Rotary International District 1200
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A new Rotary Year is upon us and with it comes changes as ever. In the field of District Membership and Retention Services a new team starts to feel it’s feet and whilst much of the experience is retained there are some significant changes in personnel who have the daunting task of following previous Chairman John Butler and New Club Formation Officer Jim Tancock into this role. The team is fully detailed in the District 1200 Handbook but for ease of reference the team is also listed below:-
- Mike Hedges CBE (Chelwood Bridge) - Chairman
- Martyn Steer (Sherborne) - New Club Formation
- Julia Lunn MBE (Portland) - Enquiries Coordinator
- Alastair Muir (Calne) - Team Member
- Paul Brunsch (Wellington) - Team Member
- Steve Tanner (Chelwood Bridge) - Team Member
- Jim Farmer (Chelwood Bridge) - Sports Officer
- Tony Russell (Burnham on Sea) - Protection Officer and Health and Safety
- Richard Jones (Midsomer Norton) - Alumni
- Roger Crouch (Yeo Vale) - Rotoract.
Rotary International and RIBI Initiatives
The new Team start their work at a particularly challenging time for Rotary as a whole; at the RIBI Assembly significant focus was given to Membership issues. We are all aware that in recent years Clubs across RIBI have experienced a downturn in membership and an increase in age profile and if nothing is done to focus upon reversing this trend a significant number of Clubs could founder. RIBI is not alone in experiencing this trend and for this reason Rotary International has set a target to increase World - Wide membership by 5% over the next three years. RIBI considered it’s position and decided that because of the particular downturn in our area that we would seek to reach this target over the next 5 years - still a significant challenge. In terms of District 1200, we like others have suffered loss of membership but over the past 2 - 3 years we have seen the reductions slow and indeed some modest gains have been seen (17 members over the past 2 years). The RIBI target for us means a net increase of 10 members per year for the next 5 years. One thing that is clear is that we seem to have little trouble in recruiting new members but it is around retention that we seem to struggle.
To simply set a target but to offer no new insights or tools by which to achieve them will always be of limited value and it for this reason that Rotary International has embarked on some interesting pilot approaches which provide new and innovative ways in which Clubs may operate in order to attract new and younger members into Rotary. A number of pilot schemes are operating around the World including some within RIBI and fall generally under the following headings:-
- ‘Flexible and innovative Clubs’
- ‘Corporate Membership’
- ‘Satellite Clubs’
- ‘E - Clubs’
- ‘Associate Membership’
The use of these approaches will be continually monitored and evaluated in 2014 with the outcome being sought - an increase in membership and a reduction in age profile plus a greater spread of gender and ethnicity. Whilst the RIBI Pilot Clubs have all been identified and are currently under assessment, it is possible for Clubs in formation or indeed existing Clubs to operate in the manner set out for the various Pilot Schemes providing they have the prior consent of the District Governor (with the exception of Associate Membership). Clubs who wish to explore this further may down - load details of the various formats by using the following link to the RIBI web site membership pages (www.ribi.org/committees/membership-development-and-retention/pilot-programmes-update) and click on ’related downloads’. In addition to this any Club considering the use of such approaches should contact their Assistant Governor and either Mike Hedges or Martyn Steer for early discussions and advice.
‘We’re for Communities’
Simultaneous with the above action members will recall the levy on membership last year to assist RIBI in funding what in effect is a major re-branding exercise which has now come to fruition under the banner of ‘We’re for Communities’ (www.ribi.org/committees/marketing-pr-and-communities/we-re-for-communities) Although announced earlier
in the year the scheme kicked off on 1st September 2012 with the aim of helping RIBI achieve the target of 5% growth over 5 years and the other associated outcomes. The initiative is accompanied with a new range of promotional materials and dvd’s all of which are available through the RIBI shop and a limited supply is kept by Mike Hedges. A table exhibiting these materials will be found at the forthcoming District Conference at Bath in October.
A specific mention here for one aspect of this initiative - the ‘pay per click’ feature which has been introduced. Most Rotarians will know that it has been possible for an individual who in effect is a stranger to Rotary to express an interest on the RIBI web site, these are then referred to the Membership Team on District, in our Case Julia Lunn who then seeks to make contact with the person concerned, sound them out and if they seem to be potential material for membership refers them to an appropriate club. The ‘pay per click’ scheme should increase the number of referrals for if any of a number of designated ’voluntary service’ web sites are accessed a pop - up relating to Rotary will appear and if our web site is accessed in this way a fee is attracted and hopefully as a result our profile is broadened.
New Club Formation
Since the last update of this web page I am delighted to report that two new Clubs have been Chartered - Brue Valley on 1st December 2010 and most recently Wellington District in June this year. We still have one Club under formation - Bath Spa who currently meet as a breakfast club and are working hard to increase there membership and we wish them all success in this venture.
All members will be aware that new Club formation is one of the principle responsibilities of the District Governor supported by the District Membership Chair and the New Club Formation Officer. Whilst we work hard to scan our District and try to identify where there may be a need for new club formation, the people best placed to identify the need is you the Club Membership. The need for new club formation may come about for a number of reasons,; it may be that your community is growing at a considerable rate, perhaps more than can be catered for by any existing Club, alternatively it could be that the meeting arrangements for existing Clubs does not meet the emerging needs of a growing community. Whatever the reason, should any Club or individual Rotarian feel that there may such a need then please do hesitate to make contact with Mike Hedge and/or Martyn Steer who will do all that they can to assist you.
For those of you with more than a passing interest in New Club Formation you can dip in to the recently updated New Clubs Formation Handbook which is posted on the RIBI website and was updated in April 2012. The document comprises some 73 pages but don’t be put off by the bulk as this includes detailed appendices - the meat of new club formation is outlined quite succinctly as a preamble to the detail.