Your Feedback: Increasing Membership

Lions Clubs International

A Lion from a small town asked the following question on Facebook:

We are a small town and we have only 14 active members. What are some ideas for increasing membership?

Here is how Lions responded:

  • Lion Jim – Forget emphasizing meeting attendance. Younger generation Lions HATE meetings — they want to do service! It’s an outdated concept. Meetings have become far more irrelevant in today’s age of mass communication. When you do have a Lions meeting, make it special, important & fun! Otherwise, forget separate stand-alone Lions meetings. Instead, take 30 minutes AFTER your service project, sit around over a quick bite & beverages, and go over club business while members are already pumped after doing something good for the community.
  • Diana Kroells – I agree with the younger ones not wanting to do meetings — boring ones anyway. We conduct almost all of our business at the board meeting and then the other meeting is a social event with a guest speaker. Attendance is optional and we never have less than 85% attendance.
  • Fred Ackley - Start a Facebook page and let people in town know what the club does. Newsletter. Make a list of project, activities and what you gave $$ to. Post it around town.
  • Carol ‘Caz’ Moreton – We are starting a “Friends of” group as we have lots of people with skills we need that help us for specific activities but won’t commit to joining at the minute. We are hoping that by publicly acknowledging them and socializing with them, they will only need a final nudge.
  • Marion Katherine Smith – We are a small club in a small town with 15 members. If you want to accomplish something, then do it. We all signed up to be a Lion in order to serve our community. Yes, some members do more than others but it will always be that way. More members will not necessarily produce more active members. A gentle reminder to the membership about why they signed up can generate a whole new renewal of interest.
  • Paul E. Palmer – Recruit, Recruit, Recruit! Print up a few hundred brochures from Int’l website. Give each member 20 of them and challenge them to give out 1 every day to someone. Reward everyone for a good deed done. Advertise every event with a picture in the local newspaper.
  • Erik Witt – Challenge each current member to try and reqruit just 1 new member during the next year.
  • Chris Oberlander – Be seen! When you are out doing community work, wear your Lions gear. Ask – it costs nothing to ask someone if they would like to join, they can only say “No” or “Yes”.
  • Jennifer Mahnic – I noticed that people are busy, and they don’t want to join if they know they have to be accountable for every meeting/event. So we make them comfortable that they come when they have the time and support the causes they can. Being flexible has helped grow our club.
  • Pat Richardson – Leverage your small town advantages. A local weekly newspaper is easier to get your club publicized than a club in a big city where the news is frequently published by a big daily owned by some out of state corporation. Also, remember that your 14 members on a percentage basis is a big club when comparing the population served. Making sure the population knows about your club and what you are doing is the key. If what you are doing isn’t visible, make it so. The Lions emblem on a “Welcome to Our Town” sign can be a start.
Join the conversation! What do you suggest for increasing Lions membership in a small town?
  • Virginia Gordon

    Review who from your membership has a high profile and invite them to speak on their topic – a draw card to attract townsfolk across generations. Start a FB page and post photos of the fabulous things you do which change and improves peoples lives. Get some of those who have been helped to share their story. Find an under 35 champion to recruit from young professionals. Identify a school leader and establish a school group. I think some mother and daughter team events, some father and son team events will bring in new energy and new focus. Do a wine tasting event or something that is just fun to bring people together. Agree totally the meetings are the killer of enthusiasm. Key will be a social media expert to take your ideas and projects to their networks and build new support networks around the great work you do. Promote some of the international work the organisation does – young people are interested in making he world a better place and some of the projects would be relevant. Good luck!!

    • lionsclubs

      Great ideas – thanks for sharing!