Hello Civitan Leaders!

Welcome to month two of Civitan Champions of Service: Believers! We have a strong start to the year thanks to you, and I BELIEVE we are going to have an amazing year. You probably already heard me talk about it, but it bears repeating. The last time North America had a pandemic of this magnitude was in 1918-1920. The Spanish Flu killed 675,000 Americans and 50,000 Canadians. The US economy was down and political strife was rampant. But what happened in the following decade was truly amazing! The US economy doubled and service clubs thrived. Civitan went from 1 club in 1920 to 24 clubs and 4,000 members by 1925. This period after the Spanish Flu was dubbed ‘The Roaring 20’s”. We see so many similarities today and it is time to bring on the roaring 2020’s!

We are hopefully starting to return to some sense of “normalcy” after almost 2 years dealing with this pandemic. I highly encourage you to take precautions so we can stop the spread of this dreaded disease. We all know someone who has had serious complications from COVID or even succumbed and we pray for healing for those affected around the world. After all we have been through, service clubs like Civitan, are needed now more than ever.

I BELIEVE that we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reinvent and rejuvenate Civitan into a thriving and growing organization. There is a tremendous pent-up demand to get out and do projects, fundraisers, and socializing. We want to get out and do what we know best and that is to make our communities a better place to live and work. And how do we do that? Well, here is Dan’s Strategy for Success (DSS):

  1. Get in touch with your current members and see how they are doing. Do a self-evaluation of your club and see if the meeting time and place is still working for your club. Do you have a list of new projects to work on or the same tired ones you have been doing for 20 years? Are you having equal parts of service, knowledge, and fellowship? Do you have a list of potential new members? How about your former members? Maybe they are ready to come back and help out in your community. How about your friends, relatives, co-workers, neighbors? They probably want to help too. Don’t be greedy, share Civitan! More members in your club means more hands to do the work, new ideas, new enthusiasm. New members bring new life to your club.
  2. We have been saying for years that we need younger members in our clubs. While that is a grand and noble idea, we had not had much success in bringing in 25–40-year old into a club with an average age of 72! Maybe we have been targeting the wrong group. What group has time on their hands and probably the financial resources to help in a club? What about new retirees or new empty nesters? We should all be hanging out at the senior centers with applications in hand and by the college dorm when junior is sent off to school. Develop a strategy on how to target and attract those type of members!
  3. Last but not least is building new clubs. We have unfortunately lost many clubs the past few years and not built very many new clubs. It is time we reverse that trend! Look at areas where we have lost clubs and see if they might be a candidate for reinvention with exciting new leaders, better meeting places, new focus. Draw on the history and the difference that these clubs made in their communities and use that for inspiration to get them going again. And let’s not forget the younger generation and their need to give back to their communities. We need different club types that will fit in their busy life. Your Civitan International Growth and Retention Committee is working on a model of the “Civitan Club of the Future”. Stay tuned for news about this exciting new concept.

One last thing for this month. Don’t forget Giving Tuesday on November 30. You will want to remind all clubs to make their Civitan at the Helm donation on that day and receive triple credit for their donation. Don’t forget our Junior Civitans and make your donations for their All-In Summit also on Giving Tuesday.

Thank you all for all you do. Our communities are better off because of leaders like you.

Best regards,

Dan Brown
Civitan International President, 2021-2022