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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Ben DeRemer takes to the road

ben deremer pnw optimist clubs
Governor-elect Ben DeRemer has spent the better part of two months visiting Optimist Clubs in the PNW District-Optimist International. He's shown here with Roger Davidson, President-of-Record, West Tacoma Optimist Club.

Ben has been to Idaho, Washington, and British Columbia, and will soon, if he hasn't already, return to his home state of Oregon for the final series of visits.

The purpose of the visits is to get to know the Optimist Clubs better, including people and projects. In addition, he has recently sent surveys to all club presidents and secretary-treasurers in an effort to crowd-source information that will help the district write a strategic plan.

Ben understands there are challenges facing Optimist Clubs, like all service clubs, and he has reached out to the PNW Kiwanis District for insight. He's also sharing information that he gathers with Harvard professor and author Robert D. Putnam, known for Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community.

When Ben takes office October 1, 2018, he will be the youngest governor to ever serve the PNW District, and perhaps, with the analysis he is performing, the most strategic. I hope all clubs will join me as we look forward with optimism to a year of growth.



Saturday, April 14, 2018

Membership retention and recruitment tip #56: Offer a reward.

Membership retention and recruitment tip #56: Offer a reward. 
membership pnw optimist clubs

Sitting at a stoplight, I saw a sign on the car wash next to me that read, “Join the club.” With a smile on my face, I thought, don’t they know that it’s hard to get people to join a club? 

Then I thought, no wonder people don’t want to join a club, they are confused about what it means to join one. A car wash club is a purchase, whereas a service club means joining with other people for fellowship and volunteer opportunities.

And then as a last thought, I wondered, what does this car wash know about membership that I don’t know? 

The answer was actually pretty clear: As a member of the car wash club, you could wash your car every day for $1 per day, at multiple locations, hassle-free, with no contracts and automatic billing to make the transaction super-simple. The car wash club member was rewarded with a clean car and savings for their loyalty.

What can an Optimist Club learn from this example? People are not afraid to make to make a commitment, they just need to see the reward. It can be difficult to explain that fellowship is the reward for joining an Optimist Club. Perhaps instead we should offer something tangible like a club shirt or a free online listing for a member's business. The reward should relate to the image of the club in the community and help the new or veteran member and the Optimist Club to be recognized a positive force for good. 

Reward your members and they'll continue their investment in your club.