Programme for week commencing 30th August 2012
Our Membership Action Group, coordinated by Senior Vice President Rachel Ashley says:
This week’s meeting is about membership recruitment, retention and mentoring. The Membership Action Group would welcome your comments and thoughts on the four areas below. We will then use the discussion to formulate the club’s membership plan for 2012/13.
1) We are a Rotary eClub, we have an ethos that binds us all as members, but what is this and how does it differentiate us from any other clubs? This is our unique selling point (“USP”) and is the reason people will want to join us rather than any other club.
2) The opposite of USP is our unique annoyance point (“UAP”) and the reason(s) members will leave. So tell us, what is not working for you at the moment. If we don’t understand what is not quite right about the club, how can we fix it and make a club that works for all of its members? How do we make this feedback from members a key part of the club and hence increase retention?
3) Our ‘vaccination’ against the new members leaving is the mentor/mentee relationship (“MMR”). What do you think this relationship needs to be to make sure those who are new to Rotary and/ or new to the club become an effective Rotarian as quickly as possible?
0 thoughts on “We’re for Communities – the eClub Membership Plan”
For me, the USP is being able to “attend meetings” as and when I have the opportunity – be that first thing in the morning, or sunday lunchtime – whenever is convenient for me (also, I don’t have to drive anywhere!) this is a great way of linking up Rotarians from very different backgrounds and geographical areas.
What’s not working so well for me at the moment is the constant battle than Tim seems to be having to get the eclub accepted by Rotary – it kind of begs the question, why is he bothering to try and bring Rotary into the digital age when there seems to be so much against him?
Personally, I’ve not had any contact at all from my Mentor – and have had far more help from Tim and Janice about Rotary and using the website – I think that Mentors should only sign up to be mentors if they are actually committed to helping us newbies navigate the world of Rotary.
I agree with Rachel, the main USP is the accessibility at any time.
A second USP is in effect the opposite of Rachel’s point of what is not working for her: Simon, our newest member, wrote on Facebook “there seems to be a genuine kindness at the heart of this eClub that I did not feel with my previous terrestrial club …” (I hope you don’t mind me quoting you Simon). Tim and I have also said that we have found far more fellowship since starting this club than we have in many years of belonging to other clubs. This is not to put down Rotary clubs or make you wonder what you’ve joined, there are many wonderful Rotarians out there, but there is a tendency for focus to be on the old and doddery than on the young and vibrant. Without going into a long drawn out argument, I believe strongly that it is really important to bring Rotary into the digital age, shift the focus to the young and vibrant, to demonstrate how our community (both locally and internationally) can be a better place because of our friendship and what we can achieve by sharing together.
What’s not working? How many of you reach out and welcome new members or try to contact those you haven’t seen on the website? People will stay if they feel welcomed, but I am aware of people I have introduced to the eClub that I am the only person making any contact with them. We advertise new members on the eClub Notice Board, is this shouting loud enough, are you picking up that here are new people for you to get to know?
As an online club, I think it is really important that we recognise the community work we all do in our own time, not just the CSP we do within the eClub. Being a Rotarian is an attitude of mind, using the 4 Way Test to consider carefully how our actions and practices impact others, and this is at work all the time, not just when we at the club. We have instigated the Open Meeting once a month for us to share what we do in our work, leisure and community, so that we can get to know each other and encourage each other in our Rotarian lives.
Be careful about use of word young Janice. I am new and will be 60 in January. Attitudes are not just related to age, experience of life negative and positive can affect all ages so lets welcome all, which I am sure you do.
As you say Mary, I use the term as a reference to attitude, not a fact of years:-)
USP to me is also the on line networking. But through this club I have met many people from outside my immediate locality, which is refreshing. To retain membership I think we need to keep plugging away at socials and opportunities to get people to meet each other. Once we have a personal connection we feel more committed.
I don’t think we are communicating very well through the website and facebook. For urgent matters its better to email our members direct then they have no excuse eg “I didn’t see the notice “or I couldn’t find it on the website !
I was hoping you would get in touch about Croome picnic. I am off to Turkey on holday from 16th – 23rd Sept so it may be up to you now. I have been there twice recently so I think it will be great. People do not have to pay for the cafe area in the RAF canteen and it has lots of picnic tables. They seem very chilled about people eating their own food inside if its raining. Shall we go for it?
Yes, we all need to use all forms of communication, not just for events but as ways to getting to know each other personally. At the moment Tim and I are coping with quite a lot to keep the developments going and therefore others need to help by communicating between themselves and using the Directory which we keep up to date. As Secretary I do email a lot, especially about the admin and personal things around membership, I have to say many emails are ignored which then takes up my time having to chase for responses. Membership needs to be built up so that all members respect the time of other members and at least respond to say they have seen something – there is nothing worse than not knowing if people have picked up on a message or not.
Another comment by the AG last night was about when he started a Rotary Club in Devon, he was saying it took 3 years before things were ready, a lot of that time was getting to know each other. I agree with what Katharine says above there is great need to get to know each other. Myself and Janice have really worked at this, we not only use the website, social networking, telephone, meeting people and of course emails, however we have still much to do, to continue to build relationships. What I can say is our fellowship is fantastic and we now consider all our members personal friends, it is much better than all my years in Rotary in traditional Clubs.
It was really great this week when Rachel Davis posted did anyone need any help with using Twitter and Facebook, although I don’t meet Rachel very often, I love reading her posts on Facebook and Twitter, she is doing a fantastic job as the Fundraiser for the British Heart Foundation in Gloucester and Oxford. Hopefully I can help her by reposting some of her posts and re-tweeting, she also does likewise for me. In the next few weeks the whole Club will be able to help the BHF, with our virtual Balloon Race. This example shows that through Social Networking I’ve got to know Rachel and she is getting more involved in the eClub.
On the other hand Duncan in the Forest of Dean doesn’t seem to get on the website very often, but from time to time we have various chats on the telephone. He is very proud to be a Rotarian and a member of the eClub and just recently he has got an article in the Forest of Dean Review, well worth reading http://www.forest-and-wye-today.co.uk/featuresdetail.cfm?id=4955. It would be good if others got in contact with Duncan by email, telephone or as we did visited him.
When our latest member joined Simon in Tewkesbury, I had a lovely pub lunch just meeting him, this of course is something we all can’t do because of our busy lifestyles. However a message on Facebook or the website of welcome or an email could make all the difference.
Yes, even when you join a traditional Club it is hard to get to know people, I believe in our eClub we can do it with many different tools, we need to do it and perhaps each time we come on the website we choose just one member we don’t really know and make contact.
Next week in the programme I want to revisit the Action Groups, because I believe if we could get these functioning, then people will get to know each other better. However although there is still much to do in the building of our eClub, relationship building plus communication are two important priorities. My message is we are doing O.K. we just need to work at it and given time friendships and relationships will happen, all the better as to how the eClub evolves.