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Recruitment and Retention event notes

These notes follow from the successful evening held in Southampton in early October.  It was attended by 42 Lions from some 22 Clubs across 105D who provided ideas and suggestions on assisting Clubs to increase membership and also to retain members.

It must be remembered there is no ‘magic wand’ to increase our membership and not every idea will work for every Club.  

The aim is every Club finds at least 1 ‘nugget’ within these notes to help with membership.

Recruitment. Examples of good practice in recruitment included: [Not in any particular order]

  1. Book Marks containing 3 questions: Can we help you or someone you know?  Would you like to know more about Lions?  Would you like to join us?  Suggest if any answer is ‘Yes’ contact is made.  Book marks handed out at events etc and also have a use in their own right
  2. Saturate an area with leaflets – but every enquiry to the Club needs an immediate follow up.
  3. Information leaflets given to those who are helped, those who are helpers and during Christmas Float runs – again need immediate follow ups.
  4. A5 size diary of Lions’ events including when and where, details of what is done by Lions and who to approach and hand out at events.
  5. Establish ‘Friends of Lions’ – people who wish to help but cannot commit the time to be a full member; create this group from a database of those who have helped in recent times.  Keep them informed via regular ‘Newsletters’; it could be they are willing to pay a small contribution to make them feel they belong.  Many may be unable to commit the necessary time and cost at present.
  6. Important to recognise when recruiting younger members to an existing Club the need is to look at those around 10-15 years younger than the Club’s average age. 
  7. Visibility is essential in connection with every event carried out.
  8. Use articles outlining events and help given, as a way of obtaining free advertising in local papers.
  9. Ensure Club websites are up to date and are easy to navigate.
  10. A Club Branch may be a way forward for younger members and when the time is right it may replace its ‘Mother Club’.
  11. Meeting Venue – is it appropriate and welcoming for prospective members?  Do current members find it comfortable and welcoming?
  12. Does your Club have a good IT expert?
  13. Use ‘Thank You’ cards to helpers after every event.
  14. Provide an annual report to all those who are Friends or Helpers and also all the professionals who have provided names etc eg District Nurses, Local Doctors.
  15. Would printed copies of District Times which were then left in Libraries, surgeries etc not also provide a form of advertising?
  16. Regular Youth Discos help spread the word not only to the young but also to their parents.

Printed Material

There are some excellent examples of printed material available from Clubs including:

Welcome to Hart Lions Club - Hart

An Introduction to what it means to be a Lion – Jersey PDF

Engaging the Media - Jersey PDF

Information leaflet on local organisations etc – Yateley and Windsor each have one

Glossy information handouts on the local Club – Windsor

Questionnaire, very short, for those attending Meetings and those attending events – Windsor

There are also publications available on websites, as follows:

Blueprint for a Stronger Club – District website

Your Club Your Way – District website

Members’ Handbook – District website and LCI website

Various Posters for recruitment – LCI website

Just Ask – LCI website

Your Family can Make a Difference – LCI website

Sponsorship is an Important Responsibility LCI website

NB All publications on the District and LCI website can be downloaded for free. 

If you would like further information on those items suggested by a Club, please contact the relevant Club directly. 

Retention.  The following suggestions are aimed at making Retention more successful. We lose far too many Lions in the first 3 years of their time as a Lion and it is this trend Clubs need to address.

  1. Lack of Fun in a Club will hamper its success rate
  2. Lack of information to members will hamper its success rate
  3. Use a ‘Buddy’ system for newer members
  4. Give new members a role early on – even a small role – it helps them feel valued
  5. Develop an information book eg Hart for prospective members
  6. Every Club needs at least 1 mentor – experienced Lions who can advise and steer newer members
  7. Windsor Lions have developed a useful hint sheet on Mentoring
  8. Remember: Sponsor and Mentor are 2 quite separate roles
  9. Choice of suitable venues might be difficult in some rural areas
  10. Use Lions badge on outside of venue
  11. Reduce the burden of some roles eg a Minute Secretary as well as Club Secretary; use an experienced Lion to Chair Business Meetings
  12. Were new members aware of their commitment before they actually joined? 
  13. Use name badges at Meetings to help newer members
  14. Look at format of Meetings to ensure they are an enjoyable experience eg use time for discussions and/or visitors including District Officers
  15. FUN – an essential element of all meetings and events
  16. Good social element is also essential
  17. Look at Club Meeting needs
  18. Club self analysis may help Club move forward
  19. Prospective members need to be met socially outside of Club environment to help prepare them
  20. Do not sign new members up too soon
  21. Consider 10 minutes orientation at every Meeting
  22. Events – need to be tailored to what the Club and its members can cope with 
  23. Look at Community needs to influence events and fund raising needs
  24. Centennial Celebrations – Zone or groups of Clubs to arrange a large event to publicise this milestone and the achievements Lions Clubs have made

Link to original event page