What are Service Reporting Caps?
- Lions report their service activities in MyLion or their regional reporting system, and LCI aggregates this data and shares it with Lions and the public. Service Reporting Caps are limits on the values that LCI reports per service activity.
- For each service activity that Lions report, they can enter the number of people served and volunteer hours, and the amount of funds raised and donated. Lions may enter any value they believe to be accurate. However, when LCI reports on the total values, we cap each individual report at the following level:
- 3,000 People Served
- 1,200 Volunteer Hours
- $200,000 Funds Donated
- $250,000 Funds Raised
- For example:
- People Served:
- Club A does a Type 2 diabetes screening and reports 200 people served.
- Club B conducts a highway clean up in their town and reports 5,000 people served.
- When LCI reports the total number of people served, it would be 3,200 (the 200 served by Club A and a capped 3,000 people served by Club B).
- Volunteer Hours:
- Club A completes a tree planting activity and reports 100 volunteer hours.
- Club B packs boxes of food for local families and reports 4,000 volunteer hours.
- When LCI reports the total number of volunteer hours, it would be 1,300 (the 100 hours from Club A and a capped 1,200 hours by Club B).
- Funds Donated:
- Club A reports that they donated $500 to a local animal shelter.
- Club B reports that they donated $500,000 to a hospital which supports children with cancer.
- When LCI reports the total number of funds donated, it would be $200,500 (the $500 from Club A and a capped $200,000 from Club B).
- Funds Raised:
- Club A reports that they raised $1,000 for a food bank.
- Club B reports that they raised $900,000 for a homeless shelter.
- When LCI reports the total number of funds donated, it would be $251,000 (the $1,000 from Club A and a capped $250,000 from Club B).
Are the caps new?
- The cap on people served was put in place in March of 2015. It was briefly lifted, however after a thorough analysis it was reinstated in 2018.
- The caps for number of volunteer hours, funds raised, and funds donated were put in place in March 2021, retroactive to the beginning of the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
Why do we have Service Reporting Caps?
- Accuracy. Lions report hundreds of thousands of service activities each year. It is not possible for LCI to individually review and verify the accuracy of each report. Service reporting caps allow us to remove statistical outliers with an outsized impact on metrics.
- Reliability. There is a reputational risk to LCI if we report numbers that we know are often the result of error or miscalculation. Taking a conservative approach to service reporting mitigates this risk.
How do we know that service activities with reports above the caps are often reported in error?
Extensive statistical analysis and Global Action Team outreach have been conducted over the years. Here is a summary of the studies and their findings:
- In 2015, a statistical analysis of four years of service reporting data was conducted by LCI, which determined that service activities with more than 3,000 people served are statistical outliers.
- In March of 2019, the GAT conducted an outreach to 32 clubs across six constitutional areas that had all reported service activities with more than 3,000 people served. Over half of the clubs reported that they made a simple reporting error, such as a miscalculation, reporting dollars raised instead of beneficiaries served or using faulty logic.
- In 2020, a statistical analysis of two years of service reporting data was conducted by LCI, which determined that service activities with volunteer hours, funds raised, or funds donated above the cap level were statistical outliers.
- In 2020, the GAT conducted an outreach to the following groups:
- 36 Clubs across 6 constitutional areas who reported significantly high funds donated.
- 29 Clubs across 7 constitutional areas who reported significantly high funds raised.
- 42 Clubs across 7 constitutional areas who reported significantly high volunteer hours.
Over half of the clubs reported that there was an error in their service activities report.
Who approved the decision to put the caps on?
- The Lions Clubs International Board of Directors.
- The decision for the people served cap is documented in the Service Activities Committee report from the April 2019 meeting in Reykjavik, Section A.2.
- The decision for the volunteer hours, funds raised, and funds donated caps are documented in the Service Activities Committee report from the October 2020, Section A.2.b.
What else is Service Activities doing to improve the quality of our service reporting data?
- Providing resources such as a comprehensive guide to calculating service reporting metrics.
- Incorporating reporting training into existing resources whenever possible.
- Increasing the promotion of both the importance of reporting service, and how to do so.
- Researching ways that we can more accurately reflect the true impact of Lions’ service.