Kiwanis clubs, located in 80 nations, help their communities in countless ways. Each community’s needs are different—so each Kiwanis club is different. By working together, members achieve what one person cannot accomplish alone. When you give a child the chance to learn, experience, dream, grow, succeed and thrive, great things happen.
Service is at the heart of every Kiwanis club, no matter where in the world it’s located. Members stage nearly 150,000 service projects and raise nearly US$100 million every year for communities, families and projects.
A Family of Servant Leaders
Kiwanis clubs focus on changing the world by serving children, one child and one community at a time. To do this, many clubs also sponsor a Kiwanis family club—K-Kids for primary school children; Builders Clubs for adolescents; Key Clubs for teens; CKI clubs for university students and Aktion Clubs for adults living with disabilities—to reach more people and have a greater service impact on their communities.
Traditional and Not
No two Kiwanis clubs look exactly the same. Each member’s and community’s needs are different, and each club should look different. Some clubs are very traditional, with weekly meetings and a strong sense of history. Other clubs don’t meet at all, and instead hold meetings online and only come together for service projects. Newer clubs may follow the 3-2-1 concept: 3 hours of service, 2 hours of social activity and a 1-hour meeting each month. Clubs should reflect their communities and their members and should work to meet their needs. Flexibility is key to a successful club.
Fellowship and Fun
Kiwanis members don’t just do service—they have fun. Members make new friends by being part of a club where they attend meetings and participate in social events. Kiwanis clubs also provide excellent networking opportunities for professionals. Members meet new people from all over their region and the world through service projects, fundraising and by attending district and Kiwanis International conventions.
Service is at the heart of every Kiwanis International club, no matter where in the world it’s located. Kiwanis members stage nearly 150,000 service projects, devote more than 6 million hours of service and raise nearly US$100 million every year for communities, families and projects. Key Club members pitch in 12 million hours of service each year, and CKI members another 500,000 hours of service! Aktion Club members donate another 92,000 hours of service every year. Add it all up, and that’s more than 18 million hours of service every year!
The Eliminate Project
Kiwanis is once again joining forces with UNICEF to confront another threat to the world’s children. In June 2010, Kiwanis International announced The Eliminate Project: Kiwanis eliminating maternal/neonatal tetanus, which aims to save 129 million mothers and their future babies from the disease by the year 2015.
Worldwide Service Project
Members and clubs contributed more than US$100 million toward the global elimination of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD), the leading preventable cause of mental retardation. Heralded as one of the most successful health initiatives in the world, today those dollars are at work in more than 103 nations.
Kiwanis One Day
Kiwanis members work in their communities all year long. But for one day in April each year, the entire Kiwanis family of programs—Kiwanis Kids, Builders Club, Key Club, CKI, Aktion Club and Kiwanis clubs—comes together for a day of hands-on community service that is felt around the world. Members build playgrounds, volunteer at local shelters, stock shelves at food pantries and tackle any project to change the world one child and one community at a time.
Kiwanis International was founded in 1915 in Detroit, Michigan, and became an international organization with the creation of the Kiwanis Club of Hamilton, Ontario, the following year. In 2015, Kiwanis celebrates its 100th anniversary, share in the excitement, get ready to participate.
In the early years, members focused on business networking but in 1919, the organization changed its focus to service. In the 1960s, worldwide expansion was approved and within the decade, Kiwanis International-Europe was formed, representing Kiwanians in 11 European nations. In 1987, women officially were allowed into the membership.
The six permanent Objects of Kiwanis International were approved by Kiwanis club delegates at the 1924 Kiwanis International Convention in Denver, Colorado. Through the decades, they have remained unchanged.
Each Kiwanis club has a voice at the organization’s international level: the Kiwanis International Board of Trustees. Kiwanis International officers and trustees are elected by clubs at the annual international convention. Among the board’s responsibilities:
The Kiwanis International president presides at the Kiwanis International convention and over all meetings of the Kiwanis International board, executive committee and international council. As Kiwanis International’s primary ambassador, the Kiwanis International president visits districts and regions worldwide.