Networking at Rotary meetings has received an undeserved bad rap. I have even been told it violates Rotary policy. It does not. Some clubs fine members for doing business or exchanging business cards at meetings. This is unfortunate. Networking at Rotary predates the concept of Service as part of Rotary. Paul Harris and the founders of Rotary established Rotary as a fellowship and networking opportunity for members.
In Past RI President Richard King’s “to the Question Why Join Rotary” he states, “The second original reason for Rotary’s beginning is business development. Everyone needs to network. Rotary consists of a cross section of every business community. Its members come from all walks of life. Rotarians help each other and collectively help others.”
Networking is a valid reason to join Rotary. However, anyone who joins only for networking opportunities will be disappointed, the expected sales will not materialize. As source of contacts and as a valuable place to develop networking and leadership skills Rotary is second to none. Read more
The Vancouver Metropolitan-Area Membership Strategy
By Gayle Knepper, Rotary Coordinator, Z24W
When District 5040 (BC) leaders held the annual strategic planning meeting for the 2014-15 year, a topic discussed in depth was the health of clubs and the membership decline which had occurred over time.
In fact, when completing the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis at the session, two of the top-ranking threats were identified as:
- Not dealing with aging membership
- Not turning around the declining membership
It was critical to the future of the clubs, they determined, to focus action on these issues now, looking at new methods to turn around this troubling trend.
“Grow membership 15% over 5 years,” was the goal, to be reached through a combination of retention and new member/club development. While they had already identified the WHAT — the issue, determined the HOW MUCH – the goal, and the WHEN to do it (now), the real job was just beginning. Leaders now faced the bigger task — HOW. Read more