Common questions
and answers

1What is Kiwanis?
Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time. There are more than 8,000 clubs worldwide, in 80+ countries. Kiwanis Club of Columbus was founded in 1916 and is the fifth oldest Club. We are an engaging, vibrant group of volunteers involved in hands-on projects right here in downtown Columbus. Our Kiwanis Club encourages camaraderie and fellowship through weekly luncheon meetings featuring world-class speakers tackling timely topics. In addition, the Kiwanis Club of Columbus provides a wide range of opportunities to volunteer time and talent to make a difference in our community.
2What does Kiwanis do?
From mentoring children, serving area homeless, providing scholarships for deserving students or promoting entrepreneurship, Kiwanis Club of Columbus members address the needs of Columbus with an emphasis on serving children. Characterized by a spirit of volunteerism, friendliness and fun, the Kiwanis Club of Columbus provides members the opportunity to share not only time, but also focused energy and a sense of shared accomplishment.
3Who belongs to Kiwanis?
Members of Kiwanis are dedicated professionals representing varying ages, experiences and worldviews. Membership in Kiwanis is open to all who are willing to attend meetings, work on projects and volunteer on programs that impact our neighbors. Your local Kiwanis club is made up of local citizens dedicated to making our community and the world a better place to live through our volunteer efforts.
4Why should I join Kiwanis?
There are many reasons, including the following:
  • Provides the opportunity for you to become personally involved in the life of our Columbus community and to help improve our community, the nation and the world;
  • Provides you with the opportunity to help train tomorrow’s leaders through Kiwanis’ unique Sponsored Youth Programs (Aktion Kids, Builders Club, Key Club, Circle K);
  • Helps broaden your general knowledge by providing speakers on scores of interesting subjects during Club meetings;
  • Provides you with the opportunity for fellowship that is often lacking in a busy world, and to make lifetime friendships based on mutual interest and the shared joy of doing for others;
  • Enables you to share ideas and opinions with others who wish to make the world a better place in which to live, and to participate in an informal exchange of ideas on a wide range of topics;
  • Helps you to develop leadership skills by enabling you to serve the Club in positions of responsibility;
  • Provides you with the good feeling that comes from knowing you have personally helped your community and its people, and the knowledge that the effort of each individual really counts. Especially when that support is demonstrated through lending a helping hand to those most in need.
5Why should I consider Kiwanis compared to other service clubs?
Granted, we might be a smidge biased, but we think there’s truly something special about our Kiwanis Club of Columbus! Founded in 1916, we have an almost century-long track record of impacting our community. We are large enough to make a major difference, yet flexible enough to adapt to changes in community needs. You can work with other service-minded professionals to learn together and potentially change the life of a child for the better.
6I have heard service clubs are in decline – a thing of the past! Is that true of Kiwanis?
Kiwanis Club of Columbus is a large growing volunteer organization touching the lives of countless people throughout our community. The Club is thriving, and continues to provide busy professionals the chance to work together to have a positive impact on our community. Today, with tough economic times, the work of Kiwanis, and other service clubs, is more important than ever. We’re seeing that need met by conscientious citizens seeking a space and place where they can contribute time and talent to create positive change for our community.
1What’s expected of me when I join Kiwanis?
Members attend meetings, serve on committees that interest them and take part in Club projects and events as their schedules permit. All that is expected is to contribute whatever time and talents you are able!
2As busy as schedules are these days, how will I ever have time to be part of Kiwanis?
We consider Kiwanis of Columbus “the club for busy professionals” because we completely understand the multiple demands many of us are constantly juggling these days. Our members tell us they appreciate our understanding of this critical point, and how we make the absolute most of the time they are able to invest. Our meetings start and end on time, and we greet our members with the notion that they are always welcome, never obligated.
3Are there dues I have to pay? Am I penalized financially if I can’t make it to meetings?
We have several different membership categories and dues will vary slightly based on the category you qualify for. The annual dues (approximately $5 per week) are used to run our Club. Some members’ dues are paid by their place of employment, as they encourage their employees to get involved with the community. Our members are never ‘penalized’ or ‘fined’ if their busy schedules don’t allow them the chance to make it to a meeting. We understand the priorities of work and family along with the ups and downs of busy schedules. We are a volunteer organization and our size helps us accommodate the ebbs and flows of our collective membership. At the same time, we will be constantly encouraging you to participate as much as possible, so that you can gain the maximum benefit from your membership.
4What is the first step to join?
Come be our guest at a weekly luncheon meeting to experience who we are and learn more about our Club. You can contact our Kiwanis office at office@columbuskiwanis.org or 614-245-8617 to make arrangements. Meetings are held Monday’s at noon at The Athletic Club of Columbus (second floor ballroom) located at 136 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215.