According to the United Nations, more than half of the world’s population is under the age of 30. In fact, there are more young people in the world today than ever before. Yet our organization continues to struggle to engage youth in meaningful ways and attract young members. Membership data reveals that the average Lion is 66 years old and a small minority is under age 40.
In response to this global population trend as well as challenges related to diversifying LCI’s membership demographic, the Lions Clubs International Board of Directors approved the formation of an ad hoc committee on youth and young adult engagement. This committee has been tasked with developing strategies to engage more young people in our association and improve overall organizational appeal among a younger demographic. The committee will work toward these objectives through two key approaches:
- Improve current youth engagement models
- Explore the introduction and addition of youth and young adult leadership roles within the current Lions Clubs International structure
- Assess the age ranges and role of the Alpha and Omega clubs to promote Leo inclusion in the association
- Examine the role of LCIF in youth and young adult engagement
- Repurpose and integrate LCI/LCIF youth program support
- Explore alternative engagement models
- Brainstorm innovative engagement approaches and membership models to offer alternatives to the traditional service club for young people outside of the organization
- Develop interactive learning and training tools
The international Board of Directors recognize the value of Leo input and as a result with the development of this ad hoc committee, this is the first time that an LCI committee of the International Board is composed of both Leos and Lions. LCI recognizes that a crucial component of engaging young people, is inviting them to have a seat at the table, including them as stakeholders, and encouraging their input and ideas. We are pleased to have a European Leo representative, on the committee to voice the concerns and ideas that are unique to your area.
Your input as Leos of Europe is very important to the work of the committee. In particular, feedback on the Leo experience and how it can be improved, as well as how LCI can appeal to young people who are not Leos/Lions yet.
By LION Emily Burnett
Leo Club Program Manager