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District Alignment and Planning

One of the most important elements of success is planning. Becoming a Distinguished District doesn’t just happen; it requires strategic thinking and planning by district leaders with a focus on the district mission.

District Success Plan
Successful districts direct volunteer efforts and resources toward achieving the Distinguished District goals for club, membership and educational growth. A good District Success Plan clearly focuses on prospecting for and establishing new clubs, emphasizes membership growth in existing clubs and directs resources toward helping clubs achieve and maintain quality club programming.

For maximum effectiveness in reaching your district's goals here are the steps to take:

    1.   Understand the principles of the District Recognition Program (PDF).
    2.   Read and complete the District Success Plan. Use this writable version: District Success Plan (PDF).

District Alignment
Districts must review and amend, if necessary, their alignment of the clubs, areas, and divisions once each year. The alignment is subject to the approval of the district council at its annual business meeting in April/May. Changes cannot be made after the approval by the council, so it’s important to ensure that the alignment is correct and will be effective throughout the year. 

The District Alignment Committee
It is never too early to form an alignment committee to look at the district’s alignment and put forward a structure for the next program year. The committee should consider an alignment that services the clubs in the most effective way possible and meets the TI policy requirements. It will be important for the district to consider club growth as well as club loss when thinking through a possible alignment. Each area should have a minimum of four clubs and no more than six clubs. A district may have an area with three clubs if efforts are made to charter a fourth club in the area. Keep in mind, when an area has less than four clubs, you should be concerned about long-term growth potential. Under no circumstances shall an area have fewer than three clubs.

Timelines and Expectations
It will be important for the district leadership team to define expectations and the challenge of the alignment committee to ensure their efforts are appropriately executed. District leaders should take necessary time to discuss strategy with the committee. Here’s a proposed schedule for your district’s use:

  • December: Form an Alignment Committee.  Orient the committee and ensure that they have the background, resources and information necessary to prepare an effective alignment
  • January-February: The committee does its work. They should contact clubs and area and division governors for input, especially where changes are being considered.
  • February/March: Working with the district leaders, the committee prepares the alignment proposal and provides it to the district executive committee for review and change, if necessary. If questions arise during the process, feel free to contact District Services at WHQ . The district needs to send out appropriate notice to clubs.
  • April/May: Final alignment is approved by the district council.
  • June/July: Report alignment to WHQ and provide clubs, areas and divisions with the final alignment.

Important Considerations
Align newly-chartered clubs to the area that makes geographic sense and will maximize service to the club. Beware of aligning a club based on who helped charter it or who the sponsors and mentors are. Establish alignment based on providing the best service to the club and not on recognition in the distinguished programs. Advanced clubs or other clubs that have members sharing a special interest cannot be segregated into separate areas or divisions and should be integrated with other clubs in the district. Clubs that charter after the alignment is approved by the district council and prior to June 30 as well as after July 1 must be placed into existing areas. Remember, once the district council approves the alignment no changes can be made, so it is important that the committee put together a strong alignment plan. 

Things to Consider While Aligning:

  • Remain within TI policy
  • Each division must have a minimum of 3 areas
  • Each area must have a minimum of 4 clubs and no more than 6 clubs
  • Geographic aspects
  • Plan for possible growth and possible loss
  • Discuss potential changes with current district leaders and area and division governors
  • Strategically align the clubs within areas and divisions with focus on the benefits for all
  • Communicate the alignment with clubs, areas and divisions.
  • Once the alignment has been approved by the district council, there can be no changes made, so make sure the alignment is correct.
  • Provide the information to WHQ as soon as possible but no later than July 15.

Please note: Alignments that do not meet TI policy requirements cannot be accepted. The alignment committee will need to ensure that the alignment is within TI policy prior to bringing it forward to vote and submission to WHQ.