Membership in Lions Clubs International increased to nearly 1.35 million members, as of June 30, 2012. While many volunteer organizations report declining membership, Lions Clubs International experienced its fifth straight year of membership increase. Not since 1993 has the world’s largest service club organization recorded five straight years of membership growth.
“We chartered more than 1,500 new clubs, bringing our total number of clubs to a record high of more than 46,300 clubs,” said Wayne A. Madden, the 2012-13 president of Lions Clubs International. “In the last five years, we have increased our membership by nearly 60,000 members. With a net increase of nearly 6,000 members in the last year, Lions can provide more service to their communities and to those in need around the world.”
According to Madden, “Lions membership has grown as Lions have concentrated on expanding the programs and service they are providing to their communities. Last year, in one international campaign alone, Lions planted more than 13.5 million trees around the world.
“The fastest growing demographic group in Lions clubs is women,” says Madden. “Also expanding rapidly is the number of members from the same family. We are organizing family clubs and encouraging parents and children and other family members to volunteer together. Family clubs or those with lots of family members fit easily into today’s busy lifestyles.”
Lions are also employing new ways of connecting with the people in their communities. “We are reaching out to younger people by increasing our efforts in social networking,” says Madden. Lions have also organized many specialty clubs such as cyber clubs that meet online and get together only to do service projects, as well as other clubs that serve specific interests and needs of groups within communities, such as Champion Lions Clubs in Support of Special Olympics.
Lions have developed regional programs in areas including India and China that are experiencing success in recruiting members. The number of new members in China more than doubled in the last year. Lions are the first and only service club allowed by the government of The People’s Republic of China to charter clubs and operate in China.
Lions Clubs International has nearly 1.35 million members in 207 countries and geographic areas. In addition to its efforts toward conquering blindness, the organization has made a strong commitment to community service and helping youth throughout the world. To learn more about Lions Clubs International, visit http://www.lionsclubs.org.