What about Lions?

Lions Clubs International

Last week someone asked me, quite rightly, what's the difference between Lions and Rotary? I couldn't answer with any real knowledge since I have never been to a meeting so I did a google search and could not find much that compares both service organizations. So I did a little digging and found some interesting facts which I summarize in the chart that follows - and have placed in this webpage. I think this can be useful to Rotarians everywhere.


Rotary
Lions
Official Name
Rotary International
Lions Clubs International
Motto
Service above self
One profits most who serves best
We serve
Slogan
--
Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nation’s Safety.
Membership
1.2 million
1.35 million
Number of Clubs
34000+
46000+
Countries and Territories
200+
206
# Districts
535
750
Minimum # members in district
1200
1250
Founded
1905
1917
HQ
Evanston Illinois USA
Oak Brook Illinois USA
HQ head
General Secretary
Executive Director
Founder
Paul P. Harris
Melvin Jones
Meeting frequency
weekly
not stipulated but recommended at least twice per month.
Program Year
1 July to 30 June
1 July to 30 June
Standard Club Constitution
mandatory
recommended
# Official languages
8
(English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish)
11
(Chinese, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish)
Principal project
Eradicate polio: PolioPlus
Vision Care
Diabetes
Accounts
not specified
Public (Activity) funds
Administrative funds
Membership criteria
Business or community leader
Each member represents a Classification (vocation or profession)
Any person of legal majority and good moral character and good reputation in his/her community.
Membership categories
Active
Honorary
Active
Member at Large
Honorary
Privileged
Life Member
Associate Member
Affiliate Member
# of Members
minimum 20 to charter
minimum 20
Satellites
satellite clubs
branch clubs
Sponsored Clubs
Interact (12-18)
Rotaract (18-30)
Community Corps
Leos (5700 clubs in 140 countries):
Alpha (12-18)
Omega (18-30)
Lioness
Cub Program (under 12)
Club Variations
e-Clubs
Satellite Clubs
Campus clubs
Workplace clubs
Lioness Lions clubs
Special Interest Clubs:
Champions Lions clubs (focus on projects that serve persons with intellectual disabilities)
Lions Quest Lions clubs (focus on projects servicing children K12)
Cyber Lions clubs (clubs meet online)
Foundation
The Rotary Foundation (TRF)
Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF)
Fellowship (for $1000 donation to the Foundation)
Paul Harris Fellowship
Melvin Jones Fellowship

Lions in China

Regarding Lions in China, that is quite a unique situation and as best I can make out they have now 8 districts in China where each district appears to be centred around a city. The first clubs were chartered in Shenzhen and Guangdong in 2002 but in 2005 they established the China Council of Lions Clubs -- which appears to me to be quite similar to Rotary's RIBI in the UK. An arm's length organization that oversees clubs in the territory of the PRC.

Having read more about them I understand more clearly how we are different in our membership and our activities, while we are similar in many ways. Clearly in China we have taken a very different path so far but perhaps we can learn from their approach to growth in China. Or perhaps we could collaborate?

Lions IS present in Beijing (24 clubs) and Chengdu (25 clubs) but not in Shanghai.

Read more here about the differences between Rotary and Lions.