Alan's Alley

A blog just about Kiwanis by Alan Arbuckle. The views in this blog are mine, alone, and do not represent the views of any other entity. blah. blah. blah.

Jul 1

Time To Rethink Your Internet Strategy

Roughly half of your organization’s Internet traffic is via a smartphone.

If your website, Facebook links, and even your emails are unreadable on a 4 inch screen, you are pretty much wasting your time. You are in effect hoping that someone will come back later and read your content on a bigger screen.

Have you ever considered a website optimised for mobile? Even if one can read the content, navigating the site may be impossible.

Consider a larger font on emails. What about the format of your emails… Three column correspondence might have worked for print, it really doesn’t work for phones, tablets, or even some laptops. 

As technology changes, organizations must adapt.

Jun 20

Verb Power

This is a little experiment. I read an article that social media goes crazy for transitive VERBS. So I set out to describe what Kiwanians do, not what Kiwanis is

May 11

Promoting Your Club Through Pictures

As a club, you want to be known in your community. Part of that process is taking pictures of your club and posting them online. Facebook is becoming less effective than it had been to promote Kiwanis clubs, but it is still is my place to start. Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ all still show everything you post. Facebook shows only about 10% of your friends/fans your pictures. Business-wise this is probably not the wisest decision on the part of Facebook. Time will tell.

I’m not seeing clubs posting pictures to their websites. I hope that clubs take down pictures from years ago. Old pictures leave the impression that the club hasn’t done ANYTHING  in years.

I love action shots during service projects. But I know that there will be the perfunctory group picture. Group selfies are almost better than these group pictures. But it only takes a bit of computer magic and some patience to make these pictures engaging.


This picture of some members and spouses can become:


Or even this:


So older pictures can be repurposed to promote your club.

May 9

Did You Know… May Is Kiwanis Membership Month?

Some thoughts about An Invitation To Serve through Kiwanis:

Make personal invites- don’t email, text message, e-invite, or invite through Facebook. Pick up the phone and call the person you want to invite. Leave a voice mail, if necessary, but follow up with them later.

If you know the person, offer to drive them.  They will be less likely to just not show up because they would have to call you to cancel.

If you are inviting people to a meeting that has a meal, pay for them. If you are having a special event (or a Kiwanis project), provide appetizers and soft drinks.

If this is a membership event, the venue should be quiet enough to have a speaker. The speaker should be entertaining and well practiced in their Kiwanis message. Don’t have a speaker who is just winging it.  Break into small groups where current members can talk about their Kiwanis experience and Kiwanis moments. Members should mingle between the groups. Not every prospect will respond to one person’s message.

Don’t forget to talk about what Kiwanis can do for the new member. Networking isn’t just about the other Kiwanians, it’s about meeting the speakers (programs) at your meetings. Being able to have a one-on-one after a meeting with a community leader is priceless.

Did you invite any Key Club (or other SLP) advisors to the event? They can be a speaker or just talk to the small groups about the experience that Key Club has on the students.

If your invite someone to a service project, is it one that the attendee is passionate about? Inviting someone to a fundraiser won’t have the same impact as inviting them to a service project.

This list of ideas isn’t a complete list of do’s and don’t do’s by any means. Hopefully, your district provides training how to recruit members or start new clubs. If it doesn’t ask the district office to include this training at the district convention.

May 8

What’s Our Goals? Do We Talk About Them Enough?

As Kiwanis-Family members we all should have an idea about our common goals. For the International, it is The Eliminate Project to end maternal/neonatal tetanus. For every member and every club, this should be a common goal that we are aware of and promote. It actually makes me sad when I hear individuals or clubs that talk it down. Yes, I realize we aren’t likely to reach our goal on time. Yes, I know that it does NOT do anything to increase membership. My point is if you don’t want to participate that’s fine, but don’t talk it down. It’s our collective goal. To some extent it’s my goal, too. I am a Zeller (and more) contributor.

But going back to the idea of common goals, does your club have goals? Your Division? Your District? Announcing goals at the beginning of an administrative year isn’t enough. We have to gauge our progress, regularly. If your club has 3 new members of the goal of 5. Celebrate and rededicate your team to achieving the goal. Your division has a goal of a new club (Kiwanis, CKI, Key Club or Builders). Maybe you found that another area is a better candidate for a new club. Reevaluate and possibly build two clubs. A district has a new district project. Regular communication of progress to membership is critical. Once a year updates at a luncheon, that a small minority of members attend, is just not sufficient. 

Promoting, reevaluating and communicating progress of our goals is just as important as setting goals to unifying everyone behind a common purpose. Clarity and transparency should be part of the goal making process. Without common goals within an organization, what remains?

May 7

Can You Have Community Spirit Without A Community Service Organization?

Government can’t do it all. Churches can’t do it all. Even organizations or clubs that dabble in service can’t do it all. If you want true community spirit, it takes an organization whose mission is to address the needs specific to you community. It takes a Community Service Organization (CSO). 

As a society, it seems like this is a forgotten component of great communities. You can have good schools, good infrastructure, and a good business community, but something is lacking without community spirit. PTOs, Chambers of Commerce, and the local government must all work together to make an area improve. But without a common ground to discuss the needs that are going unmet, can a community develop a contagious spirit that make residents proud?


It’s time to give back, everybody. Even if you are involved in other terrific causes, giving back to your community has all kinds of benefits.

  • Community Service makes you feel goooooood. 
  • It improves your area.
  • It inspires others (especially kids) to be involved.

Those that know me or follow my blog know that I believe Kiwanis is a perfect way to serve your community. With its emphasis on kids, Kiwanis also teaches and inspires service leadership in the next generation. Another feature that I like is: Kiwanis clubs are more hands-on then check writing.

How do you serve the community? How do you Kiwanis?

May 2

Does anyone have information about the new “Associate Kiwanis Membership” for SLP Alumni?

There are a whole lot of questions that come to my mind:
A 16 year old that joins Key Club will be automatically opted-in to be an alumni after graduation, forever. Does that mean a monthly newsletter until they opt out or a once a year friendly reminder that they are still part of the K-family?
Will an associate member be attached to a club? Or will they be an at-large member of International changing clubs as they change schools, go home for the summer, or if they change military bases or are deployed?
What will be the dues structure? If there is no dues, will that hurt CKI membership? Will districts or club charge dues if associates are attached to districts or clubs?
Will there be an upper age limit to associate membership?

Without a doubt, Kiwanis needs to stay connected to the 70,000+ Key Clubbers and CKIers that graduate each year. If only 10-15% of SLP alumni join Kiwanis, it would change the makeup of the organization in just a few years and increase membership in North America in numbers that haven’t been seen in decades.
I think it is a good thing to take this bold step to ensure Kiwanis remains strong for generations to come.

Apr 26

Kiwanis- 100 Years of Service


Apr 6

Apr 1

The Kiwanis Formula


The rebranding of the multi-year membership initiative launched, April 1. The new website can be found @

The big news about The K-Formula is the structure. Multi-year district and regional leadership. Enlisting and training Lieutenant Governors to be part of the initiative. Division new club builders and club advisors. Actual, active membership committees at the club level.

The big question is whether the organization is going to maintain the discipline to fill and motivate all the levels of leadership for the entire 5 year term.  

“People often say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.” -Zig Ziglar

Once a day motivation is a bit much and unlikely to happen. But is a once a month email enough? 

The information on the new “The Formula” website is well arranged and all in one place. Much of the info will be familiar to Kiwanians who have been around a while. There are no sections telling us how to specifically recruit Gen. Xers Millennials, or Baby Boomers.  But I must say I enjoyed “Achieving Club Excellence- the home edition”. 

I’m confident it will get better as time progresses. Give it a look…

The Formula graphic shared from the Kiwanis website.

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