How to ‘Jump Start’ your club post-Covid

How to ‘Jump Start’ your club post-Covid – by District Governor Elect Judy Zone

While half the clubs in our District met by Zoom during Covid – a quarter of our clubs did not meet at all. Many Rotarians suffered ‘zoom fatigue,’ with accompanying drops in club meeting attendance.

With new CDC and state guidelines in place, and an incoming class of Club Presidents-Elect raring to go, here are some suggestions for how to jump start your club in the new Rotary Year:

As an incoming President-Elect and as a Club Board:

  • Discuss who has left, whose attendance has slacked off, and reach out personally – in person or by phone – to let members (or former members) know you miss them. Coming out of the Covid doldrums, we are all hungry for fellowship and a sincere personal touch goes a long way.
  • Survey members on club satisfaction – some version of the Rotary Club Health Check. This Rotary International document does not just include a survey, it includes ‘prescriptions’ for what might be ailing your club.
  • Reassess as a Club Board your meeting format, costs, and service projects. Coming out of the time of Covid is an inflection point in history – and the history of Rotary.

How can your club use this time as an opportunity to be less formal, more social, more reasonably priced, to partner more actively in your community – with other groups and organizations – to increase your service impact and raise your Rotary Club profile? Taking such actions might help keep your members engaged and attract new ones.

  • Plan an Each One Bring One social – maybe outside – a BBQ or maybe an event with live music and festivities – to kick off the new Rotary Year starting in July.

The idea is to have each club member BRING a friend – or two. As incoming District Governor, I have budgeted $400 to support these events for 12 clubs.

However, you’ll need to have a brief program with a few members presenting: one speaking about the fellowship and friendship in the club, another about the local service, and another giving the scope of Rotary worldwide and the international service Rotary and/or the club has done.

Pass out membership applications and announce a really engaging and meaningful local service project happening in two weeks. Invite everyone, members or not.

  • Lastly, if your club has speakers, be sure you have a fascinating speaker at your next Rotary meeting so that any potential new members are impressed and leave wanting more. Don’t forget to assign club members to follow up with each and every potential new member attending your social, service project, or engaging speaker session.

It’s Spring! – a time for growth. Take steps to tend your club’s Rotary garden, and let’s see some real Rotary blossoming in this new Rotary Year.

Thank you, as always, for your dedication to this organization. I hope you are proud, as I am, to be part of this globe spanning, yet locally centered, effort to do good here and abroad.

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