I did it. I was able to accomplish a lot at the 2013 International Convention in Vancouver, Canada. This was the event that closed this big chapter of my college career, so the feelings were bittersweet.
I had my own agenda for this event. A more detailed list than anyone can think of and I’m proud to say that I did it all. Here’s what you may have missed from the weekend that really made this an ICON experience that I will never forget.
Host three workshops at the convention: Planning for Success, Marketing: Above and Beyond, and the Eliminate Project Tips and Tricks
Sold my Eliminate Leis as a fundraiser. I made enough to cover the costs, which is ok by me!
Placed 1st in Eliminate Fundraising ($25,870)
Danced with my Leadership Academy Class
The District Board members who applied for awards all won their awards. 16 awards in total.
Distinguished District and Governor… I applied for those.
Gave awesome spirit packs that was worth the money and that people could wear everyday.
Hosted a District Dinner
Brought the most people from CNH to ICON
Brought the most clubs from CNH to ICON
Won the most club awards
Brought pictures up of my District Board when receiving their awards
Attend the Kiwanis International Convention
Get free stuff from the vendors
Catching up with old friends and meeting new friends.
There were more like be in the Talent Show, go to LSSP, be on stage at Kiwanis International Convention, etc… but I’m ok with not doing them. (Maybe not LSSP… why is money such a problem)
My only biggest regret from the weekend was that Camille didn’t get Distinguished Administrator. It hurts a lot because I completed her application and I put a lot of effort into it, but it wasn’t enough. I’m happy for the other District Administrator who received the award because I know her… but I would’ve been 100% if Camille got that award. I feel bad whenever I say that we have so many awards and celebrating as a board, but the most important person on this board and the most deserving was Camille.
Overall, the experience as Governor was amazing and I’m so thankful for everyone who cheered me on with all my challenges, who brought me back up when I felt down, who brought me down to earth when my head got too big, and took care of me every step of the way.
This is my final post as Governor, but this isn’t the end of my Kiwanis Family experience.
When was the last time you turned down a volunteer in your club or district? Probably not recently, since CKI needs more talented volunteers. In general, people want to volunteer, but organizations across the board make the process too complicated. Applications, interviews and other processes are often unnecessary hurdles that waste a lot of time trying to justify why a person is the right fit for a position. But these processes can end up turning off your most qualified candidates.
Here are some helpful guidelines to assist vice presidents with their committee structures or committee chairmen with their volunteers:
Don’t fire volunteers. Don’t belittle a volunteer by telling him he hasn’t met your expectations or that he should rethink his motives for being part of a committee. You can’t fire a volunteer. Well, you can; but that’s just a nightmare waiting to happen.
Instead, find out what drove the person to apply or sign-up for the committee.
Often committee tasks become overwhelming because members have academic lives, social lives and other factors that get in the way of getting everything done. A good committee chairman recognizes when his or her volunteers are overwhelmed and finds a way to assist. Perhaps that simply means reallocating tasks to members of the committee who may be in a downtime state at the moment.
Volunteers aren’t employees.
So many times we treat our volunteers as if they are employees of a corporation. You don’t need to do a performance review on your committee members. It’s not about the volunteer. It’s about advancing the organization.
Instead, review the products, outcomes or initiatives the committee was assigned. Focus on the mission and not the manpower.
Keep tasks specific and simple.
Speaking of assignments, attempt to give committee members individual tasks that can be completed in five hours or less. Your best club volunteers are more than likely another organization’s best volunteer as well. Good volunteers do not just help a single cause.
Look outside the box to get outside the box.
If you want this year’s committee to do something different from past years, make sure you assign a few “change agents” to that committee—those people (maybe even new members) who have a fresh perspective on the tasks that lie ahead. In the world of collegiate organizations, if it’s been done the same way for the past two years, it’s tradition because no one remembers it being done any differently.
Plan for the long run.
Don’t expect a single committee to change your club in a semester or a year.
Change in any organization happens slowly. Don’t put a burden on a single committee. Perhaps they need to develop a strategic two- or three-year approach to making the dream come true, and then lay the foundation the initial year.
Go outside the club. What if you’re low on volunteers for committees? Have you ever thought about non-member volunteers?
Why does the T-shirt or newsletter committee need all members? Think about asking an outstanding artist to become a member of the T-shirt or newsletter committee and maybe after he or she sees the great things CKI does, he or she will join your club. There are many opportunities to utilize non-members in your committee structure.
In general, CKI relies heavily on volunteers, but does a poor job managing them. Take a moment to rethink what your club or district’s committee structure and volunteer assignments look like. One-third of nonprofit volunteers give up after a year. Don’t let your volunteers fall victim to this statistic.
Chris Martz is the Circle K International Director at Kiwanis International.