Sunday, May 20, 2018

A Membership Plan

Why do people stay in Rotary Clubs? Something in the club experience meets their needs, satisfies a desire they have.  In many clubs the members are friends with each other and stay in, just to keep up their friendships and enjoyable associations. The weekly meeting is a convenient way to do this. Providing service and creating value for their town is also an important need satisfied by the current membership model.

An essential element of the current member experience is the periodic meeting. And this meeting is an essential element of the value which members see.

Why would people join a Rotary Club. They might be looking to create new friendships and provide value to their town. The reputation of the club might be attractive to the potential new member. They might expect to enjoy the activities of the club. They might want to establish contact with the "movers and shakers" who are in the club. In any case finding the people in a town/area who are interested in a club is not a simple nor easy task. Most clubs find that a very small number of members bring in the vast majority of new members. That is not changed by cajoling and programs etc.

Once the person who is interested in joining the club is found, the membership experience s/he is looking for, must be provided quickly so that the person will remain in the club. Currently many clubs leave the assimilation of a new member to chance. It should be planned and organized.

There may be people who are not interested in the currently structured member experience. In particular it has been said that younger people do not have the time nor interest for a weekly meal meeting. The existing range of club experiences is very broad and there is the ability to make it even broader.

There may be nothing special about the meeting location. It's the conversations
and enjoyment of others company as well as service to your community
Here's a Rotary member with 62 years of service. He has valued the
friendship of club members and they have valued him.

Here are two new members of the New Haven Rotary Club. It is crucial that
we involve them in task and activities with other members on day 1
Here's a Rotary club program with the local Emergency Response team.
What a great opportunity to have a public meeting. The ERT reaches
out to the community and your Rotary club gets some visibility

So here are three elements of a membership plan(you may have additional ideas)
1. Finding New Members
 Hold public events, meetings, service projects(maybe one per month) and give these happenings lots of publicity. Make it clear at these events that membership in the Rotary Club is a possibility and to talk with a member. One club had a public event every month for 6 months and signed up 11 new members. Rotary Means Business is an excellent example of a Rotary Event that could be a public event and could be an attraction for new members.
2.Keeping New Members
 As soon as a person is inducted into the club assign an existing member to do a task with him/her for a month. Assign different people to do tasks with him/her in the next two months. These tasks can be small things like being the greeter at the meeting or doing the card game or ??  The idea is to have at least three different people work with the new member and hopefully establish friendships. Assign the new member to a specific service or fundraising committee right when they are installed.
3.Attracting Different People to Rotary

 To attract people who are not interested in the current member experience, find a few people, particularly younger people, and ask them to create a new member experience. It is very important that the new people design the new situation and that it is not done for them. Our goal is to have these people's creativity and knowledge create a whole new paradigm. You don't like a weekly meeting with a meal, well what would you like? Make this a satellite club. The members of the satellite club don't have to attend the existing meetings(but they can) and they establish the rules and duties for this new organization. The satellite club has its own service projects and fundraisers but it can also work on the main clubs' activities. If club members want to work on the satellite clubs activities, that's great. At some clubs where I have mentioned this, the club members are only focused on their existing clubs' meetings and projects and are not at all interested in this type of approach. The idea here is to create a new entity which gives a new and different set of people a Rotary experience. There will be synergy between the two entities but they need to be independent. By making it a satellite club we avoid a lot of red tape and it will work with a lower number of people.

Orange RC-Installation of Officers of Middle School Interact Club at St. Martins

The Interact Club at St. Martin De Porres school in New Haven is sponsored by Rotary Clubs at Orange, New Haven and Derby-Shelton. The Interact Clubs' officers for next year were installed on May 18 at Orange Rotary Club. The students are always inspiring. Of course Lynda Hammond of the Orange Club, who has done so much for that Interact Club was present. PDG Colin Gershon of New Haven and PDG Ernie Louise of Derby-Shelton were also there to celebrate the yearly transition. 

Governor Elect Larry Gardner did an inspiring job of Installing the new officers. 

Here's the soon to be past President reviewing her year. She was as
well spoken as any Rotary President

The President of Orange Rotary Club, Robert Sigler,  conducting the meeting and encouraging
Happy Sad contributions

Governor Elect Larry installing the Officers of the Interact Club
The young man,fourth from left, who is incoming President has been involved with
the Interact Club since third grade. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

West Haven Rotary Club- May 16

West Haven Rotary Club is widely known in District 7980 for its pranks and fun. So I attended the meeting to get a head start, since they love to have pranks on the Governor. When Paul M. attended his official visit, they walked out as he started to talk. Of course when they shortly came back he said  "...  in conclusion"  .Any Governor goes to his official visit at West Haven with trepidation and preparation.
Roland Depew the immediate Past President was in charge because
President Diane was not available.
 Rich a long time member recounted some of the pranks and fun of the West Haven rotary club. They visited North Haven Rotary Club and came in with a marching band. Also they visit other clubs and bring a 5 gallon bottle of Long Island Sound water, containing added undesirables. Since I'm from East Hampton Rotary Club they told the story of going to East Hampton in 1990 or 1991 and stealing a pig, the device which contains the money for Happy/Sad. Then when East Hampton wanted it back they brought a live pig to East Hampton. After much frivolity the money pig was returned.

Here is Rich installing three new members in West Haven Rotary club.
Bob Knapp, a PDG, was scheduled to do the installation but the
storm prevented him from coming.

Monday, May 14, 2018

District 7980 RYLA- Spring 2018

RYLA Spring 2018 was a wonderful experience for about 71 students. They spend Friday through Sunday and are learning leadership skills the entire time
Here's the registration desk for the start of RYLA.
 It is quite well organized so we don't waste valuable time on details

This is an exercise called chairs. The participants start sitting on chairs and
end up with a self supporting structure of just the students. They learn
to rely on each other.

Here are some participants working on a project during RYLA

RYLA is student led. These are the 2018 Student Directors.
There are 16 facilitators who work with the participants very closely

All the participants participate in the RYLA Challenge. They develop a service project
which they present to Rotary Judges. The Judges provide some funding and recommend
paths forward for the teams. Each participant speaks during the presentation
This team proposed providing computers to students who do not have them

Friday, May 11, 2018

Madison Rotary Club-90th Anniversary Celebration

Ninety years of service to the Madison Community and the World. They started in 1928, just before the Great Depression. How does a Rotary Club survive a depression? The club is a real contributor to the community and this was a wonderful celebration.

The club celebrates it's 90th year and Jack Davis has 62 years of service.
He and his wife were present and celebrating

PDG Rick Benson discussed the Rotary Foundation's 30 year effort on Polio
And we are very close, no new cases since March and only 8 for the year
They celebrated their past Presidents and lit a candle for each President
 Past President Ruth DeSarbo was a key in organizing the event and current President Michael Perry made sure it all went well

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Stratford Rotary Club 60th Anniversary

It's remarkable what each of our clubs do for their towns and for the world. Stratford RC celebrates 60 years. They started in 1958, seems like so long ago. Women were just about to join Rotary and Eisenhower was President and they started on their journey.

Here's Jeffrey Krause the current President of Stratford.
With a lot of help he organized the celebration of their 60th
So what do you do on your 60th anniversary. You give over $72,000
to various organizations in your town.

Here's Pat an early President of Stratford Rotary Club and one of the first
women Presidents of District 7980. She reviewed the history.

And here's the Past Presidents of Stratford Rotary Club who came to the dinner.