Club Makeover: Go From Average to Excellent

In 2010, the Tuscumbia Lions Club had only 12 members, whose average age was 73. It seemed the Alabama club could die off, leaving Tuscumbia—the birthplace of Helen Keller—without a Lions club. Instead of being complacent, club members worked with Global Membership Team (GMT) Coordinator Jerome Thompson of District 34-A and other Lion leaders to rate their club and conduct a community needs assessment to find opportunities to better serve the community. “We agreed that it was hard to get younger members to join the Tuscumbia club,” recalls Thompson. “So we started with people 15 to 25 years younger than the members and didn’t target the 25-year-olds.” Now with 18 members and a 10-year drop in average age, the club is ready to tackle new projects to hopefully garner more community support.
Tuscumbia club member’s methodology to save their club reflects what any club can do through LCI’s Club Excellence Process. “In the process itself, there are four modules,” explains Iowa-based GMT Coordinator Gary Fry. “Module one
deals with what we are as Lions and asks you to look at why we exist. The second primarily deals with the evaluation of what we’re doing as a group and looking at how we can become better.” Fry then suggests club members take a six- to eight-week break to survey members about their club experience and survey community leaders about their needs and how Lions could help. Once the results are in, Fry suggests the group reconvene to discuss.
“Part three is an evaluation looking at the results of those two surveys,” Fry adds. “The fourth module is to develop goals and then develop an action plan to achieve those goals.” Each module only takes a few hours, but Fry says the results have been tremendous.
“I know of clubs that have added 10 to 20 members simply because of becoming more relevant,” Fry says. “It does work. The key thing to it is that you look at what you’re currently doing and be willing to make adjustments.”
To schedule a Club Excellence Process workshop for your club, contact your zone chair, GMT district coordinator or Lions Clubs International at ClubExcellence Process@lionsclubs.org.

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