Monthly Themes & Planning
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Some thoughts by PP Geoff Haw, Chair,
District Marketing and Membership Committee

Successful Rotary Clubs do not become successful by accident. They plan ahead, after reviewing their ongoing operations and projects, constantly seeking improvements and adding new projects while taking great care to maintain their existing projects. They also celebrate their club history and achievements appropriately. (So much club history is lost as there is no systematic way of keeping records. How can you address this, so that when you celebrate a milestone event e.g. 25th birthday, can you draw on a complete record of club history, or only the last few years???)

Here is a suggested approach that you may adapt for your own club, to assist in planning. Points are not listed in any specific order of priority or time.
 Have a planning group, to review, adapt and plan ahead. This group could include current President, Immediate Past President, President Elect, and the Presidential Nominee, for starters, as that covers a four-year period. Don't make the mistake of just planning for one year at a time - although that is a great start.
 See what the goals and objectives are of Rotary International, and of your Rotary District, and determine how you can incorporate these into your own program at the local level. You could also tie some projects or activities to the monthly Rotary Themes (See below)
 Hold a Club Clinic/Club Health Check. See what members really think about their club, asking: What do we need to stop doing? What do we need to change/adapt? What do we need to start doing?
 Have periodic/quarterly review meetings of your board, to assess how you are progressing against your club's annual goals, just for planning.
 Draw up a monthly planning calendar, considering speakers, themes, projects to emphasise, etc. Ensure that there is member input.
 Make sure that you have highly visible signage that is displayed at every function you run e.g. Pull Up Banners.
 Is there any way in which you could take on a high-profile role in your community e.g. sausage sizzles raise funds but also raise awareness of Rotary. At such events, always have signage, club/Rotary brochures, etc.
 Consider (especially if your club has <30 members) adopting the Club Leadership Plan model. It is a great way of sharing the load and ensuring that all members are involved to the extent of their ability.
 Plan for succession. This includes not only Presidents for the coming 2-3 years, but also considering allocation of key roles to those who could take them up e.g. Secretary, Treasurer, Membership, etc. While it's great to have one reliable person in a role for several years (they can be mentors), you must always be looking ahead to give others exposure to such roles. Such movement keeps a club 'fresh'.
 Make use of experienced club members as mentors to newer members and/or people who take up new roles. Share the skills and knowledge, to empower newer members and club officers.
 Ask yourself and all members: What is the mission/vision for our club? When you determine this, ensure that it is consistently and regularly prominently displayed on as much material as possible. This basically summarises why individuals are involved in Rotary.
 To what extent does your local community know about Rotary and your club? It's vital to build up your image in your own neighbourhood, as that is where your future members should best come from.
 Make sure that you show the nature of your club: Are you an inclusive, optimistic and active club i.e. do you promote involvement of all ages, male and female, reflecting the broad cultural/racial makeup of your community, etc.?
 Plan to ensure that all visitors to the club are made welcome, and vigorously so. Also, ensure that you obtain contact details so that there can be appropriate follow-up after the visit. You will be assessing visitors as potential Rotarians: similarly, visitors will be looking at your club to see if it's up to their expectations. Offer to email them the club bulletins.
 Some clubs include a section in their regular bulletins that outlines the club directions. This might include a 'moveable feast' under the headings:
 Things we have done already
 Things we are now doing
 Things we plan to do this year
 Remember the old adage: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This is a challenging time for voluntary service organisations such as Rotary, and we need to embrace the opportunities and maximise our exposure to the public.

The Themed Rotary Months of the Year follow.

Rotary Clubs may find developing a theme based on the relevant months of the year is an interesting exercise. You may like to focus on the relevant avenues of service for the various months perhaps developing projects or activities ideas that could be done during those months. The themes now adopted by Rotary International have altered from previous years for some months and those for 2007-08 are listed below. You will also find a link to information about each current month in the District Calendar.
You may also care to check the Rotary International site for more information on the Rotary Calendar and Rotary milestones.

July - No specific theme - the spotlight is on the new Rotary Year under new club leaders becoming established. Perhaps focus on some local project.
Membership & Extension - August
This Rotary month celebrates our own Membership and Extension. Will your club celebrate by inducting any new members for the start of the new Rotary year? Contact the District Membership Committee for new ideas. Invite them to come and speak at a club meeting. Plan your membership highlights for the Rotary year right now.
New Generations Month - September
This is the month when Rotarians all around the world will focus efforts on supporting Youth and Youth Programs. What can you do? Invite young people from your Community to a special club meeting. Listen to their ideas about how Rotary can assist them to make a better world. Take the time to discuss the great Rotary programs for youth. Check out our website for more information. There are opportunities for you and your club to make a real difference to the lives of many young people.
Vocational Service - October
Rotary was first started as a club based on vocations. This continues today. This month is a great time to celebrate, explore, understand the vocations of your club members, and to explore the possibilities of membership from other vocational groups in your community. Via this website, you can explore the exceptional programs offered under the Vocational Avenue of Service of this District.
The Rotary Foundation Month - November
November is the time to celebrate the wonderful work of The Rotary Foundation. Using the links in the pages under The Rotary Foundation heading on the left side bar, why not explore the activities of the Foundation and consider how you and your club can help.
The Rotary Family - December
This is a good opportunity to ensure that your club is well informed on the vast range of activities that all go to make up the organisation of Rotary International.
Rotary Awareness Month - January
January is the time to celebrate Rotary by making others aware of our programs, of the opportunities Rotary offers and of the events and activities that involve you and your club. Contact the Marketing and Public Relations Committee for more ideas about how this can be done.
World Understanding Month - February
What can you do that shows your local community of how you demonstrate a practical support for international understanding in these times when we face up to many potential tensions between various cultures and countries?
Literacy Month - March
Combating illiteracy has been a focus of Rotary International since 1986 - and for good reason. UNESCO estimates there are 862 million illiterate adults in the world and about two-thirds of them are women. Millions more are functionally illiterate, without the reading and writing skills necessary for everyday life. The United Nations has identified illiteracy as a major obstacle to economic, political, and social development. How can you be involved? Follow the link below to the RI website section on Literacy and Numeracy Programs. Be a part of the solution for this world wide problem.
Magazine Month - April
Have you explored the rich world of Rotary Media information? April is magazine month and may be just the time to follow the link below to the RI News and Information Section. There you will find links to "The Rotarian", "Rotary World" and details of the 27 regional magazines published for Rotarians all around the world.
International Service Month - May
This is a great opportunity to celebrate and publicise your international projects!
Rotary Fellowships Month - June
There are many extensive activities of the Rotary Fellowships. You may find that your profession, business or industry area has already established a Fellowship. If not, why not think about starting one yourself! Pastimes, hobbies and sports are made just that much more interesting if you can be involved in an international group. Look through the list of the Recreational Fellowships - is there something there for you? Don't forget to check out the extensive list of Fellowships already active in District 9810.