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Oct 06 2015

2nd Vice District Governor’s Message

Lion Diane Melnick 2nd Vice District Governor Lion Bob Melnick, IPDG Partner in Service

Lion Diane Melnick
2nd Vice District Governor
Lion Bob Melnick, IPDG
Partner in Service

I had the opportunity during the past months to visit with several clubs during Governor Larry Hopkins’ official visits. He spoke of many important things to you during those visits. One was how well our District had ended the past Lionistic year on membership. As your 2nd Vice District Governor (VDG) I am part of several committees, one of which is the (GMT) Global Membership Team so I want to address one subject with you – the retention of our members. Without this crucial part of our membership efforts we will slowly start to fade away until what we now know and love as Lions is a thing of the past.

There were seven (7) clubs chartered by our District Governor the year our club was started. The standing joke every time one of us saw that Governor was that we were his “favorite club”. I guess so – within the next several years we were the only one left still chartered.

On July 1, 2014 our District had 75 clubs and when our Lionistic year ended on June 30, 2015 we had 74 clubs. Unfortunately we lost the DeFuniak Springs Lions Club, again, as well as the Silver Springs Shores Lions Club when they turned in their Charters to Lions Clubs International (LCI) and excitedly gained a new club when the University of FL Campus Club was chartered. We lost 2 clubs and gained 1 for a net loss of 1 Lions Club. Due to the great efforts on the part of our Lions members and their recruitment efforts with the “Ask One” program we were able to end last year with a loss of only 2 members. A total loss of 1 club and 2 members is the best our District has been able to do for several years. Lions, thank you for all of your efforts in keeping these numbers so low.

However, at the Combined GLT/GMT (Global Leadership Team/Global Membership Team) Seminar at the USA/Canada Forum in Grand Rapids, MI last month the membership numbers reported was a disappointment. In July 2015 we had reached 1.4 million members globally – last month we were down to 1.38 million. When I checked our District’s numbers on the 24th of last month we had lost 3 members so far this year. Not bad, Lions! But a net loss even this small is not going to cut it in the long run. We’ve got to do a lot better. Oh, we seem to do well starting new clubs and getting new members to join us but we’re losing ground when it comes to retaining them as well as our seasoned Lions. Now is the time that we have to seriously address the problem of retention or we are never going to be able to actually grow – either now or and in the future.

Now, the good news. There are a number of ways that we can keep these great Lions and stop them from leaving. If we are just willing to take the time and effort to work on retaining members there is information available through Lions Clubs International (LCI) and our District to help us with our efforts. The “Ask One” and “Keep One” programs are just one way to get you on the right track along with the CEP (Club Excellence Process) and the Club Blueprint. There is also a guide on the LCI (Lions Clubs International) website at: Lionsclubs.org on “How to Keep Members Happy and Coming Back”. This is a great resource for us that includes addressing membership issues, meetings, programs, membership satisfaction plans, and other valuable information. I encourage each club to check out these and the other resources available to you as well as contacting the members of our District GMT (Global Membership Team). Through our concentrated efforts on the retention of our members we can reverse this trend and grow our clubs and District. Then and only then can we proudly point to our successes as well as to continue to expand our humanitarian service to those in need in our communities and worldwide.