The more I visit clubs the more I am convinced there are as many versions of Rotary as there are clubs. It’s also apparent a huge amount is achieved for communities at home and abroad.
Most clubs are supremely active, which is great. Some clubs, which have been active over many years, may now be less active than previously but continue to provide good support for their own members and, to some degree for other projects and causes.
I deliberately choose not to directly address membership issues when visiting clubs as District Governor as this has seemed to me to be the same mantra year on year in DG’s messages and I perceive it to be a possible ‘turn off’. I’ve stuck to this throughout but it’s very noticeable, in general conversation or in question and answer sessions, lack of membership growth does exercise all clubs.
My view is that most clubs are able occasionally to bring in new members, usually in small numbers. This usually means bringing along friends and acquaintances ‘in our own image’; in other words mostly in the same age demographic. In the short term but on a small scale this is good for headcount but doesn’t address the longevity of Rotary and its undeniable benefit to society.
Worldwide, Rotary is growing. Locally? In impact, yes. In numbers, not so much!
The greatest success in ‘new’ membership seems to come from forming new clubs which very definitely do things differently.
In 1040, there is a significant amount of help available to make this happen.
What separates new clubs from old? From my observation it seems to be:
Whilst continuing to enjoy our own Rotary experience we should (and in most cases, do) have an eye on the future. There is no ‘magic bullet’ solution. This sounds as though there is stagnation amongst clubs. I refer you back to my first paragraph the sentiment of which is unassailably true.
My continued thanks to each club that has welcomed me, and often, Judith, into their midst for ordinary meetings, events, specially arranged District Governor visits or Charters. There are still lots of club engagements in our diary between now and the end of June and I /we look forward to meeting many more of you as the current year increasingly hastens towards an end and the New Rotary year starts to reveal itself.
So, want to promote a different Rotary? Get in touch, let’s see what we can collectively achieve.
District contacts can be found through our website: Support Team Contact - Rotary District 1040 (ylrotary.org.uk)
I’m indebted, as always, to the District Subject Leads and Specialists, Committee Members, Secretaries and the Leadership Team for their ongoing commitment to helping you and your clubs get the most out of Rotary.