By Brandi McGrath Kong, Director of Member Services & Conferences
Sponsorships, or mission activities, are the means by which Sertoma clubs enact our mission to improve the quality of life in our communities. Successful mission activities, once nurtured and maintained, become clearly associated with your club in the community’s mind. Sponsorships can focus on community development or provide service to individuals or groups.
For example, the Knoxville Downtown Sertoma Club has chosen to make Sertoma’s national hearing health focus part of its club mission. Therefore, they have built their sponsorships program around supporting the Sertoma Center of Knoxville and the University of Tennessee Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology.
Most clubs will have a Sponsorships Committee tasked with driving the club’s mission activities. In order to be truly effective and provide a lasting impact to the community your club serves, we encourage your committee to operate with these three principles in mind:
INTENTION: Service is the cornerstone of all Sertoma Clubs. It is why we exist. Everything should come back to our goal of Service to Mankind.
VALUE: Members are donating valuable time and/or resources. We want their experiences to be meaningful, ensuring that they benefit from and feel rewarded by their volunteerism. Keep in mind, we’re all different. The amount we can contribute, whether financially or in volunteer hours, is going to vary based on our interest and ability. It will also likely change over time.
BALANCE: The committee must make sure that a project is not going to be an overpowering burden, either financially or in service hours required. You don’t want your club to be stuck with a program that is a drain on your resources, your volunteers or your overall club spirit.
It is up to the Sponsorships Vice President/Chair to guide the committee through its work and often serve as a liaison to the Club Board of Directors. It is crucial to have a strong volunteer in place who is willing to educate members about the causes your club supports and oversee the related programs and events associated with them.
This training is an excerpt from “The Big 3 Committees,” which provides a comprehensive overview of the three standing committees typical of most Sertoma Clubs.