About Optimism

What Optimist Clubs Do

Optimist Clubs are dedicated to “Bringing Out the Best in Kids” and do their part through community service programs. Since each Club is autonomous and run by members in their community, Optimists have the unique flexibility to serve the youth of their area in any way they see fit. Optimist Clubs see a need in their community and react to it.

Optimist International officially sponsors several International Programs:

the Childhood Cancer Campaign, Internet Safety, the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships and the organization’s scholarship contests (Essay Contest, Oratorical Contest and Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing). In addition, Optimist International encourages involvement in several other community activities:

Respect for Law/Promotion of Non-Violence
Youth Appreciation
Youth Safety

Optimists conduct 65,000 community service projects each year, spending $78 million in their communities. Annually, six million kids are positively affected by Optimist programs.

For more information about Optimist International’s dedication to serving youth, please contact the Programs Department by e-mail at programs@optimist.org or call (800) 500-8130, ext. 235.


Why would I want to become an Optimist member?
Being an Optimist gives you the opportunity to touch the lives of the youth in your community and throughout the world. If you have spare time, unique abilities and a desire to help youth, we would like to meet with you.

How much time is required by me?
From as little as an hour every few weeks to attend a club meeting or help with a project, to as much as 4 hours or more a week if you’re holding an office or running a project. You can gear your time commitment to your individual needs.

How much does it cost?
Little beyond your member dues and the possible cost of meals at meetings. You probably will want to buy any fund-raising items your club is selling.

What do I do as a Optimist member?
An Optimist member attends club meetings and volunteers for service programs, which are carried out away from meeting times. As you gain experience and you feel ready to assume greater responsibilities, you’ll be offered opportunities to chair a committee, serve on the club executive team, or offer your talents to your Zone, District or Optimist International.

Is attendance at meetings required?
No, but it is encouraged. It is the best way to stay abreast of what is happening in the club … and club meetings can be really fun!

Am I expected to recruit new members?
Not required, but encouraged to keep a continued flow of new ideas into the organization. Hopefully, others will become interested in joining as you share with them your positive experiences in your club.

Am I expected to raise funds?
Each Optimist Club is self-sustaining and requires an ernest effort to raise funds to support community service projects and Optimist youth programs that are delivered by the Club. Each Club member is asked to help with fund raising.

What leadership opportunities are available?
In your club, you can organize a club project, or hold a club office such as president. After you’ve served as a club president, you can take on district offices such as lieutenant governor. One can serve as the highest district officer, governor, and move to international offices such as vice president or committee member.

What skills do I need?
Your desire to help the youth in your community! If you tell us what your skills and strengths are, we will do our best to make use of your abilities.

Is any training provided?
New members are encouraged to participate in the PGI Program which includes many educational modules that will enhance your participation. If you assume a leadership role, like Club President or Secretary/Treasurer, specific training is provided.

Are there opportunities to travel?
Yes. New Club members are encouraged to participate in local Zone meetings, workshops and interclub visits. Eventually, you will be invited to attend District or Optimist International Conventions or quarterly meetings which are held in different communities in Canada and the U.S.