Summary of Round Table Discussion May 31, 2013
RI Motto for 2013/14: Engage Rotary; Change Lives
A key aspect of the Rotary vision for the future is an accurate assessment of community needs to ensure that Rotary efforts meet the needs of target communities.
Round Table Discussion Overview: The most effective way to approach our service efforts is to conduct a comprehensive review of community needs. This comprehensive club review could begin with an analysis of the United Way Quality of Life Index and match identified community needs to our club priorities and goals.
The membership expressed a strong desire for more hands on service projects, interacting directly with the recipients of the outreach effort. There is a demand for more frequent and accurate communication and reporting of service project progress and quantified project outcomes.
Every discussion group (10) made the same comment, I became a Rotarian because someone, a business or personal associate, asked me. If we want to increase the size of the club, then our members need to ask more people to join. The question, I stayed in Rotary because, was answered the same way in all 10 discussion groups. I stayed in Rotary because of fellowship, people, and programs.
Read the comment summary following each of the questions for more detailed information. Numbers in parentheses following any comment indicate how many of the 10 discussion groups participating in the discussion, made the same observation.
1. What need(s) should our club try to meet in our community in the next year, next two years?
Many different programs were proposed. However, the most effective way to approach our service efforts is to conduct a comprehensive review of community needs. This comprehensive club review could begin with an analysis of the United Way Quality of Life Index and match identified community needs to our club priorities and goals.
The membership expressed a strong desire for more hands on service projects interacting directly with the recipients of the outreach effort. For example, reading tutors and Marion House computer lab support. There is a demand for more frequent and accurate reporting to the membership of service project progress and quantified project outcomes. This desire for increased communication covers all club activities.
Areas of interest included support of the homeless in the downtown area (3); partnering with American Diabetes Association (2); partnering with child focused non-profits to provide youth services (2); increased support for individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and PTSD (2); partner with Salvation Army in programs other than Red Kettle (2); become more engaged in downtown revitalization with Downtown Partnership (2); “ArtMobile” project, art supplies/equipment in a mobile “lab” to move from school to school in D-11; mentoring at risk youth; partner with Care and Share in food security programs; assist physically handicapped children in school and at home; tree planting memorial; investigate local human trafficking problem; engage with and support a therapeutic recreation program.
1a. What need(s) should our club try to meet in international programs in the next year, next two years?
Comments regarding a need for greater communication to the club membership and a greater public relations effort outside the club utilizing local media were seen here as well. Rotary programs such as Group Study Exchange (GSE), Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), and Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) should be highlighted in local media.
Specific programs that the club should continue to be or become engaged with Shelter Box (3), club program to raise money for a specific number of boxes, water projects (2); more financial support for Polio Plus; 100% member support for Rotary Foundation; continue support for Cuidad Nuevos Casas Grandes; bring back an annual international programs fundraiser; partner with sister cities program.
Recruiting new members is an important Rotary club activity since on average 10% of members leave any given Rotary club every year. A better understanding of why you became a Rotarian and stayed a Rotarian will help us plan our membership program.
2a. I became a Rotarian because ____________?
Every discussion group (10) made the same comment, I became a Rotarian because someone, a business or personal associate, asked me. If we want to increase the size of the club, then our members need to ask more people to join. Following being asked to join reasons why our club members joined Rotary were: to develop business/personal relationships with community leaders (6); a family history of Rotary involvement (4); Polio Plus (2); to learn more about local community through lunch programs; I was told to join; a way to serve and give back to the community; to develop relationships with Rotarians in other communities during travel.
While the key to bringing in new members is an invitation from a current member, more effective advertisement of the Rotary Name, improved leadership training/mentoring, and Rotary service efforts would attract and ultimately retain more new members.
2b. I stayed in Rotary because _____________?
Again all 10 discussion groups answered this question in the same way. I stayed in Rotary because of fellowship, people, and programs. Other reasons that members have stayed in Rotary are: great result of collective efforts (6); to have an impact in community (6); satisfying engagement in international Rotary programs (4); to recruit and retain younger members (2); Rotary is more than business networking; pride in club service accomplishments; The Rotary Foundation; Artists of the West;, meet in Antlers Park, hotel catered, have done this in past though many years ago; and finally Curt Ormond’s jokes.
2c. On a national, international or local level, are there any specific Rotary programs or service projects that have improved your life?
The specific Rotary programs that have been most rewarding to our members are: Diamond Awards, showcasing the value and importance of talented local teachers and their impact on youth in our community but limit number of programs (4); Butterfly project (3), but we must overcome the lack of public awareness; Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) (3); Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) (3), as host family; Group Study Exchange (GSE) (2); The Rotary Foundation (2); joint Rotary activities with other local clubs (2); reading tutors; Champions; club scholarship programs; and Denver Kids (I am not sure if this is a program our club used to be involved with.).