Club Improvement

* MEMBERSHIP, EXTENSION, RETENTION, LEADERSHIP (MERL) Tips
* LIONS COMMUNITY NEEDS ASSESSMENT! A better understanding of the volunteer service our community needs.
* MAKING IT HAPPEN! A guide to determine projects that are most meaningful to our community.

Actions to invigorate and better develop the members of the Thalia Lions Club through better targeted more productive and meaningful services to our community

MEMBERSHIP, EXTENSION, RETENTION, LEADERSHIP (MERL) TIPS
http://lions2e1.org/MERLTIPS.pdf
- Clubs should set membership goals
- Members should set their own goals for new members
- Timely induction of new members
- Encourage new members to attend Zone & District meetings
- Take new members to Zone & District meetings
- Have sponsors call & take new members to club meetings
- Each club should develop listing of ideas from existing members
- Leadership of clubs should become more actively involved at District functions
- Each club should have an “EXIT” committee to interview any member who is leaving the club
- Invite new members to board meetings
- Develop a telephone committee to call all members to remind them of meetings, events, and to call members who are not actively involved
- Take an existing member to a club meeting
- Sponsor of new member should be responsible for new member for one year
- Have intra-club membership contest and inter-club membership contest in the District
- Consider club paying for new membership fees
- To improved communications with surrounding Lions clubs participate in programs outside of Thalia Lions local community that are in the broader Hampton Roads community such as
* Triple R Ranch Lions' Diabetes Family Camp;
* Chesapeake, John M. White Youth Camp, Virginia Wesleyan College;
* Lions World Services for the Blind, LCIF, Leader Dog, etc
- Develop three member teams to bring in new members
- Have club activities that encourage younger member participation, family events, and fun things in the communities served
- Target memberships
- Develop mentor program to work with less tenured Lions
- Have fun at meetings with good programs
- Listen and learn from other Lions and Lions Clubs
- Have new members set at different tables each meeting helping them to better know the entire membership
- Have a local program twice each year where each member introduces her/himself to the other members and briefly tells other Lions about her/himself
- Keep zone chairs and region chairs up-to-date with memberships of all clubs
- Raise/grow our own Lions through Leo Clubs
- Develop a local calendar that focuses on leadership, retention, extension, and membership for upcoming events to include –
* MAY
- Lions Of Virginia 86th State Convention Northern Virginia
* JUNE
– Thalia Lions Club Charter Night
* JULY
– the Annual Meeting of the Virginia Lions Hearing Foundation (VLHF), University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, VA. –
- Parade of Nations at the Youth Exchnage Camp
- Remote Area Medical (RAM) Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity Mission to Wise, Virginia
* AUGUST
- Eye Bank Annual Meeting
- Sight and Hearing Unit Meeting
* SEPTEMBER
- Lions Multidistrict Leadership Institute, Staunton, VA
* OCTOBER
- Lions District 24-D 63rd Annual Fall Conference, Newport News

LIONS COMMUNITY NEEDS ASSESSMENThttp://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/common/pdfs/mk9.pdf

Every year our club should assess the programs and services we provide to
our local community. Through a simple analysis, we can understand and accurately determine:
• what kinds of volunteer service your community needs
• whether your clubs’ current service projects are still needed by the community
• if other organizations in your area are providing similar services

This assessment will help us better serve our community by helping us focus on projects and programs that are important to the people in our area. In addition, by conducting programs that are meaningful to our community, Thalia Lions Club will be able to demonstrate leadership and pride that can help build team spirit within our club and attract new members. Take the following steps to accurately assess the needs of our community:

Step One: Discuss Analysis with the BoardImpress upon our Board of Directors the value of conducting a community needs analysis. Explain how it will help the club find and focus on programs and projects that are still needed and are exciting and challenging to all involved -- including club members.

Step Two: Appoint a Committee
After receiving a go-ahead from the board, discuss the importance of an annual assessment with club members at a meeting. If necessary, appoint a committee or task force to handle the assessment.

Step Three: Decide Who to Contact in the CommunityBefore beginning our assessment, we will need to decide who can best evaluate the needs in our community. We need to make a list of the people we will want to contact. For example, we will want to talk to someone who has a solid understanding of educational services and needs in our community. In addition, we need to talk to “experts” in environmental, health, recreational, social and youth services.
Here are examples of the types of people we want to contact:
Educational Services........................High school principal or teacher, director of the local library.
Environmental Services....................City or county official in charge of environmental issues.
Recreational Services.......................Park district coordinator, people in charge of community
activities and programs.
Social Services................................Police, fire fighters, voting registration personnel.
Health Services ...............................Hospital administrators, doctors, nurses.
Youth Services.................................School counselors, social workers, student leaders, people in charge of community youth programs and activities.
After completing the list, secure addresses and phone numbers of each contact…so the
work can begin.

Step Four: Survey Community ContactsCall the contacts on the list to see if they would participate in the assessment. Explain that the survey can be handled by phone or by mail. If a phone survey suits your contact, pull out the questionnaire and begin asking questions. (A copy of the questionnaire is included.) If the contact would rather complete the assessment in writing, then mail the contact the questionnaire (see abobe website). Attach a cover letter; see the example below. Also, include a stamped, self-addressed envelope to increase the likelihood of a reply.

Step Five: Analyze Survey Results
The task force can begin reviewing and analyzing the completed questionnaires. Does our community have specific needs for services that thge Thalia Lions Club can provide? Are other clubs and organizations duplicating our club’s efforts? Do any of our programs need to be updated, improved or even stopped? In summary, what does our community need? And how can Thalia Lions Club get involved?

Step Six: Share Results with all Thalia LionsAsk the task force to share the analysis at a club meeting. Get feedback from fellow members. Discuss whether Thalia Lions Club’s current services and programs are meeting the needs of our community. Open up the floor to new ideas that can help make our community better.

Step Seven: Share Results with Other Lions
The Zone, Region, and District chairmen would be interested in our findings. In addition, if we have uncovered opportunities which require outside help or are outside our area of responsibility, Thalia Lions would want to alert other clubs besides the the Zone, Region, and District chairmen.

Step Eight: Share Results with the Survey ParticipantsThank them in writing or by telephone for participating in the survey. Discuss how their input has helped the club define their programs to better serve the community. Ask if they are interested in working with the Lions. Find out if they want to learn more by attending the next club meeting.

Lions Community Needs Assessment Questionnaire
1. Can we identify specific community service projects in our field that we think could be successful? o No o Yes - Please list
2. If we answered yes to question one, why do we think the community service projects we listed are successful?
3a. Can we identify specific needs in our club's field that, if met, would help service the community? o No o Yes - Please describe:
3b. How do we think this need can best be met?
4a. Do we know of any duplication of efforts from volunteers in our service area? Are there two or more organizations doing the same programs and fulfilling the same needs? o No o Yes - Please describe:
4b. How can the groups work together to eliminate unnecessary duplication or coordinate joint efforts?
5. Do we know if the residents in this community are aware of the services and facilities offered? o No o Yes - Please comment:
6. Is there room for more volunteer involvement and programs in our service area? o No o Yes - Please comment:
Additional Comments:

Sample Cover Letter
To be attached to questionnaire prior to mailing to community resource people
Date
Name/Address
Dear (Name):

To provide better service to (name of community), the (name) Lions Club is conducting a survey of important resource people in this community. Our goal is to clearly identify those humanitarian services, which we -- as a service club -- could provide. We hope
you will help us identify areas of need within our community for which we may offer
assistance.

By completing the attached questionnaire, you will help us determine needs in certain
areas of human concern. Please feel free, however, to comment on any community
services need which you feel would benefit our community.

We also encourage you to forward a copy of this survey to any other resource person whose comments you believe would be helpful to our survey.

Please return the completed questionnaire by (date). After we have compiled our data, a representative of our club will contact you to discuss what we learned from the assessment and how we might work together. In the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to call me at (phone number). We would be happy to hear from you.

Sincerely,
(name of Lion)
(name of Lions club)

MAKING IT HAPPEN! Guide to Club Project Developmenthttp://www.lions-33k.org/Leadership/ClubProjectDevelopment.pdf

If the Thalia Lions Club conducts community service projects that are meaningful to the community, our members will feel they have made a valued contribution and potential members will be more likely to support the project. These guidelines can help new or existing club members identify meaningful service projects and the available resources, then help to develop an effective plan of action. This is a very exciting exercise! A group of people, exchanging ideas and knowledge can accomplish far more than one person alone!

STEP ONE: Assessment- Make a List of Possible Programs
Meet with Thalia members and ask each person to identify what they like about their community. This list could include things like the school system, the community’s location, the businesses, etc. Discuss why these features are important to the participants to uncover their interests. Ask each person to name one feature. Compile a list of features. Next, ask each person to think of one way that they would improve the community. Discuss openly what they feel can be done to make the improvements. Consider asking the following questions to guide the group’s discussion: Will this improvement need people? Will this improvement need funding? What type of specialization or skill is needed to make the improvement? Who should we contact to further research the opportunity? (Key individuals) Then ask the group to identify the top five features and the top five improvements for the club or potential club to consider. Rank the top five in each category and note why they are important.
* At this point, we may choose to end the discussion and plan the next meeting, at which time the group should meet again to further discuss ideas for improving the community. Ask participants to invite people who may be interested in the topics to the next meeting.
MAKE A LIST OF POSSIBLE PROGRAMS
HOW WOULD YOU IMPROVE THE SITUATION?
(INCLUDE ONE OR TWO IDEAS PER PERSON)
WILL YOU NEED PEOPLE?
WILL YOU NEED FUNDING OR RESOURCES?
WHAT TYPE OF SPECIALIZATION OR SKILL IS NEEDED FOR THIS PROJECT?
WHO SHOULD WE CONTACT TO RESEARCH THE OPPORTUNITY?

STEP TWO: Appoint Task Forces.During this step, our group should further discuss the possible projects, identify three to five club opportunities (based on the number of participants) and set up task forces to research each project further. Begin by reviewing the improvements that were identified during the last meeting. Collect ideas for implementing these improvements, discuss possible action steps, and explain how a Lions club can help them accomplish their goals. Next, recruit qualified and interested Lions Club volunteers and/or potential members as indicated below. Follow the member recruiting procedures as outlined in the club’s constitution and by-laws. Ask each active member to volunteer for a task force and ask the task force to schedule a meeting to begin step three.
APPOINT A TASK FORCE

STEP THREE: Conduct Research
Each task force should:
1. Decide whom to contact in the community to find out more about the opportunity. They may need to make several contacts to find out where help is needed the most.
2. List the information that should be gathered from the contacts and some possible solutions. Consider asking the contact:
Do they think that the club’s project idea will help the community?
Are other organizations already working on this particular improvement?
How do they think the improvement could be made?
How many people would be needed?
How much funding would be needed?
What resources does the contact have to help make the improvement?
Is there anyone who would have more information about the project or would like to be involved (potential members)?
Do they think there are other needs that the club should consider?
3. Communicate with contacts either in person, over the phone or by e-mail. Keep an open mind – we may find that our contacts feel that the club could help the community in ways that we did not originally consider that may really make a difference.
CONDUCT RESEARCH
WHO DO WE NEED TO REACH?
Do they think that the club’s project idea will help the community?
Are other organizations already working on this particular improvement?
How do they think the improvement could be made?
How many people would be needed?
How much funding would be needed?
What resources does the contact have to help make the improvement?
Is there anyone who would have more information about the project or would like to be involved (potential members)?
Do they think there are other needs that the club should consider?

STEP FOUR: Write a Plan
Meet with your task force to develop a written plan. The plan should have the following:
• Goals and Objectives
• Action Steps
• Time Frame
• People Needed
• Resources Needed
Then, share our plan with the club. Get feedback from our fellow members to find ways to improve the project. Welcome the help and suggestions of other members who would like to become involved.

STEP FIVE: Implement the PlanInvolve the members in the activities and reward their successes along the way. Include progress reports in our club website, e-mail correspondence and meeting announcements. Share the progress with the entire club; keeping members up to date keeps members involved! Finally, when the project is successfully completed, take a moment to review the actions that took place to find ways the program could be improved. Incorporate these improvements into future projects. Don’t forget to let others, especially prospective members and individuals who are interested in the success of your project, know the progress that our club has made. Invite them to get involved and watch our project (and our membership) grow!
WRITE A PLAN
OBJECTIVE?
WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN?

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