Have you been to a Lions Club meeting and were lost before the first 5 minutes had passed as they introduce the guests as IPP, or PDG, or DG, or they talk about LCIF or LCI, or LEF, or ??? Part of the confusion is also because of how non profit organizations have to be formed under the guidance of our federal tax laws. Lions Clubs are generally formed as a 501(c)(4) tax-exempt social welfare organizations and they are not eligible to accept or solicit deductible charitable donations. Lions Club Foundations are generally 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charitable organizations. Does that clear anything up at all?
All I can say about some of our meetings is that we should all be ashamed to be using anacronyms that leave our guests out of the conversation.
With that in mind, I decided that at a minimum we should have a Lions Dictionary to help new lions figure out what we are saying.
Part of this confusion was noted above because of the need to have two organizations under Federal Law to separate fundraising from public service. Therefore, you will oftentimes find that there are two connected organizations associated with every anacronym, such as Lions Clubs International (LCI) and the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF).
Finally, a little about organizational structure might help. Starting at the top is Lions Clubs International, Constitutional Areas, Multiple District, District, Region, Zone and finally, the local Club.
The constitutional areas are as follows:
- USA & its affiliates & Bermuda & the Bahamas
- Mexico, Central & South America & the Caribbean Islands
- Orient & Southeast Asia
- India & South Asia & the Middle East
- Australia and New Zealand the South Pacific
Generally, depending upon the number of clubs, all clubs in a state could be in one district. Large high population states like California has several districts and is overseen by a multiple district council. All of California is under Multiple District 4 except for Truckee which is under the Nevada multiple district. One last note on our organizational structure would be a Lions publication for newly elected District Governors, or more correctly, the spouses of newly elected District Governors.
DG – District Governor
District 4C5 – The district covering the greater Sacramento area
CLF – California Lions Foundation
CC – Council Chair
CLFIS – California Lions Friends In Sight
COG – Council of Governors
Council of Governors – All of the District Governors and 1st Vice District Governors in a Multiple District
Ear of the Lion – Statewide Lions Project dealing with hearing issues
ECM – Executive Council Meeting
FPVI – Folsom Project for the Visually Impaired
ID – International Director
IPDG – Immediate Past District Governor
IPP – Immediate Past President
LCC – Lions Council Chairperson
LCI – Lions Clubs International
LCIF – Lions Clubs International Foundation
LEF – Lions Education Foundation
LEF – Lions Eye Foundation of California and Nevada
Leo – Lions clubs for members 12-18
Lions Diabetes – A statewide Lions Project to spread awareness of diabetes issues
Lions Eyes Across California – A statewide Lions Project to spread awareness of vision issues
LIS – Lions in Sight
LPCC – Lions Project for Canine Companions (Used to be LPCCI. The “I” for Independence)
MD4 – Multiple District 4
Melvin Jones – Founder of Lions International
Melvin Jones Fellowship – Highest award received by a Lion from LCIF. Clubs or Districts purchase the fellowship from LCIF and these funds are the backbone of the LCIF
NCLSA – Northern California Lions Sight Association
PCC – Past Council Chair
PDG – Past District Governor
Peace Poster & Essay Contest – An international contest for middle school students.
PID – Past International Director
Region Chairperson – The person to coordinate the effort of Zone Chairpersons and to manage regional district meetings.
Student Speaker Contest – A speech contest within California managed by Multiple District 4
Zone Chairperson – The person selected to coordinate info between his/her clubs and the District