Posted By joy Aman
One of the reasons RIBI is not viewed with favour

One of the reasons RIBI is not viewed with favour, and to a possibly lesser extent, District, is that they are often perceived as a distant body handing down instruction from above. From personal experience, I have been surprised by the arrogance demonstrated by some of the hierarchy, who seem to think their “office” gives them superiority.

Spending hours of time, and huge sums of money, developing strap-lines, mission statements and logo changes is for the corporates with too much money, not an organisation like Rotary.

“selling is not telling” is the way to start. And the place to start is at Club level.

So what are we selling?

A couple of prospective members came to a recent Club meeting, one made the comment “I thought it would be a bit stuffy” but having joined in with a couple of hours of laughter, noise, chat and an interesting speaker, realised our Club is anything but stuffy.

It is also pertinent to mention how they became interested in joining Rotary. Quite simple, we have a very active, successful and expanding community project – “Hour Community” – which combines a transport service, visiting and befriending, fitting smoke alarms, a regular Dementia/Carers meeting and recently started, the “Worry Tree Cafe” giving support and a place to meet weekly for anyone with mental health issues. People in the community can see what we do and want to be part of it. They either volunteer to support our work, or as several have done, they become Members.

The important thing for Rotary Clubs is to become “facilitators” – use our business experience to find needs, then find people and support to meet those needs – not just shake a tin on a street corner but make things happen, things that the community can actually see.

It helps to publicise what you do, not with another grip-and-grin cheque handover or a pseudo Mayorial gong and a side-on handshake, but with action shots showing what you have done.

This doesn’t need RIBI, or come to that, District, to instruct us. Most Rotarians have held jobs, run their own business or managed someone else’s – use that experience and make your Club something your customer, a.k.a. new Member wants to join.

Lindsay thank you for taking the time to add you comments to the debate that has been raised. It’s a complex issue with no silver bullet for a quick remedy. However you have made quite a few points so let me see if I can cover the main ones effectively.
A club such as yours in a small town can make a difference in the community and that is what has happened. Well done to all the members. However to reach out to prospective young members in a large town is more of a challenge especially if the club has no experience in marketing and knowing where to begin. They should be able to turn to District as well as RIBI for help and guidance. As you can see I have questioned whether or not that is forthcoming. It should be in a pragmatic way.
On the other hand I see you have no need of help, support and advice from RIBI and or District but they are there to add value to any member experience. The members belong to a national and international organisation which should engage them to enhance their membership journey.
Your club has found a need in your community and the greater the need the easier the sale. I wish you all well in the future.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *