Supporting Struggling Clubs
Struggling clubs impact their members and the service provided to the community, and also have a much wider impact which is often not recognized including nearby clubs, funding sources and the overall image of Rotary.
The reasons a club struggles can be as diverse as the club; however, most can be divided into external or internal reasons, and often allocated into one of several general categories:
– Poor leadership, especially for more than 1 year
– Club does not recognize there is a problem
– Club believe change is not needed and, as a result, has not updated projects, structure or policies, impacting relevancy and effectiveness
– Burn out due to the same leaders “recycling”
– Internal strife, e.g., decisionmaking or control by a small group such as long term members; one member or a few members is disrupting the process, procedures and/or fellowship of the club
– It is located in a struggling community or is impacted by outside environmental issues beyond the direct control of the club
As the sources can vary so widely, struggling clubs can also provide a challenge for Rotary district leaders. Some districts may try many different tactics, not knowing which will be the most effective, while others choose the strategy of stepping back until the club asks for assistance.
Effective steps to assist a struggling club requires both leadership and sensitivity, and the right balance of motivation and collaboration to inspire at-risk clubs to take action and support them in implementation of a customized plan for the situation. This is helping the club determine that action is necessary and subsequently deciding which steps will be most effective to get back or track or, alternatively, if the right solution may be to merge with another club or other similar strategy.
The links below are a few resources to assist district leaders and struggling clubs to better assess the issues and develop plans of action. The Rotary Coordinator team is ready to assist district leaders in developing a district wide or an individual club plan for working with struggling clubs and hands-on support, as needed, for challenging situations.
Articles & Resources
Webinars & Presentations