A Club Catches the Wave of the Future Twelve years ago, the 28 aging Kamehameha Lions in Hawaii were feeling stagnant, tired and stuck in the past. But before calling it quits, they decided to implement some radical changes. “Our club had so much history, legacy and pride that it was worth taking a shot to save it,” says Jim Bryan. Today, the vibrant, busy club on the island of Oahu boasts 197 members and a median age under 40. How did they do it? Bryan shares four of the club’s biggest changes that led to their success. Families First “LCI had just introduced the family dues discount program. It was a no-brainer. Most spouses joined immediately, doubling our ranks. Then they started bringing in their friends as members. All of this new infusion of members spurred new ideas and opportunities in community outreach and networking.” Less Meetings, More Service “Our de-emphasis on meetings occurred when a young professional member left the club after being scolded by a senior Lion for missing meetings. It was an immediate eye-opener. In full agreement, we developed online resources to keep our membership informed and engaged without having them attend meetings. As our Lions realized the rewards come from ‘We Serve’ instead of ‘We Meet,’ the participation level kept increasing.” Going Online “We have many members who have never been to a meeting, yet they contribute time and talent to our projects all the time. We use an internal website to keep members informed. Members can check the site and fill out forms to RSVP for projects. This electronic process has increased service project participation by over 25 percent. We also not only have a Facebook page, but we encourage members to share posts on their personal pages to further our outreach.” The Leo ‘Ohana’ “Our four Leo clubs are not separate from our Lions club, but rather our equals in everything we do. In Hawaii, the word is ‘ohana,’ meaning a great extended family. There are no projects the Leos do without our Lions participating, and vice versa. As a result, it’s an easy transition for them to become Lions because they already feel like Lions. We have 44 Leo-to-Lions so far. We’ve also made sure dues are never an obstacle for joining by creating a Leo-to-Lions endowment fund. We’re all in this wonderful world of service together!” Sacred Hearts Academy Leos (from left) Kennedy Cambra-Cho and Ally Montiel and Kamehameha Lion Whitney Miyahira jump into volunteering as PGA marshals for the Sony Open, an annual project of the Lions and Leos. Class is in Session Whether you need to rebuild your club or give your membership a small tune-up, find guidance on membership concerns through LCI’s monthly membership webinars. Led by Lions and LCI staff, webinars provide a chance to learn from experts and take inspiration back to your club. Search for “membership webinars” at lionsclubs.org and register for the upcoming session or access the archives, which includes past webinars such as “Lessons in Fishing: How to Reel in Younger Members” and “Share the Pride of Serving! Invite Members through Service.” Avoid Service Interruption Help your Leos continue serving by inviting them to become Lions when they graduate. Find out about the dues discount, download the Leo to Lion Certification Form and find more ways to support former Leos in the Member Center at lionsclubs.org.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
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