‘Big West’ Focus Groups identify key changes needed to shape the future of Rotary
Changing the multi-year trend of decreasing membership continues to be a priority, and we believe solutions will come from Big West Rotarians. The Focus Group Project created thirty groups of governors, district resource chairs, club presidents and other Rotarian leaders. Using an open-ended facilitated approach, participants discussed what we, in our various roles, could do to address the 14-year negative trend in membership in North America. Thank you to Big West RI Directors Johrita Solari and Vicki Puliz for their initiative to put together these focus groups!
Repeated often, from multiple points of view …. the Take-Aways:
- There is an attitudinal change occurring in the Big West. Participants identified the importance of providing value and relevance to Rotary and Rotaract members at the club level. The re-occurring theme…We need to meet the needs of members.
- Attendance “tracking” is shifting from attending meetings to ENGAGEMENT in Rotary.
- Clubs are making changes in structure NOW. (Examples – meeting changes, time, length, hybrid, meals, cause-based clubs, e-clubs).
- Current need to create more fellowship/social/fun to connect members.
- Interest in being flexible with the leadership structure. (multi-year presidency, shared presidency)
- Multi-year and succession planning is becoming REAL at the club level.
- Interest in connecting, collaborating, and forming new partnerships with local organizations/community/and other clubs for added value.
- Training for Presidents/leaders/clubs needs to change. It must be more relevant to our current and future needs.
- There is a desire to stop “type-casting” members (Old White Guys, “younger” members) and an interest in Diversity Equity Inclusion for clubs.
- Flexibility is critical, as is support for individual club needs.
These attitudinal shifts are current and happening now. The door is open to positive conversations in looking to our future in new ways. People like the idea of going beyond “out of the box” and moving to “break the box”! Change is not easy, and there is a level of dynamic tension in these changes.