A member’s good advice

A case for reading your Kiwanis magazine.

By Amanda Malinowski • Kiwanis Club of Tampa

At a recent service project, several members asked me where I got the idea for our newest project. My response received a few chuckles and more than one eye roll. 

I got the idea from Kiwanis magazine.

Kiwanis magazine is filled with ideas that have been successful for other clubs and impactful in communities around the world. Yet I often hear Kiwanians who are in need of ideas to get attention, raise money and attract new members. When I mention the Kiwanis magazine, most members sheepishly admit they don’t read it. Those who don’t read it have no idea they are missing a sneak peek into how clubs around the world are helping kids. 

Several years ago, I was one of those members. I was frustrated about my club’s fundraising rut and eager to find new ideas. At a loss, I perused my Kiwanis magazine for ideas. Then one day I stumbled upon an article featuring 100 fundraising ideas from around the world. The fundraising ideas were as unique as the communities they served. From selling marigolds to burning down a 50-foot-high marionette, there were fundraising ideas that would raise anywhere from US$1,000 to $40,000.

My club had several meetings to discuss the various ideas and finally settled on doing a Rubber Duck Race. Thanks to my trusty Kiwanis magazine, I knew exactly what club to call for advice and was able to get a jump start on my planning with the help of the Kiwanis Club of Glendale, California. We just completed our 6th Annual Incredible Duck Race and raised $30,000 for kids in our local community.

When I was president of my club, we surveyed the community to see if our club was meeting the current community need. We came to the conclusion that our club needed a project aimed at early childhood development and literacy. Over the past six years, I have kicked around several project ideas, but none of them felt like the right fit … until I saw the perfect idea in Kiwanis magazine.

Amanda Malinowski and her daughter

The Kiwanis magazine article featuring the Kiwanis StoryWalk in Columbus, Ohio, was inspirational to me. Just like I had done when I was researching fundraising ideas, I reached out to the Columbus Kiwanis Club to get more information. That article led me and my club to our newest project, The Tampa Kiwanis StoryWalk. Our StoryWalk was installed in July of 2022, six years after I had set out to bring a literacy project to our club and just 11 months after I found the story in the magazine.

So to Kiwanis magazine, I say thank you. Thank you for continuing to share our stories and connect us with each other around the world. I hope my fellow Kiwanians are reading this and are reminded that their next great idea might just come from these glossy pages.

This story originally appeared in the October 2022 issue of Kiwanis magazine.

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