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Zone Membership Meeting

Saturday 1/08/09 - Victorian Session

The following are some brief but useful notes prepared by PDG Noel Trevaskis.

Communication - PR & Media Club, District and Nationally

· Important to communication that clubs explain who they support and what they do. Do we communicate the club's vision and direction to our members?

· Vision and culture are not well communicated at club level, all members should know what is happening in the Club, Club Boards should inform embers of decisions that the board has made.

· More effort has to be made at having a national approach to PR and publicity; District Governors have to ensure that this happens with cooperation between them.

· Engage a professional PR company to handle our Promotional activities.

· PR and membership are linked at the hip, PR is required to promote Rotary so that more people know what we are about, making it easier to ask them to Rotary as they should have heard about us and know what we do.

· Re Launch Rotary across Australia, perfect opportunity with the 21 years of Women in Rotary Anniversary coming up.

· Use more TV advertising aimed at Youth, females, and different cultures

· Continue to use Roger Climpson as a Rotary Australia Ambassador - find a younger high profile female and male to be Ambassadors for Rotary in Australia.

· The RC of Lane Cove DVD was acknowledged as a great tool in helping to promote Rotary. (NB - all District 9810 clubs have been given two each.)

· Explain better how the "Humanity in Motion" material on the Discs can be used by showing how it can be adapted to individual project promotion.

· Develop national / District & Club promotional kits

· Promote Rotary by having a limited number of national projects that can make the public aware of our existence

· Use End Polio and 21st year of women in Rotary as a key theme for promotional projects for this Rotary year.

New Members

· Give new members a task right away. We should ask new members "What is your vision"?

· We need to show new members that they have a future in the club.

· New members could be asked to Board meetings as guests so that they get to understand the workings of the Club and Rotary.

· Mentoring is essential to support new member.

· Involve new members in projects that they are interested in, find out from them what they want to get involved in.

. Make sure there is a good 'working' committee for them to join.

· Give them a mentor, identify within the club people who would make good mentors and then rotate those mentors around so the task is shared.

· Get new members to give a presentation about themselves, their family, their interests and their work, so that people in the club can get to know them.

· Don't bombard new members with jobs.

· Improve retention by meeting for Coffee with newer members to help them understand Rotary better

Ongoing relationships with Members

· Recognise birthdays and anniversaries of all Members; make them feel that they are important.

· Members who have resigned should be kept in contact with and asked to special occasions and events in the Club; periodically they should be asked if they would like to rejoin the Club.

· Visitors should be welcomed and given Rotary and Club information kit.

· Clubs should consider giving members a small 'exit ceremony' when they leave Rotary, an acknowledgement of appreciation for their service to Rotary, the local community and the international community. They also need to be invited back to the Club for special occasions and events.

· Members must know why they are in an organisation so that you know how to plan for the future - ask the members what they want to get out of Rotary

· It is important to acknowledge members - thank people for the work they have done - praise people don' take them for granted.


· Meetings must be interesting, stimulating and well run so that members will look forward to the Club meeting each week.

· Surveys on how the members feel about meetings and in particular Sergeants is a great tool

· People do join because they want to get involved in projects not just locally but internationally as well.

· Promote what we are doing in the local community.

· Placing name tags at random on tables before the meeting starts should be used to keep members circulating and preventing cliques forming in Clubs and to break up cliques already in existence.

· Meetings must be well organised, start on time and finish on time.

· Consider club culture and rituals .assess whether we should keep some of these which may have become outdated

· There should be a balance between ritual and culture: is the environment attractive and comfortable or uncomfortable, is it attractive to potential members?

The Club

· Use Club Visioning to set the longer term agenda - then plan your membership growth - targeting the additional classifications of members you need

· Clubs should be encouraged to conduct club assessments, are they comfortable with their membership? If so how are they going to maintain that membership?

· Does the club reflect the community it is in?

· Important that we seek to have high profile projects so that we can promote and Rotary's profile in the community - so that people know who we are

· Roster a member to speak about a Rotary project every week, people will learn from each other. New members will also learn about Rotary if they are asked to give a presentation as they will have to research it beforehand, but give them guidance on where to find the relevant information.

· Have Club Care Officers to make contact with members who are sick or haven't attended a meeting for two or three weeks.

· Ask visitors and potential members if they would like to join the club in different projects

· Club Bulletins must be effective, information of coming events, Rotary information, what is happening at District, nationally and internationally. Spouses will also read the Club Bulleting if it worthwhile reading and has good information

· We must not just pay 'lipservice' to being welcoming; a lot of clubs say they are a welcoming friendly club. In many instances they may not be all that welcoming and people can feel lonely, invite people to sit with you at the meal

· Talking about fellowship is an out of date term, we should be talking about friendship.

· Welcoming committee doesn't just buy visitors a drink, they talk to them during the meeting break or afterwards and thank them for attending their club.

· We must remember that Family comes first, Work second and Rotary third.

· Rotary 'meal deal' - offer vouchers to visitors to try a few meetings.

· 'Guess who is coming to dinner'? or the Meal Deal, Set up a series of dinners where members are hosted in other member's homes - and no one knows who is coming to dinner - just how many are expected. Nice surprise element. This is done on a regular basis. The hosts are drawn at random they only host once. The people they are hosting are not disclosed until they knock on their front door. The people who are coming for dinner all meet together at a central location, their names are drawn at random and they then go to their host's home for dinner.

· Small clubs could have too many avenues - suggest they only try to cover a few things rather than too many

· Clubs should form relationships with the local press with the purpose of getting the most out of free publicity. 

. Clubs should have challenging and interesting programmes for their members.

· Clubs should strive to have god venues, good meals and good speakers.

· Loryn Clarke's elevator statement i.e. if someone asks you what Rotary is, here's a quick response to summarise: ( clubs can create their own) -

We work for humanity, encourage ethical behaviour, build goodwill and peace in the world.and we have fun.

New Clubs

· Reflect the demographics in the community, different ethnic groups, cultures etc.

· Ethnic based Clubs needed in areas, this will help these communities assimilate into the Australian society and feel a part of the community as they start to contribute to the local community.

· Recruiting.

· Promote the networking benefits of joining Rotary, for example the Networking programme that the Rotary Club of Sydney conducts and their Rotary means business programme.

· Clubs designed specifically to attract young professionals, Banks and corporate, young executives. Managing Directors of corporate could be approached to identify young executives who would benefit from joining Rotary.

· Don't try to "push" people into Rotary use "pull" projects that attract people to us

· People join causes not clubs - explain our causes better

· Young people want to be involved in environmental and humanitarian issues, find what they are interested in and get them involved.

· Use contemporary terms like "volunteering" not "service" when talking to potential members.

· Use the "Emerging Leaders" tag to attract younger people to Rotary

· Age should not be a barrier for people to join Clubs

· Pre screen potential members by meeting them outside of a Rotary meeting before exposing them to your Club

· Turn Membership into a Club Project - perhaps delay other traditional projects for 12 months to focus on the Membership project

· Use the "Women Welcome" message when promoting your Club

· Use programmes such as BEYOND 2000 or Club in Club

· Involve all members of the Club in membership recruitment and retention, don't leave it to two three members.

Some General Comments

· Don't tie membership targets with the Presidential Citation.

· Some thinking amongst some members that RI only want to increase membership to increase the giving to the Rotary Foundation, we need to explain better we need new members so that we can survive as an organisation.  

Redescribe our traditional "Avenues of Service" into 21st century language e.g.

                        o Community Assistance

o Medical Health and Wellbeing

o Leadership, Education and Recognition

o Environmental and Conservation

o International Aid

· Membership will not work unless the District Governor promotes it However, it really starts with the District Governor Elect in having the right person as the District Membership Chair. The District Membership Chair should have a proven track record of recruitment of new members.

· Clubs need their President and Club Membership Chairs to be passionate about membership and to ask about membership every week.

Things that don't help:

· Clubs being female unfriendly

· 'Old Guard' members of long standing running the club as their own and not willing to change or adapt or let new members have a say or put forward new ideas.

· Bad or uninviting venues or meals.

· Dominant Members

· Cliques

· Clubs not being organised

· Bad jokes - off colour jokes, if you wouldn't tell it to you daughter or granddaughter or a close friends daughter or granddaughter, don't tell it, and certainly don't put them in your bulletin!

· Sergeant sessions that are long, or include put-downs of members.


Please remember that these are just notes. If you wish to discuss these notes any further, please contact District Chair PP Geoff Haw by email on