PAMELA MOHR 0000-00-00 00:00:00
Like life itself, the ginkgo leaf is an illustration in fluidity, constantly moving as the wind circles its branches. Lions are a lot like the ginkgo, strong yet flexible, adaptable and able to bend when faced with new challenges, but never broken. Our clubs continue to thrive as we build momentum in our membership growth, finding new and effective ways to achieve success as we add new members worldwide and find creative ways in which to serve. Since July 1, 370 new clubs have been established and we’ve gained 3,750 Lions because the Quick Start Ginkgo Award challenge is achieving remarkable gains. These numbers tripled from the same period last year. A total of 58 districts and two undistricted areas earned Quick Start Ginkgo Awards, with India the top country worldwide for gains. Even more may soon be confirmed. Teamwork is the key. Cooperation is helping us Move to Grow, and records are being set. The seed for a joint effort of all Lions—including District Governor and Vice District Governor teams and our successful Global Membership Teams—was planted and now that single seed has flowered into a sustainable resource. These new Lions and clubs bring with them a wealth of exciting ideas and energy. While other organizations may be experiencing a decline in membership for several reasons, Lions Clubs International is bucking that trend. We’re growing because we don’t stand still. We aren’t content to rest on our reputation as the world’s premier service club organization. Lions are still putting themselves out there in communities and on national and international levels to keep doing what we do best: working for others. “No one ever said it would be easy. But we keep reaching out and like the ginkgo, absolutely nothing stops our momentum. When the numbers increase threefold, it’s most obvious that we’re moving in the right direction. This growth keeps us moving forward in a number of ways,” emphasizes President Eberhard J. Wirfs. • In ISAMME (India, South Asia, Africa and the Middle East), the numbers relate how Lions are being embraced. Clubs have increased from 48 in the first two months of last year to 246 this year. In addition to India having great results, the countries of Nepal, Nigeria and Bangladesh are continuing their growth from last year. • In North America, the number of new clubs doubled from the previous year. Eleven district governors in the United States established at least two clubs each and have earned Quick Start Ginkgo Awards. Leadership at every level is working—the numbers are up and growth is at its highest level in 12 years. • OSEAL (Orient and Southeast Asia) has 67 new clubs. • Europe has seen a 130 percent increase over a five-year average in new clubs chartered in July and August. Success of this magnitude isn’t possible without meticulous planning and teamwork. It’s not just the numbers in general that have skyrocketed. What also matters is that by being creative and embracing freedom of choice, new clubs are being organized. In District 2-A2, Texas, District Governor Glenn Burns, a Quick Start Ginkgo Award winner, formed a new “Family” club as well as its first all “Ladies Lions Club.” Different types of clubs fulfill different community and individual needs. By recognizing that families, careers, commitments, and indeed, the times change, forward-thinking Lions leaders are embracing the idea of specialty clubs. The ability to adapt is what has made the ginkgo survive 280 million years. If things remain static, no growth is ever achieved. If no new growth is measured, survival is questionable. The ginkgo is one of nature’s unique creations because both male and female varieties reside in the same plant. They work together to not only endure, but also thrive in often hostile conditions. It’s creativity at its best, showing that there’s more than just one way to retain members and grow successfully. In China, 16 new clubs were formed in Qingdao, which will soon be the fourth district in China. New clubs were also formed in Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangdong. A second Lions club has been organized in Iraq and two new clubs have been established in Ukraine, making a total of 10 clubs in that country. All seven constitutional areas of Lions are proceeding forward in numbers. President Wirfs has announced a New Year’s Celebration Ginkgo Award to recognize districts that increase the average size of their clubs by a target number. “The goal of this challenge is to grow membership of existing clubs, save and revitalize struggling clubs and to improve the overall retention of existing members worldwide by December 31, 2009,” he explains. “The goals are easy to understand and achievable by organizing membership drives, by saving clubs from suspension and by involving the entire district team in providing help to clubs looking for new ideas and inspiration.” Do some “blue sky thinking” to find new ways of doing old things. Thinking differently can lead to exciting new ideas. One such new idea is already accomplishing great things. By teaming district governors and vice governors, this trio of Lions leaders is successfully strengthening membership and operations. It’s an idea that was proven valuable previously in Ohio and Multiple District 111 in Germany and now adopted by the association. District governors are charged with a number of responsibilities and by using the whole team, leadership remains constant and both the first and vice district governors are able to monitor club and district operations. Considering the hands-on experience these teams bring with them, combined with the momentum they’re gathering as they work together with a common goal in mind, President Wirfs believes, “Our District Governor Teams will have all the ingredients to produce leaders with sound value systems and creative skills to be role models in different parts of the world.” For more information about Move to Grow and the Quick Start and New Year’s Celebration Ginkgo Awards, please visit www.lionsclubs.org
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digital.lionmagazine.org/article/MEMBERSHIP+INCREASES/244113/24409/article.html.