Programme for week commencing 1st November 2012.
A couple of month’s ago, the membership action group asked for comments on its Membership Plan for the eclub.  This time round we wanted to focus on our club’s contribution to the Rotary International in Britain and Ireland (RIBI) 5 year membership development plan.
The RIBI 5 year membership development plan has 4 main criteria with relevant targets.
1) Reduce current gross attrition rates through meeting member expectations.  Target < 25%.
2) Increase membership with particular emphasis on increasing diversity specifically female, ethnic and new generation members to better reflect local community profiles.  Targets – ≥ 9% Total Membership, ≥ 15% Female, ≥ 5% Ethnic, ≥ 10% under 50’s.
3) Increase use of social media to attract and retain members, highlighting the personal and community benefits of Rotary.  Target 80% Districts and 25% Clubs actively using Social Media.
4) Improve and retain club vibrancy through club service and promote good success stories to change current public image, modifying negative attitudes and behaviour that restrict growth.  Target Increase by 5% publicity to clubs through involving the RPIC’s and RIBI Editor 2014 Survey of general public to measure change of perception.
These are our thoughts on the four criteria:
1) The reason people join and leave the club is important to understand.  We propose that a short questionnaire is sent out to all club members to capture what members want out of the club, and to capture what they aren’t quite happy with at the moment.  Also that reasons for members leaving are captured and analysed to improve the club.  What do people think?
2) The South West Regional profile looks something like this – 8% black, asian, chinese and other, mixed; 60% aged between 15 and retirement age, 23% over retirement age [both taken from 2009 local gov data].  We couldn’t find the male:female split but lets assume its 50:50.  Does our club reflect our regional profile in terms of age, ethnicity and sex?  Does it matter so long as we are open, welcoming and inclusive to all?  What do we want to achieve in the club with respects to diversity or is it just political correctness gone mad?
3) We are an eclub and we use social media – hurray, target met.  But we mustn’t take our eye off the ball.  Using social media is one thing, using it effectively is another.  We propose that the PR action group looks into the use of social media in the club so that we use it effectively and to convey the right messages about Rotary and our club.
4) Finally, keeping our club vibrant is a role for everyone.  We propose that a) all of our activities consider ‘joined up’ Rotary – if your idea can tick the boxes of community, new generations (Rotary opportunities for young people), foundation, vocation, international, membership and PR, then it will bring real value to the club and to Rotary; and, b) we consider how we develop the eclub across the district irrespective of geographical biases in membership numbers.
All thoughts greatly received.

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0 thoughts on “Rotary International in Britain and Ireland (RIBI) 5 year membership development plan

  1. Janice Mason says:

    2 key areas for me:-
    1) For those like me who struggle with words, apparantly ‘attrition rates’ translates as erosion rates, so the rate at which people are drifting away as opposed to out and right leaving. I don’t believe that questionnaires will resolve this, it’s about building relationships and knowing people. If you know people better you would know if they were not happy or actually, putting it more positively, would know what they enjoy more and therefore running things that attracted them to stay in the first place. Relationships within groups of people tend to remain at a ‘surface’ level, to deepen understanding of each other requires effort, being interested in each other and active listening. Rotary is good at enabling aquaintances,it needs to facilitate building relationships.
    2) Diveristy (always had a bee in my bonnet about this!) It is not about outward appearances, by listing visible traits we emphasise segregation. Diversity is about being inclusive, not running things in a way that excludes. Is Rotary just for the rich and the retired? Sometimes the way things are run one would think this was the case, events are costly, especially when there are lots of them, and at times they are inaccessble for workers. In these lean times many large organisations are undergoing huge reviews of how they conduct their business and run meetings, they are having to put into place models of working which enable them to run leaner and effectively. Rotary has a huge hierachy, and we the club Rotarians are paying for those higher up the hierachy to attend conferences and training in other countries (for example). Both the District and RIBI should consider leaner ways of working, use Social Media / Skype etc. to conduct business and run training. Sorry, off my soap box now. Inclusiveness is again about talking to people, getting to know them and what they bring to the club, about welcoming people and supporting them to get involved and feel they add value to the club – the diversity that a whole variety of people bring is about the different skills and experiences that they bring to the club that enables us be creative, exciting and effective. If those differences are the result of being from a different culture or from having a disability, etc. then their differences add to the depth of the clubs’ understanding of needs to be met.

    • Jill says:

      I feel compelled to comment about Rotary’s heirachy. It would mostly not be true to say that we, the ‘ordinary’ Rotarian pay for District or RIBI members to attend conferences + training in other countries. Having attended 2 RI Conferences over the years, and the Bradford Peace Seminar last weekend, I can assure you that these were all at my own cost. RI + The Rotary Foundation are just as affected as any other organisation by the economic downturn; but even before this economic crisis I (as a District Officer) was only ever allowed to claim expenses on tightly drawn criteria.

      Sorry, have majored on a small issue in an article containing much wider info, but felt it was relevant to correct that misinformation.

      Regards to all
      Jill

      • Tim Mason says:

        Jill how much does the DG’s Bash in the USA cost each year, we do appreciate that RI Conventions most Rotarians pay to attend themselves. But we do also need to examine why we pay Rotary Subscriptions and how they are used, so we can explain to new and prospective members why they pay the fees and what they pay for.

        My concern is Rotary is still seen as something you need to be ‘rich’ to join, if we are about diversity and equality, we need to show we want people to join because the skills and talents they bring, not their money. No we don’t want to be seen as a diverse organisation just to tick the PC box, we want to because it is about Rotary being an organisation which acknowledges times have changed and we want to widen who is involved in Rotary with all they can offer.

        • Rachel-A says:

          The best explanation I was ever given of why we had to pay membership for a voluntary organisation was that every £1 donated goes 100% to the receiving body. This is unlike any of the other big charities who take anything from 1 – 25% for their running costs etc (www.smallcharitydirectory.co.uk/what-percentage-of-donations-go-to-charity). So being a Rotarian means WE pay for the costs of our organisation so the public/ our fundraising doesn’t have to. Whether you agree with how we much we have to pay is another matter, but we must ensure all members understand why they pay fees and that is so the ‘donating public’ don’t have to cover our running costs.

          • Tim Mason says:

            That is a really positive explanation about the fees, I’ve never been told that, thanks, we need to put this in our publicity materials perhaps.

            However as an organisation we still need to review how this is spent, e.g. I’m quite amazed we spend $5M per year on all the District Governors going to the USA each year and wonder with modern technology if this is still required. Having been to the RIBI Assembly paid for by the District, I am convinced this is a waste of money, the AG training was rubbish, for an AG that I know has done the same training for four years this is just not thinking!

    • Rachel-A says:

      Whilst I agree we have to build relationships to grow the club, what is being proposed is something less fluid and more evidence based. I suspect the membership action group will be judged on how many new members vs how many people leave so having a view on what people want and why they leave allows the group to make proposals to the club on what needs to change. If we rely on relationships, we rely on people being open rather than voting with their feet and leaving the club or drifiting away when they are not quite happy. I’m not convinced our relationships are that good between each other just yet to rely on this method. Maybe the process proposed is too formal but how else will we get evidence for change whilst allowing members to express their views without fear of being judged?

  2. Katharine says:

    I wouldn’t say “Rich”, but comfortably off, respectable middle class with a disposable income. And Rotary is still male dominated, though I do get the distinct impression that women are more welcome these days.
    Society has changed significantly since Rotary was founded, and many people work far away from the place where they live. Working hours can be long. After work we shop or go to the gym. TV and IT provide an easy “evening in” option and people do not network or seek personal social contacts in the way they did, even thirty years ago.Local businesseman often have their own networks, and operate through social media such as Linked In.
    Childrens lives are structured differently and being a parent is a huge 24 hour a day commitement. As people live longer, many of us are also caring for older relatives.
    Fewer people have the spare time to volunteer.

    I think we are doing all the right things with our e.club. We are flexible and welcoming to all. We dare to be different, we are challenged for it but we have survived our first year with a solid network of friendship and action. We need to build on this. Offer a mixture of Service and Socialising. Accept the fact that not everyone can do everything all the time and be especially welcoming to the people who only show up occasionally.

  3. Katharine says:

    And lets be more open about sharing what we do !
    If people let me know about their service projects I can promote them within the Rotary District, through their e.newsletter.

  4. Debbie Vincent says:

    Hi Katherine, What do you mean about letting you know about the service projects? what we have been doing has been put on relevant websites etc, could you not just take the info from there to promote within the Rotary District to go into the e.newsletter?

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