What is Kiwanis?
Kiwanis is a world wide services organization devoted to the principle of service; to the advancement of individual, community, and national welfare; and to the strengthening of international goodwill. Kiwanis membership spans the globe, with more than 300,000 members in more than 8,000 clubs in 80 countries, giving $70 million and 7 million volunteer hours for community service each year.

The Kiwanis Club of Fargo was chartered on November 18, 1920. 


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The Objectives of Kiwanis
The six permanent Objects of Kiwanis International were approved by Kiwanis club delegates at the 1918 Convention in Providence, Rhode Island. Through the succeeding seventy-five years-plus, they have remained unchanged.

  • To give primacy to the human and spiritual rather than to the material values of life.
  • To encourage the daily living of the Golden Rule in all human relationships.
  • To promote the adoption and the application of higher social, business, and professional standards.
  • To develop, by precept and example, a more intelligent, aggressive, and serviceable citizenship.
  • To provide, through Kiwanis clubs, a practical means to form enduring friendships, to render altruistic service, and to build better communities.
  • To cooperate in creating and maintaining that sound public opinion and high idealism which make possible the increase of righteousness, justice, patriotism, and goodwill.

What does the name "Kiwanis" Mean?
The name "Kiwanis" was adapted from the expression "Nunc Kee-wanis" in the Otchipew (Native American) language, meaning "We have a good time," "We make a noise," or, under another construction, "We trade or advertise." Some persons prefer to pronounce the word "ki"; others, "kee."

During the organization's founding in 1915, members belonged to the "Benevolent Order Brothers." The name, however, was unsatisfactory from the first.

"It seems to me," said member Harry A. Young, "that Benevolent Order Brothers is a might peculiar name for an organization of businessmen. Who wants to be a BOB? Well, I don't for one. The name sounds downright silly, and I think we'd be getting off to a better start if we changed it right now before we go any further."

A committee of members sought the assistance of Clarence M. Burton, then historian for the City of Detroit, Michigan. Burton found the expression "Nunc Kee-wanis" in Bishop Baraga's dictionary of the Otchipew language.

The name was perfect. It satisfied founder Allen Simpson Browne, because one variation of its meaning, "We trade," corresponded with his conception of the new organization. He believed that better business opportunities among the members--adding up to a sort of reciprocal trade arrangement--constituted its prime purpose.

Other members, however, believed that the group should "make a noise"--a noticeable difference--through community service.- Adapted from Dimensions of Service-The Kiwanis Story.