We, as the Knights of Columbus have become one of the greatest Catholic fraternal service organizations in the world bound by our principles of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism. The strength of our Order streaming from steadily membership growth, and service oriented activities has provided us a great deal of accomplishments to our family, in the service of our Church and in our community. As Pope Francis simply stated…” The measure of the greatness of a society is found in the way it treats those most in need, those have nothing apart from their poverty…”

 How do we make it more  exciting and energizing to all members in addition to what were already existing service programs in terms of Family, Youth, Church, Vocation, Culture of Life, Council, and Community? Each council has an appointed Lecturer. He can create ways and means of entertainment at the council meetings during the Good of the Orders by inviting all the monthly birthday celebrants to attend, so the council could at least sing them a happy birthday, present them their individual birthday cards, or provide them with a collectively small birthday cake, K of C cup, finger rosary, replacing their name badge if they have lost or misplaced their name badge.

But as a fraternal organization, how do we measure such tremendous success and greatness of our acts of charity/love, with countless dedicated service hours to support our charitable contributions? What evidence can be best manifested to show our generosity and hard work to value our fraternal service programs and charitable growth? To comply with that factual information, every year by the end of January 31, every council of nearly 600 active councils in California must submit their Annual Survey of Fraternal Activity (Form 1728) to the Supreme Fraternal Services Department as a way of our testimonial corroboration. This should be 100% participation by all active councils because this is also a very important form due to the fact that we (the Knights of Columbus) can be classified as a tax-exempt organization. This form can be easily accessed via online at www.kofc.org/forms.

The California Knights of Columbus State Council features 35 or more service programs/activities for every member of all ages and for all councils to participate in order to make it a more fun filled experience, more interesting and to develop a loving culture as to build that vital link for membership retention in the council. In short, simply put it in the equation:  No activities program = no fun = no fund ($$$) = no council.  

Also, the Grand Knight can offer a reduction of 50% of their next year’s annual membership dues if their name was picked in a raffle, or present a small item to keep. Additionally, the Knight of the Month, Family of the Month can be presented. It may go a long way for the members, sense of belonging and appreciation to the council and to increase attendance during the council business meetings. And, to keep up with the technology pace in the social media such as the smart phone, etc., you can greet them through email, Face Book, messenger and Instagram for their wedding anniversary, wife’s birthday, Happy Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and other congratulatory notes.

More so, during their first time attending a council business meeting, you can simply hand them an application for the Father McGivney Guild or give them a Shining Armor Card (If none was presented during the Admission Degree).  Also they can be presented Admission Degree Certificate and their council name badge making it more exciting and encouraging for new members to participate in council activities.  Another very important item that can be offered to new members at their first council business meeting is the Knights of Columbus Member Benefit Form 2773 which outlines no cost death benefit protection for just being a knight in good standing.

Tony Ty
Fraternal Activities Program
California State Chairman