By Helen Wong ‘15
Key Club may experience an increase in dues next
year. Kiwanis, Key Club’s parent organization, has voted to shift
the financial responsibility of Key Leader, Builders Club and KKids
because Key Club is the only organization showing growth,
while Kiwanis has been shrinking. This puts Key Club International
into a $383,000 deficit.
The Key Club International Board has decided that
there are two solutions to this problem: Key Club must either
see a dues increase as a whole or cut some of the things that
it currently pays for. Current International dues are $6.50
and current District dues are at $6.00. There are several solutions
that are proposed by the Key Club International Board
that would solve this problem.
“I think raising the Key Club dues can be beneficial to a certain extent, but
it will ultimately discourage people from joining the club,” said Holley Yi’15. “People
will mainly focus on the club’s high dues, rather than its main focus, which is to help others and to give back to the community.”
One solution would be to move the financial responsibilities
of Key Leader back to Kiwanis International. Key Leader
is the only contributor to the $383,000 deficit, but Key Club recognizes
its value and does not want to stop the program. Key
Leader is a weekend program that teaches high school students
(whether they are in Key Club or not) about leadership. Kiwanis
will decide whether to move Key Leader back under Kiwanis
during the February Kiwanis International Board meeting on
February 7, 2014.
“This would be the least drastic and most complete solution,”
Michelle Peterson, a senior at Utica Academy for International
Studies in Michigan and Key Club International Trustee
for the New York District, said.
Another solution is to take the 50 cents currently taken
from members’ dues that go into the Youth Opportunities Fund
bank account and move it to Key Club International’s general
fund. Youth Opportunities Fund (YOF) is a grant program that
gives money to Key Clubs around the world who ask for a certain
amount in order to fund a service project. YOF currently uses
the interest gained from its bank account, which has been the
buildup of several decades of the 50 cents taken from the members’
dues. YOF’s bank account currently has around $1.5 million,
which the Key Club YOF committee believes is more than
enough to gather a substantial amount of interest to fund service
projects. By taking the 50 cents going into YOF’s bank account
and moving it to the general fund, Key Club International can reduce
it’s deficit by $132,500 and see only a minor dues increase.
“Key Club does not want to raise dues. We are simply
putting this on the agenda as a last resort,” said Petersen’14.
If there is a dues increase, the proposed increase would raise
International dues from $6.50 to $9.00. This will increase New
York District clubs’ overall dues to $15.00. This will cover Key Club
International’s deficit and help to build up reserve funds so that in
case membership or funds drop, there is a reserve ready to back us.
“Key club is already expensive compared to other clubs.
I remember being a freshman and hearing that Key Club was $13
immediately made me not want to join,” said Amy Feng’15. “Adding
extra won’t make the price look any better, but I still think it is
worth it. That is why I’m still in the club.”
“This is a worse case scenario and will only go to the House of
Delegates at International Convention if all of the other attempts
to cover the deficit fails,” said Petersen’14.
Our school’s current Key Club dues are $13.00, which
covers the total International and District dues. The extra 50
cents is used for club resources. If there is a dues increase, that
would bump up our dues to at least $15.00. This would severely
affect membership and discourage members from joining.
Key Club International and Kiwanis International
should share the financial responsibility of Key Leader since
it would harm both organizations to take up the responsibility
by itself. At the same time, instead of taking the 50 cents that
normally go into the YOF fund, Key Club International should
only take 25 cents to deposit into it and use the other 25 cents to
help pay for the deficit. At the same time, Key Club should put
more emphasis on club building and reactivation and increase
interaction with the members so we can respectively gain more
members and fund and make the dues paid worth more to the
By Helen Wong ‘15