Programme for the week commencing 13th February, 2014
What will our Rotary of the future be like?[vimeo 18799960 w=500 h=281]
The vision of Click 4 Action eRotary has always been about ensuring that Rotary as an organisation is inclusive, affordable and is flexible to modern living in the 21st Century. So we are delighted to be able to pilot a new membership category to recruit families to join Rotary. As a family they will be able to help us develop new ways of giving service in our communities, developing greater world understanding, as well as being part of the learning and opportunities that Rotary offers all of us. With families involved it will help us to adjust the way we do things.
Who better to get the Rotary messages into our schools, colleges, universities, than people who know Rotary from experience of being involved. Families enthused about Rotary and what it is achieving in our communities will, we believe, ‘let the cat out of the bag’ and more people will know what Rotary is and does.
We are all called to help bring about the change. This year’s theme Engage Rotary, Change Lives, will help us to ensure we are thinking about how we change Rotary to fit into the needs, aspirations and daily lives of people who live in our communities. Ron Burton in his January message to Rotarians takes this further as he suggests how we need to be considering our families.
“We often talk about Rotary as an extended family, with all of its branches and generations. We value our youth program participants and alumni as important members of the Rotary family, and we place a special emphasis on service to children and families. We do this because we know that for any family, the youngest generation is the future. That is absolutely true for us in Rotary. We know that it is essential for us to bring in a new generation of younger Rotary members. We’ve spent a lot of time talking about how to attract young professionals to Rotary – but perhaps we haven’t talked enough about why they don’t stay. There are plenty of young people, some of them youth program alumni, who do join Rotary. But when they begin families of their own, many of them leave. It isn’t hard to see why: These are young professionals who are already spending more time than they want to away from their families. No matter how much they love and value Rotary, they are not going to prioritize their Rotary service over their spouses and children. Nor should we ever expect them to. This is why it is so important for us to find ways to welcome families into Rotary, so that Rotary and the family are never in competition for a Rotarian’s time. Whether it’s by planning service projects that involve the whole family, or providing child care during meetings, or being flexible about meeting places and times, we need to make Rotary service a viable option for those with young children.
“When you welcome families into Rotary, you’re saying: Your family is not an obstacle to your Rotary service. They’re not something that has to be scheduled around. Instead of mom or dad going out to Rotary and leaving everyone else at home, Rotary goes on the family calendar. The family of Rotary is real. Those children are going to grow up seeing their parents involved in community service, and being involved in service themselves. Not only is that a great thing for the family – it’s a great thing for the Rotary club, which will be helping to nurture a new generation of active, service-minded young members.
“At every stage of our lives and our careers, Rotary has something for all of us – a way to let us do more, give more, and be more. Rotary is big enough for us all.”
To take Family Membership forward Click 4 Action eRotary has formally asked to pilot the idea of recruiting Families to Rotary and RIBI has agreed that this can be run as an official pilot to explore how it can work and help make Rotary more accessible to people in our communities.
By encouraging whole families to join Rotary we can really ensure we take Rotary forward into the 21st Century. Rotary is then not seen as an activity done by adult partners at a particular time of the week, rather something we can all do together because we want to help give Service, meet others and enjoy doing things together. We believe family membership will help open up Rotary to build on its diversity, attract younger people whose time is limited due to family commitments, widen the realms in which Rotary moves in. Additionally it will help make Rotary affordable to people working on tight budgets and having to consider family living, but who can help us achieve our objects.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about joining as a family, we still offer the trial period of two months to see if it works for you.