The leader of the Kentucky-Tennessee Kiwanis district encouraged Williamsburg Kiwanis Club members and others to seek out new members and continue to grow their clubs, including new members that don’t look like them.
All clubs need to be thinking about what they are going to do to make their clubs more exciting and more inviting, especially to younger people, said Dale Hawkins, 2017-2018 Kiwanis Governor of the Kentucky-Tennessee Division Six.
“We have to go and recruit people and we have to recruit people that don’t look like us all the time. We fall in a recruiting comfort zone. So we want to recruit people at times, who look more like we do. We have more in common with them that makes sense,” Hawkins said.
“We have to look at a younger generation and we have to make our clubs fun towards them … We need to be bringing in a younger generation. Not only do we need to recruit them and bring them in, but we need to sit down, hush and listen to them.”
The Williamsburg Kiwanis Club hosted the Kentucky-Tennessee Governor’s Banquet on Nov. 2 at the Williamsburg Tourism and Convention Center.
A total of 33 people attended the banquet from Kiwanis clubs across the region, including Corbin, London and Rockcastle County Kiwanis Clubs.
Hawkins, whose district includes over 4,000 Kiwanians, said that he has challenged every club president he has spoken with this year to do something different.
“I don’t know what it is. I don’t care what it is. Do something different. Change it up,” Hawkins said.
Over the past year, Kiwanis International has lost a total of 12,000 members even after factoring in new members.
“How do you stay in business losing numbers? How do you grow an organization when people are falling by the wayside? We have to build. We have to recruit, but I think a key thing a lot of us get our eyes off of is we need to do retention programs,” Hawkins noted.
“We have to make changes. We make the changes that aren’t easy. We make the changes that must be made.”
The biggest recruiting tool that the clubs have at their reach is the Internet, which needs to be utilized.
“It only takes a few minutes to sit down and shoot out a text saying, ‘How are you doing? Is there someone in your family that we can pray for?’ We have to become a family,” Hawkins said.
He added that everyone, who attends a meeting, should be asked to join the club.
“Every person in this room should have a 60 to 90 second commercial in your pocket to give at any time,” Hawkins said about pitching new members to join.
The musical group, “His Praise,” provided the entertainment for the dinner.