January 18, 2018

Get a DEFINING STATEMENT and boost your recruiting efforts

“No, we are not the Circle K that is the convenience stores… We are not a dude ranch with horses… We don’t dance in circles, although you can if you want to…”  That was part of my normal speech when I was the District Administrator for the Georgia District of Circle K International. I was responsible for 28 chapters, including helping them to effectively recruit members. I went to campus after campus and watched our student leaders struggle with trying to explain what Circle K was—and what it was not!

Dave Kelly - Defining Statement

If you belong to a club or organization on campus or are the advisor for a group and had to tell people the name of the organization and then have to explain what it means  over and over again – you know the feeling. It really became a problem. That is until I came up with the idea of having a defining statement.


Tell people what you do, rather than using the name of the organization. For Circle K in Georgia, we went from asking students, “Would you like to join Circle K?” to “Are you interested in community service?” Our positive response rate went from “Huh?” to 85%!

Belong to a fraternity or sorority? I suggest using “Are you interested in leadership development? Or “Do you want to make lifelong friends?” If you spout out the name, it might all just be Greek to them. (Oh yes, I did just go there!)

Watch the accompanying video and the audio interview below for even more for more ideas. Feel free to share your defining statements below and I’ll give you some feedback.

Yours in service,

Dave “Gonzo” Kelly

Learn more about this topic from Dave on


“What is your campus organization’s defining statement?”

You can listen to this FREE audio here (9:26)…

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Leadership consists of a set of skills, methodologies and ideas that can be taught.

Campus Organization Leadership Training (COLT) by Dave Kelly

Essential and Comprehensive Training for Student Government Associations; Student Leadership Programs; Greek Organizations; Recreational Clubs and Organizations; Academic Clubs and Organizations; Business Clubs and Organizations; International Student Organizations; and every Club, Organization and Student Leader on your Campus! (get more info…)

Series Navigation<< When should I train my student leaders?Use the NO CHAIRS method for campus club recruiting >>
About the Author: Dave "Gonzo" Kelly (64 Posts)

Dave Kelly is the leading authority on student leadership and community service on college campuses today. As a professional trainer, motivator, and servant leader, Dave is an expert on all aspects of running and leading campus organizations and developing the character of a servant leader. Dave has 20+ years training leaders and advisors from student government associations, campus activities boards and campus clubs of every kind on organizational leadership and community service projects. He has trained students and advisors at more than 150 different colleges and universities and is the national coordinator for the APCA Serves! Initiative by the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities.

I want to invite Dave Kelly to my campus to speak to our students!

Just give Dave 5 quick pieces of information below and he'll get back to you. Thanks in advance.
NOTE: All form fields are required.
My School
My Name:
Enter the name of the person we should contact at your school.
My Email:
Enter the email address of the contact person on your campus.
My Phone:
Enter the U.S. area code and phone number of the contact person.
Proposed date of my training:
Enter the possible date of your campus event.
Type the text you see into the box so we know you're a person and not a spambot!
Type the text you see into the box so we know you

Share your comments with us...