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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?
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