Thursday, June 20, 2013

Don’t Be Intimidated By A Perfect 10

As Rotarians, like Dudley Moore, we all strive for that perfect 10. Sometimes the results can be as beautiful as Bo Derek. However, they can sometimes more closely resemble something that Dave Letterman recites around midnight.

What we need to keep in mind is that the perfect 10 is a purely subjective number. What may be a perfect list of goals for one club may be disastrous for another.

·        50% Increase in Membership: As a smaller club this is a goal that does not require a huge number of new members. It is generally anticipated that Rotary clubs will lose 10% of their membership every year. As a general rule of thumb, clubs should set the goal to compensate for that loss and add an additional 5 members. Our goal this year will be to add 9 members.
·        150 Hours of Community Service: This figure should be derived from the current membership total. 10 hours of service per member per year is a very low number and should be easily achievable. Of course, this excludes the work that officers put in and organizational hours. This should only include hours at events, hours serving the community.
·        12 New Club Banners: Exchanging banners with other clubs is frequently overlooked by Rotarians however it is essential in strengthening the connections within the Rotary community. We are all working toward the same goals and we can all offer help to other clubs and work with other clubs on projects. This is particularly important for smaller clubs as we can frequently be overlooked. Get out there and visit other clubs… 1 per month should be the absolute minimum and remember not to duplicate existing banners.
·        Networking Events and Local Business Outreach: You have to give something to get something and by providing the community with a networking event and a place to promote their business you can, generally speaking, gain new members. That is reality; you must demonstrate the value that Rotary brings to their business and, by actively involving them, allow the value of service to develop within the new Rotarian. We must promote growth within the individual if we are going to actualize the growth of our club and Rotary as a whole.  
·        New Member 1st Year Program: Give your new members some guidance by outlining some basic goals for them to reach during their first year. Encourage them to visit other clubs and collecting banners, give them the opportunity to exceed 10 hours of community service, have them bring 10 guests during the course of the year, make sure they give a presentation to the club, send them to RLI to complete Level I. These are some of the basics that will certainly set them up for success. Also recommended is to ensure that their mentors accompany them along the way. Don’t forget to acknowledge those who have met or exceeded the goals.
·        Establishing a Rotaract Club: This has been an ongoing project. This is the year that we are going to get it done. Our focus has been a little off in the past but now we know the right department and the right approach to take. This is a case where we need to make our presence known not only to potentially new Rotarians but also future Rotarians because our present has little value if we don’t have a future.
·        Connecting with After School Programs: How can your club enhance the current after school programs in your area? What better way to impact the next generation in your community than to instill the values of Rotary in each of them and reinforce the fact that they are a valuable part of our community. By being of service to them they will, in turn, be of service to others but setting the example for their community and their contemporaries.
·        Expanding the Literacy Program: Our current program consists of handing out dictionaries to third graders in the local area with recent expansion of the program to consist of an essay contest in those same classrooms. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great program but we can do more and we need to do more to remain in their minds. Start off early by reading to second grade classrooms ("Rotary Clubs Help People" is the perfect book for this project) and expand the essay contest by implementing it as a multi-year endeavor that follows the children as they grow. This can easily be spread across four years by having the children write about the four way test one item at a time. So, instead of one year when they are in third grade you can have an annual presence in their lives for six consecutive years (with the possibility of longer continuous involvement if the aforementioned goals are achieved).   
·        Honoring Veterans and Service Members: Simply put, pay respect to the heroes in your community. Twice a year, the weeks of Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day, invite a veteran or active service member to speak to your club. Let them choose the topic but make sure to honor them for their service as well. Make sure you let them know that they are always welcome at Rotary and their fellow veterans and service members are welcome as well. Rotary is a safe place, a place of peace, a place of service to others. They have already served us so let us return that service to them.
·        Website and PR Overhaul: This is where I am personally going to focus my efforts this year. I am not going to speak much on the PR side as it has been discussed in the last two Rotary related posts (“Don’t Forget The Mint On The Pillow!” and “Either Get On The Card Or Go To The Mattresses!”). However, what was not really discussed was the importance of having your own functional website. It doesn’t have to be pretty (or a perfect 10) but it has to be functional, informative, and look good. Make sure the content is up to date, a schedule is available, list where and when you meet, and have a way for prospects and fellow Rotarians to connect with officers of the club.

Lists are nothing but a sequence of numbers if no action is taken. Careful thought and consideration must be taken to ensure that the members of your club and the officers are on the same page. Whether by vocation, connections they may have, personal motivation, or simply enough time to see it through, match the initiatives that your club has with the member that is most likely to succeed at achieving that goal. And if someone runs out of gas be there to help them push the project forward.