What are they?
Traditional Service Clubs exist in almost every country in the world. These belong to federations that administer and manage their organizational structures and rules, common in every group that belongs to the same association; in this way the platform is constituted so that the meetings and projects carried out between the different societies can be carried out in an efficient way.
Its history begins at the beginning of the last century in the United States. At that time, business circles were very common, where entrepreneurs and relevant people quickly saw that serving and/or helping others was necessary and very interesting from the point of view of personal prestige and the perception offered to the world. The ideal of community service was inspired by the women’s associations of the second half of the 19th century.
The most internationally known clubs are Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, Altrusa, Optimist, Zonta, Soroptimist, Ambassador Club, Civitan International, and others. There are other organizations, associations, NGOs, etc., that cannot be included within what service clubs represent.
All of them coexist with online or virtual clubs that use the net and social networks as means of communication between their members. They are an ideal meeting platform that helps training and allows you to stay in touch.
What do they do?
This type of grouping organizes and develops large humanitarian, social, business or philanthropic initiatives that could not be supported by individual individuals or clubs.
Depending on the size of the club, there may be additional levels of hierarchy; if it is too large, it will be divided into several clubs giving rise to so-called districts, whose size in many cases lies between those of a region and a group of states. These districts rarely correspond to political or administrative territories.
Who is part of it?
To be part of a Service Club, there are rules that allow you to apply for access. Each organization elects its own members, usually from the club’s geographic area. In most cases, it is because a member of the club submits a proposal for a candidate to join the entity, and only if there is unanimous acceptance by the members, the candidate may join the club. An important condition for admission are the concerns that move the person to join, these must be consistent with the spirit and values of the organization. The members do not belong to the international organization, but to an individual local club.
This diversity also offers each partner the possibility of increasing its portfolio of contacts, learning about other professions, learning about experiences and shortcomings in other sectors or generating synergies that could lead to the development of projects.
Personal and professional ethics, a willingness to collaborate and provide services on behalf of others and tolerance are values that characterize service club members; contrary to general prejudice, a particularly large income or patrimony, which would allow substantial donations, are not a criterion for admission. Otherwise, the more educated groups are present in this type of club in a much higher proportion than the equivalent in the general population.
What are they and what do they do in meetings?
Holding meetings is an important practice within the club because it fosters friendship among members, which is an essential part of club life. They talk about the problems that affect the society close to the club and the global ones, and of course, the projects under development. Often, the conferences given by the members or by guest speakers are interesting activities that take place in those meetings. Participation in meetings is, in principle, compulsory. Each formation is free to decide how strict it is and how much it controls attendance, and a member may be expelled by the club if it considers it to be insufficient.