16 ideas for breathing life into your club

By Anabella Q. Bonfa, District 5320 membership chair

How do you breathe new life into your Rotary club? We held a young professional summit recently in southern California, USA, attended by 52 members of Rotary and Rotaract — some new and some with many years of experience — who came together for half a day to share their thoughts. Everyone had fun, and many creative ideas surfaced. Here are just a few:

Plan events that are family-friendly to engage members with young children.

  • Plan your events in locations where kids are welcome. A few examples would be a cleanup day at the beach or park. Or hold a picnic followed by dessert at a nearby restaurant
  • Give children of members duties to do at club events like collecting money or arranging cans at a food drive
  • Reward children for taking part in your community service work. A little recognition now may plant the seed for a life-long love of service

 

Share the value of Rotary. “What’s in it for me?”

  • Explain how Rotary offers a chance to make new friends
  • Prompt club meetings as an opportunity to spend time with nice people who share a similar mindset and a desire to serve
  • Show how your members can make a difference and have a direct impact on your community
  • Explain how members build business connections that grow their careers.
  • Advertise the opportunities to develop leadership skills

 

Come up with ways to decrease the cost for emerging young leaders

  • Offer sliding scale meals.
  • Consider options of meetings without food, coffee, or dessert
  • Offer corporate memberships
  • Subsidize young leaders by pairing them with more established members who can pay part of their costs for a period of time

 

Allow, don’t discourage, members to promote their professional life

  • Schedule minute-long vocational talks for members to share about their business during a meeting
  • Invite speakers to talk about innovations in business and technology
  • Hold club networking events
  • Encourage newer members to share trends in their line of work

All these came out of one half-day seminar. Hold your own young professionals workshop, and see what great ideas you come up with!