Give Your Club a Facelift Change happens. Clubs need to adapt to that change. Your club may need a “makeover” in which it needs to freshen up its ways. Or it may need “plastic surgery” to reinvent itself. A makeover is a quick fix to put a better face on your club. Try to imagine what your club looks like to a first-time visitor. Consider having a greeter to make sure everyone feels welcome. Use name tags. Even if you know everyone’s name, get ready for the day when there are new faces. Have an agenda and then stick to it. Keep meetings short and efficient. Know the basics of parliamentary procedure and follow them. Eliminate the “membership fatigue” that creeps up on even the best Lions and clubs. Try a “spark plug” such as a competition for recruiting new members. Divide the club into teams with winners getting steak and losers eating hot dogs. Nothing gives a new lease on life like recognition. Maybe a member deserves a Melvin Jones Fellowship. There are dozens of other awards detailed on the LCI Web site. Recommend members for district and multiple districtlevel awards. Start a “member of the year” award and throw a big party. Make sure the club is firing on all cylinders. Are your officers competent? Do they know what they are expected to do? Has the club lowered its standards just to fill slots? Try raising the standards with a written contract listing duties. Clear guidelines make for improved performance. Perhaps your district offers training. If not, then provide mentors or find online resources to fill in the gaps. Again, LCI is often a great resource. Improved public relations not only makes your club more visible but also lifts morale. Appoint a public relations chair, develop a club brochure, issue press releases, take action pictures and offer them to your newspaper, place meeting notices in newspapers, rent or negotiate for free billboard and download LCI’s free art, and use LCI PR grants. What if your club needs more than a nudge or two and needs plastic surgery? Start with LCI’s Community Needs Assessment Form, found on the LCI Web site. To also determine how to best serve your community informally meet with community leaders or even survey citizens. A successful, dynamic club is one in touch with its community. Also consider compiling a report on the success of your service projects to build club pride and to measure your club’s strengths and weaknesses in terms of meeting community needs. How many people were served? What was the cost/time spent per person? What needs were unmet? We want to make sure we’re not putting our resources where they’re not needed and failing to recognize needs. Is your club unified? Bonding comes from working together and enduring hardships together. Be alert to a division between generations or genders. Discourage cliques. The tailtwister can help break up groups with switched seating. The president or committee chairs can also encourage mingling by changes in task assignments. Find new activities that require members to regroup. Find ways to keep members involved and engaged. Are members part of the decision-making process? Is important business transacted at meetings? Give members minutes, agendas and budgets to review. Examine the club’s goals: this requires members to “buy in” to changes. The key is understanding your club belongs to its members and can be improved, so grab the reins of change and remake your club. Adapted from a talk by Past District Governor Rachel Nicola of Washington, Iowa, at the 33rd Annual USA/Canada Forum in Memphis in September 2009.
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