Still have questions about what it means to become a Niles Rotarian?
We have found that many of the questions below are often on the minds of prospective members. Should you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact our membership chairperson.
How often does your Rotary club meet?
Our club meetings are held every Thursday from 12:00 and ends at 1:30 sharp, with exceptions around key holidays.
What kind of commitment do I need to make to attend meetings?
Niles Rotary service is centered around two expectations of all of its members: the giving of time and financial resources. Attendance at weekly meetings is highly valued as an indication of your commitment to Rotary service. That said, Niles Rotarians lead busy lives, with many family, professional, and community commitments. We recognize that these commitments will rightfully come first in a Rotarian’s life so the ‘making up’ of missed Club meetings is flexible.
The minimum requirement is to maintain a level of at least 60% Rotary attendance, with at least 50% at your own Club; the balance can be ‘make-up’ meetings or club activities. Make-up meetings/activities can be any time two weeks prior or two weeks after the missed meeting. Such flexibility permits you to plan for business trips, vacations, and other occasions where you will not be able to attend your own Club. If you are unable to attend a regular Niles Rotary club meeting, you can ‘make up’ at virtually any other Rotary activity including the following:
- Niles Rotary socials, service projects, Board and Committee meetings, Mentor checkins
- Other Rotary Club meetings, social activities and events, even while traveling
- Area and District meetings, trainings, socials and conferences
- Interact meetings at the local high schools, or by attending a Rotaract meeting. Information about the meetings of our Area 3 Interact and Rotaract club meetings is in the Niles Rotary Pinion e-newsletter each month.
- Logging on and ‘attending’ a virtual meeting of the Rotary e-Club of Silicon Valley
What kinds of programs are offered during lunch meetings?
We have high-quality presenters and presentations, with informative topics that will engage our membership. We post the list of our upcoming speakers.
What makes a great presenter?
A great rotary speaker incorporates a presentation that informs and educates, energizes and inspires. A truly unforgettable speaker is one who presents a variety of topics which are relevant to rotary concerns and entertains us as at the same time. Topics that touch the heart and inspire new thinking, make us laugh, and cause the audience to interact and have fun. A great presenter is one that you don’t want to miss and creates an environment in which members want to bring guests to enjoy and share in the experience.
May I solicit the membership for business if I become a member?
You will receive access to a club roster with each member’s personal and business information. This information is not allowed to be used for general business solicitation (i.e. putting everyone’s e-mail into your marketing list or mass mailing list). However, as you build relationships in the club, it is common practice to get to know members and what they do for work. Our club does do business with each other regularly. While it is not acceptable to use Rotary for marketing purposes only, as you build relationships with individual members in the club, you will have opportunities to support each other in business relationships. It is not expected you must support Rotary businesses, but it is common practice to do so. There are opportunities for sponsorships, advertisements and participation in our events as well as supporting our website here. Reach out to the event chair or our Public Relations chair to discuss how you can do this.
May I promote my business in the club?
There are multiple opportunities to highlight your business throughout the year. During your Ice Breaker introduction to the club, you can let members know what you do. All events have sponsorships that allows advertising in the event program and frequently on the event website. This website had sponsorships which are not advertisements, but are a logo, name and phone number. In the past, on occasion, Niles Rotary Club has let some members give a brief verbal ad for a donation of $100 to the club. Things like this will be dictated by the current president and club culture at that time. Rotary International encourages us to do business with each other. We simply do not want the club meeting to become another self-marketing meeting. We have real work and real service to accomplish as our primary purpose and goal.
Does that mean that networking is frowned upon?
Absolutely not! Rotary was founded on the chance to network between businesses; the RI emblem of a wheel depicts the original intent of “rotating” between members’ businesses to hold the weekly meetings. We encourage our members to network before lunch and to look to one another whenever a service is required.
Is Rotary a religious organization?
No. However, it is common and acceptable to incorporate spiritual practices such as prayers and thoughts at the opening of our club meetings. It is a place to embrace others’ spiritual and religious views in support of one another.
What costs are involved in being a member of your club?
Currently the initiation fee is $100. Annual dues are $160, and weekly lunches are billed quarterly at $260. It is also expected that each member will make a minimum annual donation $100 towards their Paul Harris Award (Rotary International). Additionally, members are expected to buy a ticket towards our major fundraiser, the Reverse Raffle whether or not they attend. This currently costs $200 for two people. To learn more about the financial expectations, contact our membership chairperson.
What types of projects does Niles Rotary participate in?
Our projects vary widely and there is sure to be something of interest to each member. Projects and activities range from club service such as helping with check-in or planning events. to special events such as our annual Reverse Raffle event and our Holiday programs, including Pizza with Santa. There are committees working on community affairs, international service projects, youth projects in schools, and more.
What are the communication methods within Niles Rotary?
- Rotary International publishes a monthly magazine called “The Rotarian” A subscription is included in your annual dues. District 5170 publishes a monthly newsletter that is circulated electronically.
- Our Club bulletin, The Pinion, is currently published monthly and is posted on this website.
- A weekly eBulletin is sent to all club members, including information about the week’s program, upcoming activities, plus links to the Pinion and to club photographs.
- The Club roster is accessible via your member login.
- We have a closed Facebook page, as well as a Niles Fremont Rotary Facebook page open to the public, which reflects many of our club activities.
What is this “fining” thing all about?
As you attend club meetings as a guest, you will no doubt see lively exchanges between the Club President and Club members acknowledging special dates such as member birthdays, wedding anniversaries, Rotary anniversaries, birth of a child or grandchild, new car or airplane (yes, it has happened!) and community recognitions in the media, particularly pictures in the print media.
These “recognitions” (AKA “fines”) are always arranged between the Club President and member in advance. They serve three critical purposes
- Celebrate member special events with the Club
- Inject some energy and fun during the Club meeting
- Provide financial support to Club operations
They are never intended to embarrass or place a financial hardship on the member.