also a great time to think about what comes next. About what can be achieved during Kiwanis' second century. And what we can do to ensure we stand ready to meet our vision.
Here are some things you could do now to set the stage for future successes:
Strengthen your club. For Kiwanis' impact to last another 100 years, our clubs need to be healthy and thriving. Take time to examine your club’s strengths and weaknesses. Make sure your club is an exciting, inviting place to be—for current and potential members alike.
Extend personal invitations. Make an anniversary membership pledge. Then take action. Tell others what you love about your club through membership drives and personal invitations. Spread the word to the community around you.
Extend Kiwanis’ impact to a community near you. Which nearby community can benefit from Kiwanis? Be the driving force to organize the leaders of that community under a Kiwanis club and extend the legacy into the next century.
Invest in the future. Think about what you and your Service Leadership Programs can do together to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Kiwanis in your community. Work together and strengthen ties to your local Key Club, Circle K International or Aktion clubs, and plant the seed of Kiwanis.
Go back to your roots. Attract community interest through community involvement. From service to fundraising, make sure what you do is rooted in the needs around you.
Plan a 100th anniversary service project. Have you been thinking about trying a new and innovative fundraising idea? There's no better time than now. It's the dawn of a new century, so greet it with new ideas.
What will the next Kiwanis century bring? No one can say. But by taking these concrete steps right now, you and your club can help ensure that Kiwanis remains a strong, capable organization that can handle any challenges the future offers. Build the foundation for tomorrow's achievements today.