Have you ever considered a civic organization in your sphere? If not, then you are missing an opportunity to not only warm the heart, but also to provoke benefits way beyond just another day in the park. Why do I say that? Well…
Several years ago, because I was a networking fool, decided to form a chapter of the Business Networking International or BNI. Their mission both now and to the past was to create a “business and professional networking organization whose philosophy is ‘Givers Gain’ and its purpose is to exchange qualified business referrals that turn into new customers and clients amongst members.”
Our group, BNI Profit Makers in Ocala, Florida, was one of the largest members in the United States. As the founder and first president, we had over $3 million in referrals in our first year which was most monumental.
I remember one day speaking to the executive director in Central Florida of BNI discussing an interesting topic called the “Triangle.” He indicated that the “Triangle” was an opportunity for both personal and professional aspects in networking bliss. In specifically, he suggested that there are actually three moving parts in any organization that together will work harmoniously. In particular, he described the following of the “Triangle” as:
- A referral networking like a BNI, leads group or other professional relationship arena
- A social aspect like the Chamber of Commerce or business association, and finally,
- A civic organization like Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions or other organizations
Two Out of Three
Amazing but true though, even though the first two bullet points are usually packed to the rim of association working to generate connections for professional gains religiously, but the last one, civic organizations, few people understand not only the pay off, but also the generosity that it entails.
Why is that?
In a word, education.
Civic Organization, The Missing Link
Therefore, I am very involved and an active member of a civic organization for almost twenty years. Originally involved with Rotary International, in the last several months, I am heavily immersed in Kiwanis, notably, the Kiwanis Club of Greater Kennesaw. This club started just a few weeks ago, but we have over 50 members already. And as we just found out, Kiwanis International has indicated that we were the number one new club for the fiscal year ending in September for the entire world. Very impressive!
But most of all, as I said before, it warms the heart because you are helping other people with just the basic aspects of humanity. It feels good; it really does!
So, whether you are just starting out in your career all the way up to a retired individual and beyond, here are some wonderful organizations that may fit the bill, below:
- Kiwanis International – www.kiwanis.org – Kiwanis International is a global organization of members dedicated to serving the children of the world. Kiwanis and its family of clubs—nearly 600,000 members strong—annually raise more than US$100 million and dedicate more than 18 million volunteer hours to strengthen communities and serve children. Members of every age attend regular meetings, experience fellowship, raise funds for various causes and participate in service projects that help their communities.
- Rotary International – www.rotary.org – RI have identified specific causes to target to maximize our local and global impact. At the same time, we understand that each community has its own unique needs and concerns. Through our network of resources and partners, we help clubs focus their service efforts in promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education, and growing local economies.
- Lions International – www.lionsclubs.org – Lions’ 46,000 clubs and 1.35 million members make us the world’s largest service club organization. We’re also one of the most effective. Our members do whatever is needed to help their local communities. Everywhere we work, we make friends. With children who need eyeglasses, with seniors who don’t have enough to eat and with people we may never meet.
- Jaycee – www.jci.cc – JCI is a nonprofit organization of young active citizens age 18 to 40 who are engaged and committed to creating impact in their communities. Active citizens are individuals invested in the future of our world. JCI gathers active citizens from all sectors of society.
- Civitan International – www.civitan.org – Civitan International is an organization of volunteer service clubs around the world, dedicated to helping people in their own communities. Civitans help wherever the need arises – from collecting food for a homeless shelter, to volunteering at their local retirement home, to building a playground for children with disabilities.
Broaden Your Horizons
So I ask you, broaden your horizons and look at the civic club, to complete the “Triangle”. I think you will be pleasantly surprised!