Sunday, September 27, 2009

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.

1 comment:

txema said...

We don´t need them. The only we need is the Rotary Clubs being able to incorporate young people to their members. My name is José María de la Torre and I am the next president of a Rotaract Club in Madrid, Spain.

I think that Rotary is just Rotary and no other kind of organization. I think that there are thousands of wonderful organizations not being Rotary but I do also believe that if Rotary has lasted for more than 100 years is because of being Rotary and not other thing.

I believe that anybody who reaches the honour of becoming a rotarian has to become a "young generation" one. If you want and you get to be a rotarian, you must be a "plenty of oughts and rights" one. I think that the interaction between people at different ages in the Rotary Clubs is one of the keys for its success. What is true is that many Rotary Clubs are not able to incorporate young people. So I think that the way is to encourage Rotary Clubs to get young professionals for their chairs.