Many of our members were keen to see Family Membership introduced. During the year Zone 5 Greater Swindon Area has been moving this forward, the result is the attached proposal, now being shared with Greater Swindon Rotary Clubs.

To help in this process your comments or suggestions would be welcome.

Rotary Family Membership proposal DRAFT-3

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0 thoughts on “Family Membership Proposals

  1. AG-Richard says:

    The report on the problem was thought provoking.
    The feeling, that I was left with was one of disappointment,as there was no concrete proposal.We pay no dues to RI. We are told that having RIBI is cost effective to Rotarians in Britain and Ireland.We pay less than £1 per week, for all the benefits that RIBI give us.I accept there could be flexibility on the joining fee. Perhaps 1 fee, if partners join at the same time. Or, a reduced fee dependent on the time left in the Rotary year on joining.District dues are set at the reduced level of £16 for 2013/14 can be seen in a different light.Some of this cost is set to satisfy the obligations that RI sets on the DGs and AGs – i.e Running Council and Zone Meetings; running Club Assemblies; paying for training sessions.The balance is spent on running the Important Projects and Opportunities that The District Chairs choose to support – namely New Generation Competitions; the new Foundation Changes and now Club Visioning , too.
    So currently, we pay around £1.33 per week per individual member just to be in our outstanding worldwide organisation!!

    The more stretching cost – for Rotarians ,outside of the eclub – is club attendance , at meetings and social occasions.This can work out at over £25 per week, and in some cases double that. This surely is the area which clubs have to address? If we do not, members will vote with their feet, and purely drop attendance to save money. Then, they will become disinterested, and then they will resign.

    My proposal if to offer a trial reducing joining and district membership fee for 1 year. This would confirm if it is a significant benefit to attracting new membership.I would drop joining fee for this year.And I would offer a 25% discount to couples who join in 2013/14 in District 1100 – i.e £24 Not £32.I would use the rest of 2013/14 to really understand – “how many couples there actually are in D1100″? And to discreetly survey if they are in favour at being joined at the hip in Rotary terms. Some may say,” I am a Rotarian in my own right, and therefore should pay my way”.

    This can only happen in part if RIBI accept this change to joining fee. But, the District Fee could be agreed locally.

    And , of course, we must get cost out of club activity without reducing , fun and fellowship.

    • Martyn Harwood says:

      Re the RIBI joining fee, my club Stroud pays this for any new member joining the club , thus the new member does not have to pay. The cost is spread amongst all the club members. RIBI should stop charging the joining fee, the income generated will easily be recouped via the capitation fee from the new members.

  2. John Isles says:

    My initial reaction when I read this was “Great”. Anything that can increase both membership and awareness of Rotary has to be a good thing and the spin off from PR would be beneficial. In my former Rotary life I felt like a lone voice suggesting different types of membership.

    Then two years ago RI announced a Pilot Scheme where several options were available to Clubs. Few within RIBI took it up but I seem to remember one of the options was on Membership? (It might have been Corporate Membership but I seem to remember it also talked about Family Memebership?) I did see a little while ago a report from RI on the success of these “Pilot Club Schemes” and it wasn’t that inspiring.

    Then I read Richard’s comments and there are several vital points. The cost when broken down is minimal for what we get. I don’t believe it is the cost of joining this organisation that deters people. It’s the costs of Social events and projects that Club members are involved where the money seems to come from our pockets. Nowhere, for example does it state in any RI manual that you have to have a meal in order to have a Rotary weekly meeting. I am aware of several “male only” Clubs where the weekly meal is the highlight of their week and Rotary is tagged on the end to comply with a Rotary Club status. It’s that attitude that needs to be changed. Wasn’t it a Rotary Club in Sheffield a few years ago who started. They met with wives and children in a local Pub on a Sunday lunchtime, had 40 members in the first 3 months and not one was over 30 and they raised over £100,000 in their first year?

    Richard is correct in that a Proposal should have a cost attached to it and Districts and RIBI and RI do need to have money to run projects, so one must guard against taking a current Government approach of cutting costs whilst cutting services. I should support a 25% reduction for dual membership but I am inclined to think we are simply prescribing a treatment for the problem, not treating the cause.

  3. Kevin Leaning says:

    Sorry, I have not read up on this. But here is a view from me….

    I have joined Rotary. Mrs L has not. However, if there is something happening such as an activity or a social event or talk then she will most likely like to join in. This is because she is my other half and also she quite likes the people she has met so far. So, we are bog ofs. Rotary and all the good things it does ends up the winner because they get Mrs L for free. I am not suggesting I charge you for her help, friendship or effort, it’s a bonus you get when you get me interested in something. If you would like to be prescriptive on what she should or should not do, then she will just not bother. If she is not bothered, then, my membership will be at risk because I quite like Mrs L. The more formal Rotary stuff would obviously relate to being a fully paid up member, such as voting or taking an office of some kind. Mrs L would not wish to do that, but would support me for free if I was to get more involved. Finally, if Rotay needs more money, then put my fees up a bit, I don’t mind I think it is great. My apologies if this view has already been said, I don’t get round to reading everything……..

    Kind regards.

  4. Janice Mason says:

    This is just what we’re talking about Kevin, you have hit the nail on the head. First off, we wouldn’t be prescriptive about what any member does, let alone the other half, and having offices is only for those that want to. On this basis it makes sense that as you are both supporting Rotary activities equally (as a pair) that you are both acknowledged as Rotarians. But you don’t want to pay 2 full membership fees, why would you when you can do the activities for half the price, but you are prepared to pay a little bit more so that you are both supporting a worthwhile organisation that in return benefits you both with friends and the opportunity to meet loads more people whilst doing worthwhile things. Family membership!

  5. John Isles says:

    Hi, May I clear a possible misconception here in my earlier comments in relation to what Kevin has said. My wife has supported me in Rotary for 25 years for free and that’s great and no-one should ever deter another half from helping and supporting.

    I think where I support the idea of Family membership is where a partner wants to join his or her Partner as a full member. Perhaps a reduction in fees for the other Partner could be considered.

  6. Kevin Leaning says:

    Hi, all. John has made my point so much clearer,that is what I meant thank you. Indeed, Mrs L does not want to join anything, but is of the same mind as fellow Rotarians. If she wanted to join, then a little discount would be an incentive. Gaining lots more members should not be the goal, i have seen this in another organisation, and it got rather boring in the end………having people who can give service and inspire others is the common aim, isn’t it? Sometimes less is more,…..rambling now, sorry. Xxxx


  7. Kevin Leaning says:

    Eeeeeek! Mrs L just got hold of my iPad and threatened to write on this blog! She can’t do that, she is not a member!

    Anyhow, the idea of having a menu to suit and encourage membership for the modern way we now live seems like a good idea. However, how about we take things a bit further. How about acknowledging partners of Rotarians who love getting involved or supporting activities, but do not want to ‘formally join’?

    I jokingly called Mrs L a bogof, which is a bit naughty. If she could have a badge and card identifying her as a member of the Rotary Support Volunteer Partner. RSVP. This would then be a whole new bunch of like minded people who are partners that are more involved, if they want to be, and have a say etc. Likewise, this could be the same for family or junior members of a Rotarians family. Who knows they may have fun and go on to join as a full member at a later date?

    Fees for being a RSVP would be that the Rotary full member partner has to take the RSVP out to dinner once a year to say thank you.

    Wen can we start?

  8. John Isles says:

    It’s an interesting thought Kevin. I think we have to be careful and the phrase as far as helping and supporting wives goes, of “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” comes to mind. We have to guard against making life too easy in terms of “family members” who would genuinely and happily join their Partners from having the option of just being a Volunteer helper. I wonder if our efforts might pay dividends if we targeted the Children and Nieces and Nephews? However, many will say we have Rotoract and Interact for that.

    Personally, I still think we should take the volunteer “un paid” help and support we can get but for those who want to join their Partners as full members get a discount. I concur totally on the suggestion of the discount paying for my wife to take me out for a meal, However, have you realised that discount might only cover a Big Mac…!!!

  9. Sinead Darker says:

    hi all

    I have read the rather wordy supporting document and your comments, it’s great to get other perspectives thanks to all of you who commented before me.

    For me it’s simply this – most (perhaps all) other clubs offer family discounts or something similar – it’s a no brainer – as partners/significant others/beloveds of current Rotary members are low hanging fruit and should be harvested quickly before they are picked off by another welcoming organisation – I am wholly in favour of this proposal and hope that it is adopted. Let’s hope common sense reigns 🙂

  10. Mary Nettle says:

    Bit late but remember not to make people without partners or those with partners otherwise occupied feel inferior. Family membership for all in the family who want it sounds good to me

  11. Katharine says:

    Membership subs do seem high. Isn’t there an “ünwaged” option for the unemployed/retired/homeworker?
    Personally I don’t think its the membership fee that is a deterrant to families…but you have to think what does Rotary have to offer that will make it attractive to younger people with children in tow ?

    Re the National Trust comment. The Trust has spent millions on advertising and membership campiagns to attract families to visit properties and take up membership. Properties are much more child friendly than they ever were and offer a range of special events and activities for children. Basically the NT is promoted as a Good Value Day Out, and this has been to the detriment to peoples understanding of as its status as a charity.

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