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!