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Frequently Asked Questions
What is Key Club?
Key Club is the oldest and largest service program for high school students. It is a student-led organization that teaches leadership through service to others. Members of the Kiwanis International family, Key Club members build themselves as they build their schools and communities. Key Club has approximately 260,000 members in approximately 5,000 clubs. Key Club is represented in 31 countries.
Where is Key Club?
The International Office is in Indianapolis, Indiana, at 3636 Woodview Trace.
Key Club is represented in 36 nations:
Antigua and Barbuda
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands
United States of America
How did Key Club get started?
The original concept was to develop a vocational guidance program aimed to combat the problems of a student fraternity. The idea evolved into the formation of a youth service organization for the home, school and community.
Where and when did Key Club begin?
The first Key Club met at Sacramento High School in California in 1925.
How did Key Club get its name?
In 1925, California State Commissioner of Schools Albert C. Olney and vocational education teacher Frank C. Vincent worked to establish the first Key Club at Sacramento High School in California. This club was comprised of the key boys in the school, willing to serve the school in any way possible and to create better school spirit. Thus, the club was dubbed Key Club.
How many service hours do Key Club members provide annually?
Each Key Club member is expected to do at least 50 service hours per year, which equals more than 12 million hours of service annually.
Who are Key Club’s preferred charities and how does Key Club support them?
UNICEF, March of Dimes and Children’s Miracle Network are all preferred charities. Key Club members provide fundraising support for each of these groups.
What is Kiwanis?
Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time. Our members help shelter the homeless, feed the hungry, mentor the disadvantaged and care for the sick. We develop youth as leaders, build playgrounds, raise funds for pediatric research and more. Working together, members achieve what one person cannot accomplish alone.
What is the Kiwanis family?
The Kiwanis family includes Kiwanis members, or Kiwanians, and all of Kiwanis’ Service Leadership Programs, which provide service and leadership opportunities for young people and adults with disabilities around the world.
- Elementary school students. Kiwanis Kids (www.kiwaniskids.org) provides three programs—K-Kids, Terrific Kids and Bring Up Grades—for students ages 6–12. In each, lessons of leadership and self-development are introduced through learning to plan, set goals, work with others and celebrate successes.
- Teens. Kiwanis offers three meaningful, interactive programs that allow students to discover their own leadership potential—Builders Club (www.buildersclub.org), exclusively for middle and junior high school students ages 12–14; Key Club (www.keyclub.org), the largest high school service club in the world for ages 14–18; and Key Leader (www.key-leader.org), a weekend leadership experience for students age 14–18.
- Young adults. Circle K International (www.circlek.org) is the premiere university and college service organization in the world, with clubs on more than 500 campuses in 17 nations. In Europe, Kiwanis Junior gives young adults a chance to volunteer for their communities.
- Adults living with disabilities. Aktion Club (www.aktionclub.org) is the only community service club for these adult citizens, providing members an opportunity to develop initiative and leadership skills in serving their communities, while enabling integration into society.
- Celebrate Kiwanis family during Kiwanis Family Month in November.
What is Key Leader?
Key Leader is a Kiwanis weekend leadership education program for high school students. Its mission is to provide a life-changing experience that inspires young people to achieve their personal best through service leadership. Key Club members and nonmembers can attend this inspiring leadership weekend. Register at www.key-leader.org.
What is Key Club Week?
Key Club Week is usually the first week of November, which is also Kiwanis Family Month. During Key Club Week, clubs are encouraged to spread the word about Key Club by participating in themed days. This includes inviting friends to meetings, planning special service projects and promoting each club’s activities locally.
When is Key Club International’s convention?
The Key Club International convention occurs annually in July. The purpose of the convention is to elect the international officers, review accomplishments of the past year and set policies for the coming year. New programs are announced and national speakers participate. Members from every club should attend each year.
What are district conventions?
At district conventions, which happen each spring, Key Club members elect new student leaders, learn new service projects, meet other Key Club members and attend interesting workshops. Each district convention is held annually and usually lasts two days.
How much are member dues?
Key Club International’s annual dues are $7.00. In addition, each district charges a varying amount for annual dues. Find out what your district dues are.
How can I find a Key Club?
Ask around to see if your school already has a Key Club. You also can check out Key Club district and division websites. Many clubs have pages on Facebook. Or, you can call Member Services at 800-KIWANIS, ext. 411 or 317-875-8755. ext. 411.
How do I start a Key Club?
If your school doesn’t already have a Key Club, check out the Start a club section. You’ll find resources to help you find members, build a club website and charter your club.
Are there any minimums for involvement in a Key Club?
Many clubs utilize a point system in which members earn points for attending meetings and projects. A best practice is the 50-hour rule: Every Key Club member should be willing to undertake 50 hours of service each year. (Throughout the organization, millions of service hours are volunteered annually.)
My high school already has more than one service club. Why should we add a Key Club?
First, and most importantly, most high schools can only benefit by having more clubs provide positive service opportunities for students. Multiple service clubs can, when properly encouraged, produce a synergy of service to a school and community. Second, Key Club is one of the few organizations that actually is a student-led organization from top to bottom. That means the members elect the officers and pay the dues. What better way to teach real responsibility?
What’s the cost for chartering a new Key Club?
The chartering fee for new Key Clubs is US$400-US$600 and must be paid at the time of chartering. This fee includes the membership pins, cards, handbooks, certificates, a gong, gavel and banner.
How many members are needed to start a new Key Club?
Fifteen is all it takes; however, no more than one-half can graduate in the same year.
The club membership form asks for member names and mailing addresses. Will Key Club sell or rent these to other parties?
No. The membership database is for the exclusive use of Kiwanis International's Key Club team and Key Club International. It will only be used to mail organization and benefit information to members under the control of Key Club and Kiwanis.
Can an all-male or all-female club be chartered?
In an all-male or all-female school, this is permissible. In a co-ed enrollment, U.S. and Canadian schools are at risk of being in violation of existing federal and state/provincial laws prohibiting discrimination based upon gender.
Can I start a Key Club in a community organization?
Yes. If a Key Club cannot be formed in a traditional school setting, other options are available. Clubs can meet in libraries, churches, temples, synagogues, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA/YWCA or other suitable meeting spaces as long as appropriate supervision is provided.
What kind of service projects can a Key Club undertake?
There is almost no limit to the scope and nature of Key Club service projects. The Key Club website (www.keyclub.org), Key Club magazine, and conventions all offer ideas for service opportunities. Better yet, begin by looking around your school for existing needs.
Where can I find service project ideas?
Check out Major Emphasis, Key Club’s service partners, project planning tips and fundraising project ideas.
Where can I find bylaws, templates, scholarship applications and other resources for my club?
Lots of helpful resources can be found in the resources section of the website
What is a division or president council meeting?
Lieutenant governors lead three to 10 meetings each year. This is a great time to update, educate and train Key Club officers and advisors, as well as potential club leaders, within the geographic region.
What are club officer training conferences?
Lieutenant governors hold annual training sessions for club officers at a divisional training conference or other prearranged meeting. Training includes positional leadership, committee structure, how to lead meetings and service opportunities.
Who can I call if I have questions?
Member Services Call Center
If you have questions about dues or want to order a Key Club shirt, the International Office has 122 employees available to support the entire Kiwanis family.
United States and Canada: 1-800-KIWANIS, ext. 411
Worldwide: 1-317-875-8755. ext. 411
Jamaica: 1-800-885-4480, ext. 411
Bahamas: 1-877-223-0535, ext. 411