Rotary International District 1080
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Ideas for Action
Introduction and Section I
How to use the Guide
Section I - New members
Why I Joined Rotary?
Interviewing a prospective new member
Rotary at a Glance
Ten things a potential member may not know about Rotary
Introduction - Recruit, Retain, Renew
In the 2009/10 Rotary Year the clubs in District 1080 increased total membership in the District for the first time for 10 years. This increase was not accidental. It was achieved by Club Officers and individual Rotarians raising awareness in their clubs of the critical need to recruit new, younger members and giving concentrated thought and working hard to devise and undertake the programme of action required.
In the course of undertaking this programme Clubs and their members learned many lessons, both positive and, occasionally, negative. This document is designed to distil these lessons into a guide to good practice with some ideas, arguments, suggested activities, procedures, case studies, and checklists that could be of use to Clubs in preparing their own programmes.
There is, of course, no definitive 'right' way but there are things that have worked (and things that haven't) and it makes sense for us all to be aware of them.
If the 2009/10 membership increase is not to be just a 'blip' on a plunging graph then the enthusiasm to take action to recruit, to retain and, where possible, to extend, must continue.
These Ideas for Action are designed to help Club Officers with Membership responsibilities. It will also form a basis for a series of membership workshops to be held throughout District 1080. Above all it will be a dynamic, not a static, document changing as Clubs' experience grows turning 'good' practice into 'best' practice.
The guide has been prepared by the 1080 Membership Services Committee under the Chairmanship of Roger Green.
Membership Services Committee
Roger Green - Chairman - RC Sudbury
Denis Bishop - RC Swaffham
Eddie Higgins RC Diss (Extension Officer)
Brian Hunter RC Lowestoft
David Morris RC Swaffham
If you would like any further advice or if you have any feedback concerning the information provided in these Ideas for Action sheets please make contact with any members of the Membership Services Committee.
How to use the Guide
The Guide is divided into four Sections (Section II is further divided into two parts). On this page you will find section one The various sections and notes are a resource of ideas and statements that can be adapted and shaped to an individual club's specific needs and requirements. It is about Rotary - what it means to be Rotarian, what Rotarians do, the reasons why people become (and continue as) Rotarians, how being a Rotarian enables an individual to 'make a difference'.
Section 1- New Members
Why I Joined Rotary
- Worlds largest service organisation 1.3 m members in 147 countries
- Trusted and respected by the UN and Bill Gates, with whom rotary have worked in partnership over many years. People trust rotary all over the world.
- Network of clubs and members worldwide
- Using my skills, experience and abilities to serve others and put something back.
- Involvement in projects with youth, schools, elderly, RYLA.
- Involving local youngsters in schemes abroad so they realise how they can help less fortunate children
- Community involvement civic improvement, environmental projects
- Vocational work mock interviews, vocational visits
- Support for other groups and charities
- Wider family of rotary
Internationally (and through the rotary foundation)
- Polio eradication 25 years with w.h.o. nearly complete
- Water & sanitation projects
- Health & hunger
- Eye camps, limb fitting, wheelchairs
- Malaria, aids, mercy ships
- Schools, hospitals, clinics.
- Emergencies Shelterbox, shoe boxes, aqua boxes
- Peace students
- International exchanges cultural and sporting
What's in it for me?
- A sense of achievement
- Putting something back
- Networking opportunities
- Interesting club evening with good speakers
- Wide circle of fellow Rotarians and new friends
- Wider family of rotary partners, children
- Worldwide network
Interviewing a prospective new member
An informal panel is selected to meet with the prospective member. The Secretary may ask the last two Past Presidents to interview a prospective new member on receipt of a membership application form. If either or both are unable to do so, it is their responsibility to approach other Past Presidents or relevant officers to step in. Contact should be made quickly with the candidate to arrange a suitable time and place for the interview.
The following is a prompt for the matters that could be covered in the interview.
Inform the candidate
A very brief history of Rotary Paul Harris - fellowship in business circles helping the community, locally then nationally then internationally. Huge expansion. Approximately 1.2 million members, 33,000 Rotary Clubs in some 200 countries of the world.
A brief history of our Club formed 1922 - one of the earliest in the UK. etc etc
The objects of Rotary (as in the front of the Members' Directory). The Rotary motto Service Above Self (plus Humanity in Motion) and the Four Way Test.
What to expect from Rotary friendship (fellowship), service to others, fund raising - service and friendship (fellowship) dovetailing.
Examples of additional events organised from time to time.
Committees - brief description of remit and work of Community Services, Foundation and International, Youth Opportunities & Club Services Committees or your particular structure.
Examples of major projects undertaken over the last few years and any current ones.
How the Club fits into the wider family of Rotary District, RIBI and RI emphasising that a Rotarian is welcome at any Rotary Club in the world.
Any twin club(s) as appropriate and any joint projects or visits.
Regular meetings where, when, format, cost.
Cost of joining subscriptions, cost of regular meetings (see above), other likely expenses. (Pro-rata on the annual subscription until the next 30 June plus an initial affiliation fee of £25.)
Ask the candidate
How did you hear about Rotary and our Club in particular?
What attracted you to Rotary?
How do you feel you could contribute to the aims of Rotary?
Do you have any experience with other charitable organisations?
Would you have any problem attending meetings regularly - lunchtime/evening?
How would spouse/partner (and children?) fit in?
Would you be prepared to help with fund-raising and practical service?
Would you be prepared to be a member of a committee, generally meeting monthly?
In due course, would you be prepared to help with the running of the Club?
Rotary at a glance
Rotarians volunteer their efforts to improve the quality of life in their own communities and beyond their communities' borders. The world's Rotary clubs meet weekly and are non-political, non-religious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. Club membership represents a cross-section of local business and professional leaders.
Rotarians initiate community projects that address many of today's most critical issues, such as violence, drug abuse, youth, AIDS, hunger, the environment, and illiteracy. Rotary clubs are autonomous and determine service projects based on local needs.
Rotarians work with and for youth to address challenges facing young people today. Through participation in Rotary-sponsored Interact clubs (for secondary school students), Rotaract clubs (for young adults), and Rotary Youth Leadership awards, young people worldwide learn leadership skills and the importance of community service. Rotary Youth Exchange gives high school students the opportunity to broaden their world view and build international friendships.
In large cities often plagued by urban violence, Rotary has the community-based network to help. Rotary-sponsored projects and conferences address the root causes of violence such as drug abuse, poverty, lack of role models, and gangs.
The main objective of Rotary is service in the community and throughout the world. Rotarians build goodwill and peace, provide humanitarian service, and encourage high ethical standards in all vocations. The Rotary motto is "Service above Self."
Current membership figures worldwide
Rotary member's worldwide 1,2m approx
Rotary clubs worldwide 30,000 approx
Rotary countries 166
Rotary districts 530
Rotary members in Great Britain & Ireland 59,000 approx
Rotary clubs in Great Britain & Ireland 1,835
Rotary clubs in your district 77
Ten things that potential new members might not know about Rotary
1. Rotary is fully inclusive
2. There is no barrier to gender, colour, race, creed or religion
3. Rotary has no age barriers
4. Rotary does NOT have to be expensive and cost are carefully monitored.
5. Rotary members are spread throughout the world
6. People join Rotary to make a difference in their local community
7. People join Rotary to make a difference in the international community
8. People join Rotary to share fun and friendship
9. There is an existing or new Rotary Club in your community
10. It meets at on evenings
Interested to find out more than these ten things?
You can make contact on