Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Is a "Networking Chair" a Step in the Right Direction?

DGE Diana White from District 7020 (Northern Caribbean Islands), a district that had 10% membership growth last year, is planning to institute a "Networking Chair" for next year. 

She shares with us comments from Jamaica AG Haresh L. Ramchandani about events occurring at the semi-annual Interclub assembly of the Rotary Clubs in Jamaica, with over 100 Rotarians participating. A few of those comments: 

During the weekend I started introducing Rotarians I knew with other Rotarians and sharing what they each did for a living with the other. In effect, I was conducting a mini-networking session within the seminar. This was favourably received by all those that got exposed to it. I even got calls the day after saying what a pleasant and refreshing experience it was.
... I believe, if there ever was a time to fulfil Rotary's First object, it is now. When individuals are in such a state of bare survival, if we can't come together to help each other, how will we be able to help the wider community.  
I'd also love to see perhaps when we hold joint socials or seminars that we Rotarians when introducing ourselves that we also state our vocation and even place of business (if applicable), otherwise how will we know who we are and what we all do.
Getting back to Rotary basics sounds like a good formula for success!

Director's Newsletter Available

Read RIVP Director Eric Adamson's latest Zone 33-34 Newsletter, highlighting New Generations Month, by clicking here or by visiting the Zone 33-34 Website.
Of Membership note, is an article relating to Bill Pollard's "Who's Your Tommy" article in The Rotarian.   

The Basics of "New Style" Rotary Clubs

RIBI (Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland) New Club Formation Officer Tony Cotton shares why we need to be sponsoring "New Style" Rotary Clubs.

  • New Clubs will meet every week but there is no pressure on its members on how often they attend – ‘Give what time you can afford to Rotary’- Club programmes are so good that they will want to attend each week!
  • Build relationships within ethnic groups and ensure these potential members are enthused about Rotary aims and ideals.
  • Emphasise the personal development potential of becoming a Rotarian
  • Consider the needs and lifestyles of potential new members:
  • Do they wish to consume a meal at every weekly meeting?
  • Ensure ongoing financial commitment is kept within the means of each member.
  • What dress-code/regalia do they wish to adopt?
  • Do they need a closed room or would they prefer to meet in a quiet corner – open to all who might show an interest?
  • Why not bring family members and friends along to enjoy the fellowship?
  • Let the new club members decide how they wish to serve.
  • Make sure there are plenty of fun activities being planned for the whole family to get involved with
  • Introduce "Rotary Programs" very slowly so as not to overwhelm the new members.
  • Make membership recruitment & retention a priority from the start.
  • Make all members feel valued and "part of the Team"
  • Ensure there is continuity for future club leaders
From the RIBI (Zones 17 & 18) Membership Newsletter, October 2009. RRIMCs Peter Davey & Ray Burman. 

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Social Networking Expands Rotary Horizons

Find out how two Rotary Clubs, in England and Sweden, have discovered how social networking to transform their Rotary experience.

See the right menu bar for links to Rotary's social networking sites.

What is a New Generation Rotary Club? Why do we need them?

September is New Generations Month. We all know that the New Generations programs of Rotary include those for youth and young adults, such as Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), Interact, Rotaract, Ambassadorial Scholarships, and Group Study Exchange (GSE), among other programs.

But what is a New Generations Rotary Club (NGRC)? First, they aren't defined by Rotary, so, in some respects, the NGRC is what the Rotarians in that club want it to be. Second, unless it is included in a pilot program of Rotary International, any NGRC must comply with all the requirements of a "regular" Rotary Club.

So far, what's the difference? Well, nothing and everything. The main differences are (1) an orientation toward younger Rotarians and (2) a willingness to try non-traditional methods to attract and keep those younger Rotarians.

A NGRC's focus on younger Rotarians seeks those not just younger in age, but those who are "younger" in their career, in their financial development, in their activity level, or perhaps in their attitude.

Non-traditional aspects of a NGRC can include meeting times (generally late afternoon or early evening "Cocktail clubs", Fridays or weekends), meeting credits for service and fellowship opportunities, meeting locations (low cost, limited meal or cocktail options), low cost of membership, and stressing smaller hands-on service projects instead of check-writing.

Surprisingly, Club Boards have the power to do all this without any exemption from the R.I. Constitution & Standard Club Bylaws. These are simply new Rotary clubs, appealing to an under-served group, with members finding a way to serve their communities and world.

Existing Rotary clubs (and District Extension Committees) should survey their community and see if a NGRC would be feasible. It is a great way to provide more service opportunities in your town, while aiding the overall Rotary membership effort.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Original social networkers turn to Web to survive

Rotary Clubs see Facebook, Twitter and the iPhone as a way to increase the demand for their name badges.

Article by: JENNIFER LATSON, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, Sept. 14, 2009; Linked through

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A new video entitled "Why Rotary?" has been posted to the 'About Us' section of the Rotary International Web site.
Read the rest …

Monday, September 21, 2009

RI Statement on Diversity

Rotary International recognizes the value of diversity within individual clubs.

Rotary encourages clubs to assess those in their communities who are eligible for membership, under existing membership guidelines, and to endeavor to include the appropriate range of individuals in their clubs.

A club that reflects its community with regard to professional and business classification, gender, age, religion, and ethnicity is a club with the key to its future.

Approved by the RI Board of Directors, January 2009

Diverse clubs hold key to the future of Rotary

On the outskirts of Amsterdam, 21 people gather at De Houten Vier restaurant each week. The group includes members of Dutch, Moroccan, Surinamese, and Turkish descent. The 14 men and seven women range in age from 28 to 69. They come from various professional backgrounds; there are designers, hotel managers, and academics as well as lawyers and accountants. Despite their differences, everyone has at least one thing in common: Rotary.

The newly chartered Rotary Club of Amsterdam-Arena exemplifies the diverse membership that Rotary International leadership has stated is necessary to keep the organization strong. In November, the Board updated the RI statement on diversity. The Amsterdam-Arena club is based in the borough of Amsterdam Zuidoost, a community of about 80,000 situated in the city’s southeast corner. Andro Bottse, the club’s president, says the area is “multicultural and multiethnic by definition.”

A group of past district governors in Amsterdam determined that few residents of the borough had joined a Rotary club. With support from Jan Koster, past governor of District 1580 and a member of the Rotary Club of Amsterdam West, the new club was chartered in November. Bottse, of Surinamese descent, says the club’s diversity helps it reach out to the community.

“It helps that our networks extend to all levels of the community we serve, including grassroots organizations, businesses, and municipalities,” he explains.

The club has focused on helping children, especially those with mental and physical disabilities. “We want to serve our community by making dreams real for the children of Amsterdam Zuidoost,” says Bottse.

Except for Koster, who is an honorary member of the new club, the Amsterdam-Arena Rotarians are all new to Rotary. “We have an open mind to new developments [such as] the way we raise funds and the way we serve,” Bottse says. “To me, it’s all about enriching your life by meeting people from different backgrounds.” He adds that his club would like to help other clubs increase their membership. “I learned that many clubs in the area of Amsterdam have difficulties attracting new members even though they try very hard,” he says. “Perhaps we can support them in their efforts.”

Adapted from De Rotarian, the Rotary regional magazine serving the Netherlands.

Member sponsor and retention recognition

At its January meeting, the RI Board adopted a New Member Sponsor and Retention Recognition program, which became effective 1 July. The program, also part of the long-term membership strategy, allows Rotary club presidents to nominate and recognize individuals for sponsoring new members while focusing on retention. There are several award categories:

  • Gold pin and certificate: For Rotarians bringing 25 members into any Rotary club, with 20 still active after six years
  • Silver pin and certificate: For Rotarians bringing 10 members into any Rotary club, with eight still active after four years
  • Bronze pin and certificate: For Rotarians bringing five members into any Rotary club, with four still active after two years

Learn more about membership resources available to Rotary clubs and districts.

Reach One, Keep One Catches On!

The new membership slogan emphasizes the need for Rotarians to focus on both recruitment and retention in their membership growth efforts. Rotary Images

Rotarians are responding enthusiastically to the new membership slogan, "Each Rotarian: Reach One, Keep One."

"The slogan is a gentle reminder to do it!" notes John T. Capps III, a member of the Rotary Club of Morehead City-Noon, North Carolina, USA. "Keep a 3 x 5 card handy at all times to record that moment in time when the name of a potential member flashes in your thoughts."

"Each one of us became a Rotarian because someone invited us to attend a Rotary meeting," agrees William Pollard, past governor of District 7600 (Virginia, USA). "We all have a responsibility to grow our Rotary family so that we can continue to provide service to our local and international communities."

The RI Board of Directors adopted the new membership slogan at its June meeting. The slogan emphasizes the need for Rotarians to focus on both recruitment and retention in their membership growth efforts. "Membership development is each Rotarian's responsibility," said Paul Netzel, a member of RI's Membership Development and Retention Committee and a past RI director.

"'Reach One' reminds us that because Rotary membership is by invitation, it's essential that each Rotarian reaches out and invites someone to join," added Netzel, a member of the Rotary Club of Los Angeles. "'Keep One' reminds us that it's not sufficient to simply sponsor someone into Rotary; we must also see that new members become active and involved Rotarians. We know this is an essential element in membership retention."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Eastern Shore District makes "Membership Matter"

The District 7630 Membership Seminar was held September 15, 2009 at the Maple Dale Country Club in Dover, Delaware. District 7630 is one of two districts recently added to Zone 33 by rezoning, and it is comprised of Rotary clubs in Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

According to Don Hackett, District 7630 Membership Chair and District Governor Elect, the seminar was well attended with over 50 Rotarians in district and club leadership in attendance. The theme for the half-day seminar was “Membership Matters”, and was reinforced during the sessions with “M&Ms” being handed out to participants. Governor Susan Giove welcomed Rotarians and guests and opened the seminar. DGN Roger Harrell also addressed the group.

RRIMC Bevin Wall was the featured presenter, encouraging participants through videos and interactive activities to use the RI Theme “The Future of Rotary is in Your Hands” to inspire and motivate Rotarians and prospective members. A brief slideshow highlighted the world, regional and district membership status and issues.

During the panel segment, Assistant Governors in the District used their expertise to lead discussions on such far ranging issues as building membership in dire financial times, non-traditional Rotary clubs, the formation of new clubs, membership resources, and a district-developed template for club membership development.

Toward the end of the session, planning was discussed by DGE Don Hackett, and break-out groups were formed by club size to discuss their Membership Strategic Plans.

District Membership Committee Crucial to Success

According to the latest survey 20 % of districts worldwide do not have a membership committee. Ensuring that a district has an active membership committee is crucial to successful membership development efforts.
According to the survey made in zone 15 (Europe) this autumn 93% of the districts have a membership committee.

In the check list below you will find some of the tasks for the committee:
  • Encourage clubs to set membership goals and make a membership development plan.
  • Visit clubs and speak about effective membership activities
  • Ensure that each club has a membership chair.
  • Arrange membership seminars
  • Cooperate with PR committee and AGs
By Christina Bredlin, RRIMC Zone 15, Sweden

Friday, September 18, 2009

Kenny establishes membership goals

Rotary International News -- 17 September 2009

RI President John Kenny (middle) has established his membership goals. Districts that achieve these goals can earn a certificate signed by Kenny. Rotary Images/Alyce Henson

Clubs can earn a certificate signed by RI President John Kenny by meeting his membership goals for 2009-10. The top 10 clubs and top 10 districts, as determined by RI, will also be acknowledged onstage at the 2010 convention in Montréal, Québec, Canada.

To meet Kenny's membership goals, clubs need to achieve the following:

  • A minimum net increase of one member
  • A minimum retention rate of 80 percent and two of the items below:
  • Increased percentage of qualified women
  • Increased percentage of qualified younger professionals (under age 50)
  • Induction of at least one RI or Rotary Foundation program alumna/alumnus
  • Increased diversity of membership (e.g., classification, gender, age, ethnicity)

Achievement of club goals will be certified by the district governor.

Kenny's goals for districts are:

  • A minimum net increase of one member in each existing club
  • A minimum retention rate of 80 percent in each existing club
  • A minimum of one or two new clubs organized

Clubs should submit their results to their district governor by 15 May. Districts should certify the results and submit them to RI, along with their district results, by 22 May. Certification forms will be available at a later date.

All clubs and districts that reach these membership goals will receive a certificate signed by Kenny. From this pool, RI will determine the top 10 clubs and top 10 districts (not more than one club or one district per zone) showing the highest percentage net increase in membership, to be acknowledged onstage at the Montréal convention.