Guidelines for Multiple-District Leader Dog Chairs

Every three years, a Lion in each Multiple District will be chosen to represent Leader Dogs for the Blind within their Multiple District. Selection criteria include demonstrated interest, understanding, commitment and leadership at the Multiple District, District and club level for Leader Dog. The official appointments, which are subject to replacement if necessary, are made by the Multiple-District Council Chair, by election or by other method as determined by the Multiple District. As a respected Lion, this person will serve as an ambassador for Leader Dog in his/her Multiple District. This position serves as the liaison between Leader Dog and the Multiple District, Council of Governors, District Leader Dog Chairs and Lions Clubs, thereby creating stronger education, communication, understanding and charitable giving between Lions within the Multiple District and Leader Dog.

Goals

As a volunteer for Leader Dogs for the Blind, Multiple-District Leader Dog Chairs will be asked to carry out the following responsibilities:

  • Educate Lions about the mission, importance and success of Leader Dog
  • Lead a team of District Leader Dog Chairs
  • Assist with all aspects of Leader Dog fundraising in the Multiple District

This position is critical to the future of Leader Dog, to Lions and people who are blind or visually impaired around the country. It is important to know that responsibilities may vary and/or expand as aspects are implemented.

Mission and Values

The mission of Leader Dog is to empower people who are blind or visually impaired with lifelong skills for independent travel through quality Leader Dogs, highly effective client instruction and innovative services. In support of this mission, Lions representing Leader Dogs are guided, supported and measured by its values:

  • Respect and compassion for people and dogs
  • Passion for the work
  • Safety in all we do
  • Do what is right
  • Innovation in our field
  • Superior experience for stakeholders

History

Leader Dog was founded in 1938 by three members of Detroit-area Lions Clubs who were unable to obtain a guide dog for a friend from any other source. The trio led the purchase of an old farmhouse in Rochester Hills, Michigan to house the training facilities. Since then, the organization has raised, trained and graduated more than 14,500 Leader Dog teams.

Roles and Responsibilities

Leadership and Working Relationships

To Recruit, Train and Lead District Leader Dog Chairs

  • Identify and recruit one Lion in each District to serve a three-year term as the District Leader Dog Chair (in consultation with the District Governor)
  • Train all newly appointed District Leader Dog Chairs
  • Lead the District Leader Dog Chairs within the Multiple District, providing periodic updates and assistance as needed
  • Communicate with District Leader Dog Chairs on a regular basis
  • Provide regular updates to District Leader Dog Chairs regarding any Leader Dogs for the Blind news, information, quarterly reports and goals
  • A second Lion should be trained to assist the Multiple-District Leader Dog Chair, due to the size of many Multiple Districts and as a possible replacement when the three-year term expires

Communicate Regularly with Leader Dogs for the Blind team members

  • Update the Lions team about happenings, progress and challenges in your Multiple District

Utilize Leader Dog Resources and Team Members

  • Communicate with key Leader Dog team members
  • Consult Leader Dog team members regarding fundraising discrepancies, to obtain reports and ask questions about Leader Dog policies and programs

Work with District Governors and Other District Leaders

  • Work closely with the Council Chair, District Governors, Multiple District leaders, and other District leaders to promote the work of Leader Dogs for the Blind and encourage support from Lions within the Multiple District.
  • Work closely in providing assistance with prospective client applications as necessary.

Education and Promotion

Give Leader Dog Presentations

Multiple District Convention

  • Arrange for and conduct a Leader Dog educational seminar at the annual Multiple District Convention
  • Arrange for a booth/table to promote Leader Dog using educational materials available

District Conventions

  • Attend District Conventions and provide support at District Conventions when possible
  • Work with District Leader Dog Chairs to ensure Leader Dog is well promoted and represented (seminars, table, materials, etc.)

Council Meetings

  • Provide Leader Dog program and fundraising updates to the Council of Governors and other interested Multiple District leaders
  • Inform the District Governors about Leader Dog progress and/or challenges in the Multiple District
  • Report on District and Multiple District fundraising progress

Club Presentations

  • Conduct select club presentations about Leader Dogs for the Blind to the highest-potential clubs in the Multiple District

Promote Leader Dogs for the Blind Whenever Possible

Multiple District Publications and Website (where applicable)

  • Submit Leader Dog success stories and updates to Multiple District-wide publications
  • Recognize exceptional individual member, club and/or District support of Leader Dog
  • Provide fundraising progress report updates

External Public Relations

  • Promote Leader Dog success stories and help distribute press releases to local media outlets
  • Work with the Multiple-District PR Chair to help promote Leader Dog whenever possible

Possible Membership

  • Encourage local Lions Clubs to solicit graduates as club members, and encourage graduates to become Lions. A graduate who becomes an active member of a club enhances Lions’ awareness of the benefits of Leader Dog programs to people in their communities.

Fundraising

Promote Leader Dog Fundraising Efforts

  • Encourage clubs to give to Leader Dog annually to achieve 100% support
  • Encourage clubs to conduct one annual fundraising event to support Leader Dog programs
  • Oversee District Leader Dog Chairs responsibilities for the Leader Dog program
  • Assist with District and Multiple District-wide Leader Dog fundraising events when possible
  • Promote individual and club recognition programs as incentives to donate to Leader Dog

Identify Potential Donors

  • Help identify potential Major and Lead gift donors to Leader Dog and, when appropriate, be involved in the gift request process
  • Use reports provided by Leader Dog to help identify the highest-potential clubs that may continue to support Leader Dog
  • Help identify local foundations, corporations and businesses with the potential to support Leader Dog

Keys to Success

Flexibility: Multiple-District Leader Dog Chairs are asked to be flexible and help with the implementation of new and modified programs. Some responsibilities may be modified and/or expanded. They should always be prepared for the unexpected and to improvise where needed. Working with District leaders: The position of Multiple-District Leader Dog Chair reports to the Council Chair but he/she is encouraged to work closely with the Council of Governors and other Multiple District leadership. Efforts to support Leader Dog will be most successful when all District leaders are working together for the same cause. Communication: Communication is the KEY for success. Multiple-District Leader Dog Chairs communicate regularly with each District Leader Dog Chair and key Leader Dog team members.

Available Support and Materials