Inspiration is no problem for the Kiwanis Club of Greensboro, North Carolina. From service projects to community events, the club is well-known for its philanthropic activities.
So when Harlon Costner came back from the 2011 Kiwanis International convention, it didn’t take long for his enthusiasm about The Eliminate Project to catch on. He was the club’s president-elect at the time, and the fundraising campaign kickoff in Geneva got him excited about his fellow Greensboro members’ potential impact.
“It fits in with us,” Costner says. “The outcome of the project isn’t local, but it fits with what our club’s all about.”
A pledge and a plan
The Greensboro club’s decision to become a 100K Club followed soon after Costner returned home. He knew that the first full year of the fundraising campaign would be during his year as president.
This was perfect timing. He assembled a committee and named a committee chairman. The committee met to develop a plan of action, and when they presented it to the board, the result reflected Costner’s enthusiasm. “They accepted it unanimously,” he says.
Thanks to that early momentum, the club is well on its way to meeting its pledge. Seven members have already committed to Zeller Fellowships. With the club foundation’s support, 100K fulfillment is in sight.
“Our club should have no difficulty with it,” Costner says.
Information brings inspiration
In Costner’s experience, there’s no motivation quite like knowledge. Kiwanis International President Alan Penn’s appearance and presentation at a club meeting in Greensboro helped generate enthusiasm and further solidified the club’s commitment.
“He sparked people’s interest in giving,” Costner says. “After the meeting, one member wrote a check for a Zeller Fellowship right there.”
That’s why Costner recommends that club leaders show videos about The Eliminate Project and arrange for experts and Kiwanis-family leaders to speak at their meetings. After all, that’s what sparked his interest in the campaign at Geneva.
“As excruciating as the words and images can be, that’s how I decided I wanted to be an advocate for the campaign,” Costner says. “If a Kiwanian hasn’t had the opportunity to see the videos and hear experts talk about the disease, that would be my first course of action. Then get the expertise of someone with Kiwanis who has experience with fundraising and motivating people—someone who can help club members see, hear and feel what the campaign is intended to do.”
Photo: President Harlon Costner awards Bill Herve a Zeller Fellowship at the Greensboro club meeting.