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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What's a T-Shot and why does it matter?

Optimist Clubs, like most groups, speak in acronyms. Among the most popular are:
  • COER - Club Officer Election Report
  • ACPC - Annual Club Planning Conference
  • OIF - Optimist International Foundation
  • CCC -  [Cure] Childhood Cancer Campaign
  • CCDHH - Communications Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
One that is not so well known unless you like statistics is the T-Shot. I'm not sure what the "T" stands for, but I can tell you that the T-Shot is a look at where your Optimist Club stands in membership from the beginning of the administrative year (October 1) through today. (Maybe the "T" stands for today?)

Before online technology was ubiquitous, District Governors would receive a weekly mailing that let them know what clubs had added and deleted members along with the easy to read snapshot report called the T-Shot. (Maybe "Shot"stands for snapshot?)  The engaged governor would then call the clubs who had added or deleted a significant number of members to give praise or express concern.

With the internet and Optimist Leaders Online, the T-Shot, and other membership reports are available to anyone who cares to look at them; and they are available at all times, updated throughout the day. If a club adds a member at 5:00 p.m., it is reflected immediately on the T-Shot and on other reports by 10:00 p.m.

As an example, from reading the T-Shot, I know that the Twin Falls Optimist Club added two members today, one is a traditional member and one is a Friend of Optimist.

T-Shot for Zone 9 as of September 14, 2011 at 4:13 p.m.

Why do I know this? Because of their significant growth this year, I have been watching the Twin Falls Optimist Club, excited about the enthusiasm their club has created in their community and cheering for them to do more.

I believe the urgency to call and offer praise or support to our club leaders is reduced by how easy and ordinary it is for an Optimist Club to add and delete members - except for at this time of year when we are in the final stretch. 

Unlike Optimist Clubs where our service goes on continuously without significant interruption, Optimist District and International leaders are replaced on an annual cycle. As of today, they have 16 days left to show they have made a difference in the only quantifiable measure offered by Optimist International: membership growth.

At the Optimist Club level, we know when we have made a difference because we feel it in the pride that we have for our projects. Hardly any gathering goes by without the underlying theme, "We could do even more if we had more members."

District and International leaders know that as well, and with a little over two weeks left, they will pull out every tool to inspire your Optimist Club provide more service through membership growth. This little report that you may or may not have known about, the T-Shot is the barometer for the district and your Optimist Club's health.

The T-Shot is a quick, easy way to look at how our Optimist Clubs have grown throughout the year, but we must work together to be sure it is a report that gives positive, uplifting news. Help us quantify the impact of our Optimist Clubs by asking someone to join your Optimist Club today.
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