Working together works

A session at the Kiwanis International convention will show how club committees’ collaboration pays off. 

Membership. Partnerships. Public relations. 

If you’ve received any amount of communications from the Kiwanis International Office, you’ve probably seen or heard about each of these topics. And hopefully you’ve learned a little about how each one helps your Kiwanis club — especially when the club has a committee for each area.

After all, membership, partnerships and public relations are each crucial in their own way. But that description can also be misleading: Each committee may have its own function, with its own set of members and meetings, but they don’t have to be three separate silos within your club. 

In fact, the club benefits most of all when the walls come down and the three committees work together. 

How and why that’s the case will be the subject of a workshop at the 2022 Kiwanis International Convention: “Membership, partnership and public relations committees.”

The workshop wasn’t designed just for Kiwanians who are on one of those committees, says Vicki Hermansen, Kiwanis International area director, North America 4. It’s available to anyone with an interest in any of the topics.

One of the three Kiwanis International staff members who will co-conduct the workshop, Hermansen says it’s an important part of emphasizing to members that clubs need to stay relevant.

“One way to do that is to collaborate within the club,” she says. “We want our public relations, membership and partnership committees to work together to keep clubs strong and ensure the service to kids is relevant.”

Two scenarios
Along with Hermansen, the Kiwanis International staff members who will conduct the workshop are Chris Martz, director of global membership and education; and Elizabeth Warren, director of programs and partnerships.

Like the ideal club committee chairs, they’ve collaborated on the workshop’s design. Using a hypothetical Kiwanis club event as a structure for the session, the trio will highlight each committee’s role in making such an event a success.

True to the spirit of the workshop, however, they’ve also made collaboration a part of the session itself. Attendees will have a chance to work together on one of two scenarios, which are detailed in the workbook they will receive when they arrive. 

One is a service project in which a Kiwanis club is putting together a donation of backpacks to elementary school students in an area where a high percentage of kids qualify for a free or reduced-fee lunch program. In the other, the club is helping a local Boys & Girls Club with a two-day service project to refurbish its old building, which has fallen into disrepair.

“Each of these scenarios will allow participants to think about how an event could be used to attract new members, engage with a new partner and achieve media coverage,” Hermansen says. “We’ll have members of each of the committees work together on tactics for membership, partnership and public relations.”

Can’t make it to the convention? Find out how committees can work together with the session workbook. Go to

This story originally appeared in the June/July 2022 issue of Kiwanis magazine.

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