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From Rotaract to Rotary

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Breakout session at the 2013 Rotary International Convention in Lisbon, Portugal, moderated by Emily Wood and Juan Pedro Torroba

Breakout session at the 2013 Rotary International Convention in Lisbon, Portugal, moderated by Emily Wood and Juan Pedro Torroba


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  • Cost of Rotary club membership in time, money, and service commitmentsCost of meals and ancillary expensesThe club, district, and international fee structure
  • Clubs that make it easy for young people to visit, volunteer, donate, get involved, and learn about membershipClubs that actively welcome younger members, including former RotaractorsRotary clubs must practice values, engage members, and serve their communitiesRotary clubs must articulate their value and relevance to young professionalsNote:Young adult-focused Rotary clubs, especially those that evolve directly from Rotaract clubs, can be disconnected from traditional clubs and the district
  • While the majority of districts have a database for current Rotaractors, only 19% of districts have a mechanism for tracking former Rotaractors.
  • Only 13% of districts have an alumni association for Rotaractors. Online communities such as the Rotaract Facebook page, RotaractNET, and other groups include many “Friends of Rotaract.”
  • Promote investment over cost and value over fee structuresClarify local membership procedures for Rotaractors
  • Affordable, welcoming, and well-suited to the dynamic years between 30-40: family friendly, low cost, informal meetings, focused on hands on service, weekend day or evening meetings, etc. It may also be an RCC to bridge the gap between Rotaract and Rotary. Help young Rotarians find clubs that are affordable, welcoming, and well-suited to their lifestylesConsider approaching Rotaractors in the same way as an Alumni of The Rotary Foundation with respect to membership qualificationsConsider approaching Rotaractors in the same way as a transferring Rotarian with respect to membership qualifications
  • Address the Rotarian misconception that Rotaractors are “children”Showcase sophisticated Rotaractor service projects and events (Rotaract Outstanding Project Awards)Promote community-based Rotaract clubs Organize Rotaractor-led Rotary meetingsSupport Rotaract leadership such as the district Rotaract representative and Rotaract representation on the district Rotaract committeeDevelop consistent messages about RotaryStrengthen the Rotary brand promise to encourage Rotaractor alignment with Rotary’s brandRotary’s exclusivity can be promoted in ways that communicate the value of membership to Rotaractors Make Rotary membership a goal of Rotaract and Rotaractors
  • Transcript

    • 1. Challenges and Opportunities for Successful Transitions
    • 2. Rotaract: Interact: RYLA: Youth Exchange: 215,924 338,836 25,000 8,500 In any given year, over 500,000 participants in four programs… (numbers are approximate)
    • 3. Challenges
    • 4. 2011-12RotaractSurvey Overall challenges • Cost/value • Perceptions and awareness • Closed Rotary club experiences • Missing Rotary-Rotaract connections • No easy “on ramp” to Rotary for those between 30-40
    • 5. Cost
    • 6. Perceptions and awareness •Rotaractors may not know much about Rotary •Rotaractors may not know about clubs other than their sponsor •Rotaractors do not understand how to join Rotary clubs
    • 7. Perceptions and awareness •Rotaractors may view Rotary Community Corps as a more attractive way to continue their service •Rotaractors’ experiences with their own sponsor Rotary club may discourage them from joining Rotary
    • 8. Lack of welcoming clubs
    • 9. Rotary-Rotaract Connections • Lack of social connections and familiarity • Lack of service connections through joint projects • Lack of professional connections through mentorship and advising
    • 10. No easy on ramp into Rotary • Rotaractors may not be ready to join Rotary at 30 • Lack of engagement between Rotaract and Rotary for those who are not yet qualified, interested, or ready for Rotary club membership • Absence of community-based Rotaract clubs in some regions to develop Rotaractors after university studies
    • 11. Questions?
    • 12. Here are some insights from the 2011-12 district Rotaract survey...
    • 13. Compared to five years ago, does your district have more Rotaract clubs?
    • 14. How many Rotaract clubs are active worldwide?
    • 15. In most districts, fewer than 25% of clubs sponsor Rotaract clubs.
    • 16. Does your district maintain a database of current or former Rotaractors? No No Yes Yes
    • 17. Does your district have a Rotaract alumni association or group? Yes No
    • 18. How do you involve former Rotaractors in current district activities?
    • 19. Opportunities and solutions
    • 20. From cost to value…
    • 21. Find the right “way in”
    • 22. Create stepping stones
    • 23. Address perception gaps
    • 24. Strengthen Rotary-Rotaract connections
    • 25. Questions?