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Bring Back Employer-Paid Dues for Service Club Membership

September 9, 2016


Eons ago, in the 1970s, my father was a charter member of the Bel-Air Kiwanis Breakfast Club in Mobile, AL.  He was moving up to a management position in the United States Postal Service (USPS), and wanted to join a service club where he could do volunteer work and gain some experience in public speaking,leadership, and building a professional network.  He loved Kiwanis and remained a member until he died.  I also remember that many of his fellow Kiwanians had their club dues paid by their employer, as the employer saw membership as "added value" to their business or company, and salespersons could make new contacts through the club.  Now, it is rare for employers to pay service club dues for its employees.  Police, fire, and sheriff departments are the organizations that do most often pay service club dues for their employees. Why has there been such a downturn in the number of employers who pay dues for their employees who wish to be members of Exchange Clubs?  For one, we as employees do not always ask our employers if they would pay our dues or offset our dues payment. We certainly could make a fine argument for our bosses to fund our service club dues!  In businesses that sell products, there are many other ways to find customers using the web and other media that make face-to-face contacts at civic/service clubs to seem unnecessary and expensive. Thirdly, we do not often invite our bosses and colleagues to our Exchange Club meetings as guests, speakers, etc. so that they can see the "added value" of service/civic club membership.  Let's bring back employer-paid dues for service/civic club membership by asking our employers to sponsor us as Exchange Club members, inviting our bosses and colleagues to our Exchange Club meetings and programs of service to see the "added value" in Exchange Club membership, and spreading the word to our places of employment how Exchange Club membership will benefit the employees and the organizations as well.

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