Times are changing, and so should your club. When you look around, do you see the same faces? Are you doing the same projects you’ve always done? Bringing in younger members is an excellent way to break out of a rut and breathe life into your club. Attracting and retaining younger Lions is vital to perpetuating your club. Lions Al Blumenberg of Missouri and Peter Anderson of Iowa give their tips for revving up your recruiting efforts. Assess your club’s effectiveness: Blumenberg says an honest look at your club’s membership, service and activities is essential. “It’s a deep dive into how they currently think, how they currently operate as a club,” Blumenberg says. “It has to be a thorough analysis of all of the club members, preferably with someone outside of the club performing the analysis.” This information will help a club form an idea of why younger people would be interested in joining and what the Lions can do for them. Know how to market your club’s strengths: “Lions need to be able to promote ‘this is what we’re about, this is what we do,’” Blumenberg says. “[Younger people are] really looking for some kind of a project that has some global impact, but is performed on a local basis.” Use technology: Anderson says a club Web site is essential because younger Lions will search online for a club before they ever attend a meeting. “The club Web site is mandatory, but don’t have a club Web site that’s 10 years out of date,” Anderson says. “It’s a show piece for your club.” Partner with younger groups and families: “Reach through the family network itself, such as children and grandchildren of Lions,” Anderson says. “Find out what the church youth group is doing, find out what the Boy Scouts are doing, find out what the high school service project is doing and see what you can do to partner with them.” He said he believes younger people with families are more likely to join if you provide a family atmosphere, such as hiring the local Leos Club to babysit during your meeting. This can increase the likelihood of a spouse joining as well. “Why leave half the membership at home?” Anderson points out. Be flexible: Younger people are more likely to show interest in episodic volunteering, such as building a home with Habitat for Humanity, than attending regular meetings, he said. “Start looking at other ways we can meet -- can we meet on a Saturday morning while we’re setting up for the blood drive?,” Anderson said. It’s also a good idea to find a way to let Lions be in good standing without attending every meeting. Make your meetings meaningful and more younger Lions will attend. “Give me a reason to be at the meeting,” Anderson emphasizes. “Make sure that it’s run quickly, efficiently and well.”
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digital.lionmagazine.org/article/Recruiting+Members/322050/31766/article.html.