An investigation into how the Lions Clubs in New Zealand can grow their membership base

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Sutton, Carla
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Business
Unitec Institute of Technology
Du Plessis, Andries
Lockyer, Alan
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Lions Club (New Zealand)
non-profit organisations (NPO)
volunteer recruitment
social media advertising
Sutton, C. (2016). An investigation into how the Lions Clubs in New Zealand can grow their membership base. An unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Lions New Zealand is a reasonably well-known charitable service organisation. However, the organisation has been experiencing a reduction in membership numbers. There is a general query whether this is related to a possible drop in awareness within the general public of this organisation’s work. Hence, this research aims to find a range of options for Lions Clubs in New Zealand to market themselves to raise public awareness, as well as encourage people to become members. This research applies the mixed methods approach, utilising a survey questionnaire for quantitative research, supported through Case Study methodology and triangulation with qualitative research from semi-structured interviews, observations and documentation. The marketing and promotional options to consider include Social Media and other online tools, conventional marketing options, as well as word of mouth. As the organisation is specifically aiming to raise awareness with the general public and increase membership, several types of solutions are researched, discussed and outlined on their potential merit. The findings of the research indicate online tools including Social Media are often, but not always, considered successful approaches. Conventional marketing and word of mouth frequently feature as equally worthwhile options to pursue. Furthermore, research finds retention of current and new members can be improved if the organisation were to survey all members about the reasons for joining, as well as the reasons for staying. This will provide the opportunity to ensure the members’ needs and expectations are satisfied. Moreover, suggestions include changes to the current Induction Programme. Changes are also suggested to the current training sessions to include a service quality model and a specific marketing mix. This research identifies several opportunities to increase the number of younger members attracted to the organisation. The opportunities involve corporate clubs, cyber clubs, new clubs with only young members, cultural clubs, Leo Clubs, as well as an aim to attract more females, and families.
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