Building Happy, Healthy & Resilent Clubs

Best Practices, Strategies & Engagement

Club structure & Business

Club Meetings

Club Projects

Core Competencies

Resiliency During COVID-19

Content is derived from ZI 2018-2020 Global Membership Drive (GMD), D4 Membership Committee & D4 Clubs.

Building a Strong Club Foundation

Takes time and effort.  Preserving the good and adapting to club change often pushes members’ comfort levels and requires listening, hearing and patience.

Develop a Useful Strategic Plan
  • Address committee direction, incorporating plans that engage membership and leadership.
  • Member involvement at Area, District & International events.
  • Membership input to be solicited and utilized for plan development or change.
  • Include support to the Zonta Foundation for Women.
  • Example: Basic Strategic Plan
Club Bylaws
  • Club bylaws align with changes voted on at the last ZI convention.
  • Biennial review.
  • Example of Bylaws
Club Finances
  • Ensure yearly club dues paid to ZI & the district.
  • Utilize online methods (credit card, PayPal, etc.) to pay fees to ZI and the district.
    • Reduces processing wait time and engages new members quickly & efficiently.
  • Club finances are in compliance with the country’s tax laws.
  • Create budgets for committees and the club.
  • Consider financial support for delegates and others to attend area, district & ZI events.
  • Financial Risk Management is reviewed.
  • Example: General Ledger template, Club Treasurer Report template
Club Membership
  • Ensure the club roster is up-to-date with the latest email, primary contact phone number & address.  Forward changes to District 4 Membership Chair & Communications. The president or member can update the profile on ZI’s website/My Zonta.
Club Committees
  • Four Standing Committees: membership, service, advocacy & nominating.
  • Other committees or Ad Hoc Committee are at the discretion of the club.
  • Clubs should have committee descriptions listing purpose, responsibilities, and members.
  • Example: Club Committee Descriptions

Offering Effective & Interesting Meetings

Ensure the club business is conducted in a transparent & efficient manner.  Respect the precious time members have to give to Zonta.

Ensure meetings building relationships between members & the public.

Efficient Business Meetings
  • Using a Consent Agenda to dispense with minutes, non-actionable committee reports, all in one vote, and allowing removal of any agenda item by a member.
  • Using a Motion Book (file) to track meeting motions for quick reference.
  • Using a template for Meeting Minute that aligns with the consent agenda.
  • Follow the agenda, deferring items to committees as needed. Don’t get caught up in discussing the tasks of a committee.
  • How and when to conduct meetings.  COVID-19 has taught us to be creative.
    • Some clubs dedicate one day/night in a month for the board & the business portion of a traditional general meeting.  Leaving a day/evening in the same month for program, a speaker, advocacy/service activity, book club, connecting with members, etc.
  • Recognize members may work online all day, every day.
Engaging, Interesting & Informative Meetings

Include a team-building or advocacy exercise, speaker or service or activity.

  •  Members sharing their expertise as first in their field.
  • Spotlight nonprofit leaders or community partners’ mission.  What they do and how members & the club can support it.
  • Invite elected female leaders to present non-partisan issues, pathways to elected offices, how membership can support women in office.
  • Host an in-person district committee presentation or go online and invite community members, prospective members or other clubs to attend.
  • Leadership compass identifies leadership styles and reduces conflict.
  • Advocacy opportunities, write to legislators, become a two-minute activist or share an online Zonta tool.
  • Invite organizations and awardees to speak at meetings describing how your club’s support has empowered the women and girls in your community.
Connecting with Your Members

COVID-19 has highlighted the need to connect with club members.

  • Take time to call, write, email, meet online or in a responsible physical manner with members. Celebrate birthdays, significant club or personal milestones, “thinking of you” notes.
    • Handwritten notes, E-cards, a package left at the door.
  • Get creative in a time of social distancing and determine what works for your club.
    • Who’s responsibility is it to connect with a member?
      • A mentor, fellow member, membership committee, president or everyone.
  • Dedicate meeting time to “check-in” with members before or after the scheduled meeting.
  • Think outside the box & dedicate time for fun & social!

Offer Quality Service and Advocacy Projects

Local & global service & advocacy projects are primary components of Zonta’s mission and set our clubs apart from other community organizations. Promotion of projects & initiatives to gain public recognition of Zonta.

Club Service Aligned to Mission
  • Primary club service projects must be aligned to our Zonta Mission.
  • Financial support or hands-on activities of local women’s shelter/housing, prevention programs, survivors of abuse, trafficking, child-marriage, a “living-wage program, teen moms, female foster programs, or addiction recovery.
  • Watch for “mission creep,” projects that were once secondary projects that have now become a primary project for your club or one you’ve always done.
  • Example: Service/Advocacy Checklist
Women’s Education or Job Initiatives
  • Literacy programs for new immigrants
  • Dress for Success,
  • Conduct resume building workshops, tutoring or mentoring for women,
  • Financial support of scholarships & bursaries.
Health Care Awareness
  • Women-focused diseases such as cancer, heart disease, etc.
  • Maternal health
  • Mental health
  • Work-life Balance
Club Advocacy Projects or Initiatives
  • Advocacy is the expression of support for, or opposition to, a cause, argument, or proposal. Advocacy actions may include influencing laws, legislation, or attitudes.
  • Zonta advocacy is an action taken in “the public interest” or for “the greater good” with respect to empowering women and girls and their human rights.
  • When/Who/How? PDF
  • ZI Advocacy Link & District 4 Link

Club Core Competencies

ZI Leadership Development Committee has developed a Core Competency Plan for all levels of engagement in Zonta.

Increase your Zonta knowledge, support your professional skills and develop those essential knowhows so necessary to be relevant in today’s every-evolving world.

The core competencies program is intended as a series of ‘building blocks’ intended for all members, at any level,  to consider when searching for Zonta knowledge.

Resiliency During COVID-19

A presentation by D4 Leadership Development Committee with the focus on 3 key goals:

  1. Putting yourself first by looking at how you personally have been affected and what are some practical solutions to addressing your resilience needs.
  2. As Zontians, we are all leaders in our Clubs.  That is our underlying responsibility that comes with our passion for the work that we do.  How we keep a caring attitude is all part of being resilient in these times.
  3. In our broad view of the world, beginning locally with the agencies that we support and moving outward to national and international projects, we must add a layer of kevlar to our resilience to engage in the most compassionate, positive and powerful way that we can.