Mentoring our “membership”
As I prepared to speak at the mentoring meeting in September, I reflected on what we are working to accomplish with that program. Obviously, we desire to improve retention of the new member or protégée, and integrate them into the club, moving them from red badge to blue quickly. We also want to support the protégée in the initial years of membership helping them find their passion in Rotary. To accomplish this we have a support system that is administered via our Membership Development Committee.
This said….one could say that we are working to make our new members Bloom in their Niles Rotary experience!
Would you not agree that one of the hallmarks of any Rotary experience is getting to know the clubs members? The relationships formed over time last a lifetime. I can’t help but to think back on my Rotary experience with another club in the 1980s. I am hard pressed to tell you the details of any one of the projects we did back then, although there were many. What I can tell you is of the relationships that were formed 35 years ago and the friendships that remain today. I have quoted time and again Past President Chuck who accurately states that there is nothing quite like “the energy in the room” when we all come together at a Niles Rotary meeting or fellowship event. (Personal note…if you have never stood back at a Niles rotary event and looked at the expression on any Rotarian’s face during that event, do so as you can see them Blooming in the experience of being with fellow Rotarians and absorbing that energy in the room).
With this being the case, why in the world should we as a club want to change the way we do Rotary? Well….in this time of Covid and at the suggestion of Rotary International President Holger Knaack, we need to focus on the opportunities of being flexible with regard to membership so that we can grow. To do so, we must “mentor our membership …. categories”. Just as we focus on moving the new member from red badge to blue, we as a club have to focus on moving the way we do Rotary from what it has been to what it needs to be to include a new generation of future Rotarians. To accomplish this, I am proposing two new membership categories:
- Niles Rotary Remote Membership (NRRM)
- Niles Rotary eMembership (NREM)
As we move through the process of vetting the various requirements for both these new membership categories, please know that neither of these memberships is intended to detract from the benefits of our Traditional Niles Rotary Membership (TNRM) as both include components that incorporate some of the fellowship opportunities that create the “energy in the room” that we as Niles Rotarians value. What these membership are meant to accomplish is to open opportunities for potential members to make Mankind their Business …. Blooming in Rotary’s motto of Service above Self. For if we as Niles Rotarians truly believe that our mission in the Rotary experience is about service, then why would we not consider creating new ways for people to serve? Both myself and President Elect Audrey are passionate about growing our club in new ways and have been working closely on a multi-year vision that achieves these goals. Our challenge as a club over the next few years is to grow our club with the vision of service yet provide face to face opportunities to develop those Niles Rotary relationships that add so much to richness to the Rotary experience.
Keep on Blooming in Niles Rotary,