Posted by Nick Courtney on Nov 14, 2018

New Initiatives for the Future of Rotary

“It is far better to dare mighty things even though we might fail than to stay in the twilight that knows neither victory or defeat.”
Arie & Nick challenged us to take a look at ourselves in terms of where we currently are and how we might need to change our thinking and approach in order to ensure ongoing viability and success as an organisation.
As a starting point they look at who we are in terms of us being a service organisation that helps people in a variety of ways. 
While the populations in NZ and Australia have grown, the organisation has lost approximately 30% of Rotarians over the last 21 years. This is reflected in District 9970 having dropped from 1226 to 1161 members while Papanui has increased slightly from 42 to 46 members.
Our challenge is that we have an aging membership with few younger people choosing to join us.
Arie and Nick asked us to consider two things: (1) Do we have a problem and (2) Do we need to change?
In their view we need to be adaptable and flexible to meet changing needs.
In considering why people aren’t joining us, a range of barriers were presented as possibilities including (1) Are we relevant (2) Are we still attractive (3) The volunteering landscape has changed (4) We often focus on process rather than outcomes and (5) Have we become comfortable.
A video by motivational company Big Speak was then shown that challenged us in terms of how we need to change.
A key question we were asked was: “How can we make Rotary relevant today?”
Some options we might consider included developing Satellite Clubs, e-Clubs and a Password Club with on line meetings.
It was suggested that our initial target market is 55-60- year olds and we need to consider how we can be more attractive to this age group.
In closing, Arie & Nick acknowledged that change does take time and challenged us to give some thought to how we can continue to move forward as an organisation.
Further meetings to discuss this will be organised for more thorough discussion and planning how best to proceed.