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.

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.

Mar 29

Millennials Are Different Than Baby Boomers

They LIKE different things. They HATE different things. They are MOTIVATED by different things. So why would any organization market itself the same way to these two groups? If you had a successful formula to present to one group, it would be unlikely to be successful with the other. 


Think if you were making separate PowerPoint Presentations to these two groups. One group was Baby Boomers and the other group a much younger group of Millennials. Would you use the same music? Would you use the same images? While you might use a number of bullet points to the older group, you might use less words and more pictures to the younger audience.

Perhaps, equally misguided is trying to make one PowerPoint for both groups. The music and photos aimed at one group might be a turnoff for the other. Or aiming for the middle might be the wrong strategy for both age ranges. 

Its not that the two groups don’t have anything in common. But they certainly have different ways of looking at the world. While they may have a similar goal, each group has different ways that they like to volunteer. They expect different things from volunteering and have different strengths.

So why do Kiwanis clubs have a one-size-fits-all approach? Why don’t we have one approach just for people just entering the workforce and a different one for people leaving the workforce? Wouldn’t it great if a group of millennials came up with the ideas that could be utilized into a plan. And the same can be said of the baby boomer Kiwanians to work on a formula for their generation.

Photo from Getty Images. 

Mar 25

Interesting Is Good

How are your Kiwanis meetings? Are they a wee bit boring? Does the club change things up on a regular basis? Are you talking about projects completed and coming up? What are the Service Leadership clubs doing?

So what if your meetings were fresh and fun every week? What if your club’s members were excited… passionate about the projects? Would your guests want to see more, maybe be part of that.

Nobody wants to be part of the mediocre or boring. Not the current members. Not the guests. Not the person giving the program of the week.

Meetings are where members connect: shake hands, maybe hug, talk face to face. Emails are great for disseminating information to a group of people. But nothing beats face-time with your Kiwanis family. Using the phone more often is a smart communication tool. But still not as good as a good meeting.

Mar 23

Just what is THE FORMULA?

If you subscribe to a bunch of Kiwanis newsletters, you probably noticed, that this week, there were several teasers about something called “The Formula”.

The above picture was SHARED from the not-so-secret website that has been published while still being worked on. I don’t know how this fits into 5 year growth plan that was rolled out just a few months ago. Is it just a new name, a rebranding or is it a total overhaul? It will be interesting to watch this develop.

Mar 19

Mar 16

How Is Your Kiwanis Game-Plan Working?

We are quickly approaching the halfway point in the Kiwanis year. Has your club made progress in the three cornerstones of a great Kiwanis club- Growth, Service, and Fundraising?


I hope your club has taken the time to develop both short and long range plans. Having realistic, written, agreed-upon goals can be a great motivator. Reviewing goals at the halfway point reminds everyone of their importance. There probably have been some successes and maybe some failures. Reviewing the failures without blaming can improve future outcomes.

GROWTH- Has your club added a few new members? Have you lost any? Answering the why and why nots can be an important exercise. In what ways would new members help with better service and fundraising? Are there areas near you that needs a new Kiwanis club?

SERVICE- Is your club doing a new service project? There is probably a school nearby that would benefit with a Service Leadership Program (SLP) or perhaps a BUG or Terrific Kids Program. What would it take for your club to add a SLP?

FUNDRAISING- What Kiwanis Club couldn’t use more money? More scholarships. Bigger projects. New Key Clubs or Builders Clubs. New CKI and K-Kids, too. If you absolutely had to develop a new fundraiser, What would it be?

Of course, these ideas are a just a starting point. Your Lieutenant Governor and District Team are available to help your club.

Mar 12

Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers…

Kiwanians say this all the time, but what does it mean? Why do we classify ourselves as volunteers instead of members?


I think that Kiwanis wants to highlight the altruistic purpose of the organization by using the word, “volunteer”. This designation as “volunteers” distances Kiwanis International from other organizations. Rarely, do Kiwanis Clubs have an employee to give ongoing support to a service project. But calling members “volunteers” also imparts a special responsibility upon club/organization leadership to treat members in a manner consistent with them being volunteers.

Volunteerism has changed in recent years. Today’s volunteer is more likely to be a one-time volunteer supporting an event than be a volunteer giving continuing, year-round support to an organization. Kiwanis is trying to attract the latter kind of volunteer to consider membership. A volunteer of the former persuasion (one-timer) can be elicited to help with an event but isn’t a good membership candidate.

Volunteers are not employees. Generally, they want to work for leadership that respects their time/ideas for a goal that they agree with and find fulfilling. Encouragement and recognition are two incentives that leaders can use to motivate volunteers. Don’t wait for a once a year event to remember the work of members.

Volunteers are not employees. They respond to suggestions better than orders. Volunteers don’t want to be micro-managed anymore than employees do. Volunteers aren’t likely to be overworked for very long. They want to enjoy their assignment and don’t want to be stressed out by the workload. Volunteers won’t tolerate being disrespected, very long.

Volunteers are valued assets to any organization. They are not just free workers. And a volunteer that pays dues and makes donations is very special indeed.

Thank you to all, Kiwanians, for all that you do.

Mar 9

Be Diverse, little Kiwanis Club, Be Diverse

Take a look around at your next Kiwanis meeting:

If about half the people present are women, YOUR CLUB JUST MIGHT BE DIVERSIFIED.

If you see people from different ethnic backgrounds, YOUR CLUB MIGHT BE DIVERSIFIED.

If the average age of your club is under 50, YOUR CLUB MIGHT BE DIVERSIFIED.

If the club has folks from a variety of  socio-economic status, YOUR CLUB MIGHT BE DIVERSIFIED.

If your club has members who work for non-profits, are educators, or are employees of the government, YOUR CLUB MIGHT BE DIVERSIFIED.

Older white males cannot be the average Kiwanian if the organization (your club) is to prosper.  If your Kiwanis Club isn’t a model of diversity, it needs to move in that direction. The middle class is shrinking and changing in its diversity. We can’t afford to ignore certain parts of it.

One final thought: If there were as many women in Kiwanis as men, the organization would be near its peak membership.

Mar 6
It seems like everybody is using their phone to access the Internet these days.So why doesn’t your Kiwanis Club have a mobile web site?It’s not that difficult to do!Districts could even set up a technology committee of CKIers, Key Clubbers, and Kiwanians to gather the knowledge and resources to make really easy-peasy to do.Just sayin’…

It seems like everybody is using their phone to access the Internet these days.

So why doesn’t your Kiwanis Club have a mobile web site?

It’s not that difficult to do!
Districts could even set up a technology committee of CKIers, Key Clubbers, and Kiwanians to gather the knowledge and resources to make really easy-peasy to do.
Just sayin’…

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