Service clubs around the world are endangered. Membership is dwindling down.
This is across the board of many service clubs in North America and other parts of the world.
I talked to the local Lions club here and they reported that from 25 members they are now down to 5 members. The guy I talked with is I believe in the 60s to 70s age range. The rest of the members might be there somewhere in between.
I asked what is their strategy for recruitment and retention? And they answered newspaper ads.
If this is not working, they need to work out a different strategy fast.
Slow and painful death is inevitable unless the leadership takes ownership of what is going on and commit to turning it around with the help of all the stakeholders.
I have seen several clubs suffer from this problem.
There is no one solution. There are many solutions and that they have to begin to embrace that this is going to be their top most priority in the next couple of years.
They have to understand that the competition for attention is the most difficult part of the game. Youth, parents with young kids, retired people with ageing parents, and other demographics are just simply difficult to attract for participation in a regular structured organization.
I asked about the social media and how they can attract following and possibly new members.
The guy retorted that he does not want to be in social media the whole day.
I guess there is still a lot of misconception about the use of social media up to this day.
While there is no need to convince the inconvertible about social media, the whole community suffers when a service club suffers. That is simply a fact.
While service clubs remain relevant because of their service orientation and unselfish dedication to community building, their structure, practices, and culture must go with the times. When they ignore the changing societal dynamics, they risk extinction.
Stupidity is expecting a different outcome using the same approach over and over again.
What are your thoughts? How can we build up robust and dynamic service clubs in our communities?
I heard a lot about this and I think this needs a blog article in the first place.
Managers, entrepreneurs, directors of organizations fall trap into this thinking.
They sell the idea that somebody might be making a donation. Some body, some where, some day!
This is utterly useless from a management point of view. Unless money is in the bag, don’t count it.
Don’t even mention it because it creates a false sense of hope. Hoping that things will be better.
If it doesn't come, then what? Reverse-engineer it, period.
It is not coming.
Hope is good but when it comes to running a business. Don’t count hoping and wishing as good strategies.
Create good strategies that will take you from where you are right now to the next 5 years-10-15.
You will thank yourself from acting on the basis of what can be done with the resources that you have.
Being pragmatic and realistic will win day.
Lots of organizations and starts-up hope and wish for a big donation, a successful JV partner, a huge funding, a media exposure, etc.
Well these things take time. Relationships and connections are the best investments.
Now, go and make good strategies. Between your vision and the strategies that you employ, the rest is implementation.
Give me a thumbs up if you agree:)
Are you wanting to stand out from the crowd?
This is what I say
I say “don’t fall in line like the rest of the people.”
Get out of the line.
Don't believe the people telling you can't do that or you're not good enough.
Get some good skills and invest in yourself. Nothing and no one can take that away from you.
Adversities are like stones along the way. They can trip you but you can jump over them.
Try different things. Taste different things. Some things will fall into place for you.
If you care so much about something. Do something. Don’t over think about it.
Don’t wait to get anointed by somebody – to get picked. Anoint yourself.
When I was young, I used to think that I need to fall in line and wait for my turn to lead.
No body will hand you the baton.
Leadership is not only for the old, experienced, and well-resourced.
It's funny when you hit a certain level of success, people only see the success, not the tears, sweat, and lonely grind that go along with it.
Do not care about what other people will think about your life.
If you put your miseries in one basket and compare with others.
You would be ashamed of thinking about it as miseries.
Mental tenacity is what keeps you getting started
and in the race for the long haul.
I say 80-90% of the obstacles are mental.
Keep your state of mind in good health.
The rest is just execution.
What lessons and words of wisdom can you impart today?
Share your thoughts here.
Yes, you all have noble intentions working in the social sector.
As insiders, you all know that that is one of the reasons why you are volunteering, fundraising, giving monies to, and spend enormous amounts of time working for your favorite cause-oriented organizations, campaigns, and networks.
That is good.
But when you deal with people that are not steeped into the non-profit sector, be real and very practical.
Stop talking about how it will change the world, the situation, feed the hungry, clean the environment, support the homeless, etc. Drop the romancing, idealistic notions.
You need to talk about how it works for other people.
What is their return on investment by participating in your programs? They are moved not by feeding the hungry but my monetary gain or other important considerations.
Employee retention, brand recognition & awareness or domination in the community, more sales, positive association/CSR, customer engagement, to name a few.
Think about how the other person will get their interests served.
Human beings are very simple. While they get moved to tears because of the tragedy happening in the lives of other people and moved to take action, the first thing that they would do is to cover their own needs.
Are you communicating value for them? If you are being salesy by just pushing your agenda, it will not work.
Get their interests served and you won't be treated like a spammer.
What do you think about this? Did I miss an important point? Join the conversation.
My new acquaintance has said it herself: on a voluntour assignment in Guatemala, the lady in the village asked her “why are you here in my village? Why don’t you tour in your own country? The lady sounded annoyed at the sight of the white girls and boys coming and going all the time.
Somebody needed to speak up.
Disruption, white-man’s saviour mentality, dependence, power imbalance – here are some of the clear downsides of voluntourism /a form of tourism or any type of service-mission with volunteer work in the developing countries.
As the gap of developing and developed countries widens, people from the developed world continue to flock the other side to see what poverty is and how they can help. With all the altruism in the world, it is not enough to be effective in the developing country context.
Think hard about your own purpose. Are you going there to tour or to do some serious messy development work? Giving 1-2 weeks of immersion with an RnR (Rest and Recreation) here and there, is a superficial encounter.
Is working in the orphanage, child care center, giving medical services, supporting wildlife centers, or constructing houses something that a community can do? Replacing a community member that is able, effective, efficient and cost-saving is not the best bang for the buck.
A foreigner with no cultural, linguistic competencies, or hard skills related to the job is a total recipe for disaster.
Why not donate your flight money to the community? There is no value of you being there. The money will go along way to securing that community services and programs are brought from the local supply chain, managed by locals themselves and provided by the locals themselves.
Pippa Diddle made a great point in her article to the Huff Post about little white girls, boys and volunteerism. This article is a little dated but well-articulated.
Admit it, it is more tourism and sight seeing that doing the proper work to make a difference in some one else’s life or community? Not even.
Let us not complicate matters by labelling something that is neither a real development effort or a real tourism engagement.
Hope you get the point? Let me know what you think?