Programme for week commencing  7th March, 2013

This programme was written for last week, but we held it up for the Open Meeting, so it was with delight that I read on Facebook that Sinead at the District 1100 Conference, had promoted our eClub well and had inspired those attending about our eClub and all we’ve achieved. I hope all of you are proud of our achievements and enjoy being a  member of the eClub, please tell people about us and help people to know who we are, what we do and how we do it.

A few weekends ago I was privileged to attend the Rotary International in Britain and Ireland (RIBI) Assembly at the NEC in Birmingham, as a member of the incoming 2013/14 RIBI Membership and Retention Development Committee. In preparation for my presentation to the assembled District Membership Chairs, which I undertook to deliver with our District Governor David Houghton, I was mindful of talking about how the eClub was formed, including how over the past year we’ve worked hard to consolidate our position.

To see the presentation please visit eClub Toolkit Updated

This week I want us all to consider the eClub’s Membership Development and how we can continue to grow. In the early days of our eClub there was much wondering how all this would work, although we are still evolving we are starting to see better through the fog. We’ve lost some people on the way, which has been very disappointing, however I’m mindful that we have been following the Group Dynamics Graph (see below), we’ve had our storming period at times, when questions like ‘no one is communicating’, ‘it is being left to just a few people’, and yes there is still work to do, but we are starting to move into the norming stage.

What we’ve learnt is that patience is very key to starting an eClub, especially when many of the members are new to Rotary.  We need to hook into their passion and they will gradually understand where we are going, for instance it was good to read this post from Lorna Breslin on FB this week about the planned visit of the President of RIBI to the Uplands School charity shop:

Lorna with RIBI President John

“It is very exciting and we are really looking forward to the visit. I have been assured that there is plenty of cake and it will be great to share with the President of RIBI how Rotary has supported and helped Uplands with various projects. It’s fantastic and demonstrates the importance and ethos of Rotary and the impact that it has with regards to providing what is needed at the right time to help support projects and good causes. The beauty of it is, is that it’s not about money and giving money away to places,it’s about the people and the networks that Rotary creates and how people’s skills, knowledge and contacts are used to help support and move projects forward . It makes me feel very proud to be part of such a group, even though I always worry about being a busy person which being part of the eclub is for, as I don’t get to meet all the members in the flesh . However, the Rotary eclub works! Which is fantastic. I have met a few lovely members and I am sure I will meet many more as I progress on my journey through Rotary.

I was thinking about what Rotary is the other day and yes it is about service above self , but also it’s about providing experiences, opportunities and about learning journeys and making friends and connections along the way.”

Other issues that have been raised about Rotary membership, for instance about the cost.  These issues are still being dealt with, for example at the Zone 5 meetings over this year a Task and Finish Group has emerged seriously looking at proposals to put forward to introduce Family Membership into Rotary. Whilst you will already have read our Secretary’s comments about the District 1100 Budget, which I have already challenged at the District Executive Meetings, we do need to get Rotary in general to examine their practices and if necessary change them to be part of the 21st Century and certainly be affordable to attract new members.

The eClub subscriptions still remain very low and at £1.45 per week, the cost of a medium coffee. Please could you start thinking about who you know that you could approach to join us. I have found just talking to others about Rotary causes some interest, maybe bringing them to an event or activity might help them see what we do. Don’t leave it at just the initial invitation, I find it takes one or two attempts to show them this might be interesting to join, you might like to comment how you were hooked below.

We would also like to propose an extension to our two months free trial for new provisional members to the eClub.  After they have completed the two months we propose they are offered the choice of becoming an associated member for the rest of the year at £25 per person or they can become a Rotarian at £25 joining fee (one off payment) and £75 subscription. Those who opt for the associate status and then go onto to become Rotarians will have already paid the one off joining fee, if they decide not to continue the £25 will go into eClub general funds. Please can you indicate agreement or not to this proposition, which we could start from July, 2013.

So can you think of someone you know?

Have you told them about your journey so far as an E-Rotarian?

Have you ideas as to how we may attract others to join our eClub?

It is tremendous to hear about the excellent presentation that Sinead gave at the District 1100 Conference last Sunday, she enthused and changed people’s mind sets about E-Rotary and what our eClub has achieved in a very short time.  In other words it wasn’t that Tim Mason saying the same old thing, no, it was another member who thinks the same, so there must be something about this E-Rotary! Please help promote our eClub and help get people gossiping about E-Rotary, so that others may consider joining us.


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0 thoughts on “Who do you know and what do you tell people?

  1. Rachel Davis says:

    Looks like a great presentation Tim – I have to admit that I’m still a bit in the dark about Rotary, despite being a member for over a year. Before finding the tweet from Tim about the start of an Eclub, I had heard of Rotary, but had no real idea of what it was all about – I think that this will be similar for many people.
    As I pay my Rotary subs from my own money, then anything that makes it value for money will be great for me!
    But I do like the idea of levels of membership – people who would like to be associated with Rotary without becoming a full member (perhaps because of time or financial constraints) could still get involved, and I think it is important in an organisation that promotes equality and diversity, Rotary should not been seen as an organisation only for those with money. (although, obviously, funds still need to be generated to continue the good work).
    I probably don’t do enough to promote the Eclub, but that is partly because I don’t want people to overdose on my updates – I’m trying to raise awareness and money for BHF and that has to be my primary concern.

  2. John Isles says:

    This is quite thought provoking which I’m sure was the intention. Just about everything in life, be it Rotary or business or social activities relies upon our ability to communicate with eachother. The biggest fear we have when we ask someone to do something is “Rejection”. Yet, what’s the worst thing people can say? It’s “No”.

    Today, it is easy to send messages to people at the bush of a button. But, would you do that if it was something really important and life changing you wanted to ask someone? I hope you wouldn’t try and propose marriage that way….!!! By far the best way is to talk to someone face to face over a coffee or a drink and maybe ask them what they know about Rotary. People love to talk so give ’em the chance….!!! When you get chance to talk about Rotary, yes be enthusiastic, but don’t be “over the top”. Some might wonder what you’re on and join to find out, but just be yourself and natural. Remember a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.

    The same principles of communicating work just as well in getting someone to join Rotary as they do for anything else. Remember, you have to get some “No’s” in order to get some “Yesses”.

    As to different types of membership, I’m not sure that is important. I have always believed if someone wants to join something, they will join and the current provision of two months Provisional membership should be sufficient for someone to decide if they want to join or not. It’s out job once they have elected for provisional membership to make sure they do feel involved and communicated with. This is especially true if they live at a distance as I do. (Somebody please email me I’m feeling lonely….!!!)

    I don’t believe the subs put people off. What does put people off is if they think they have to continually dig into their own pockets to support something we organise. The basic principle of Rotary is “Service” and that should be the focus of our efforts. Once our communities see what we achieve by our hard work, the recruiting of new members will become easier and who knows, we might just create a waiting list…!!!


  3. John Isles says:

    Very good points in Rachel’s comments above. I’m not against membership categories. Tim will know that RIBI allow some Rotary Clubs to have Pilot status and one of the areas was in different membership classes. From the reports I’ve seen the initial results after 12 months question the effectiveness. I think it was a 1% increase in membership because of relaxed rules within the Clubs involved in the pilot scheme. Interestg that my former Club chose to be a Pilot club and have increased their membership by over 25% gross but this reduces considerably when you take out those who have died or left because of ill health in the past 12 months.

    Anything that gets people looking at joining has to be a good idea and if different scales of membership does that, then fine. Experience however has shown me that people who want to get involved will and those that don’t won’t never mind how easy you make it.


    • Tim Mason says:

      John I feel perhaps you’ve set yourself your own challenge, e.g. spreading the message about this new eClub and getting people to join. The programme this week is how do we get new people to join us, with your experience do please help.

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