Engaging and Retaining New Members -
Create an effective “Mentor Program” utilizing the skills and experience of existing members to help transition new members into Rotary.  Mentors would be known as Ambassadors of Rotary:
  • Empower District Membership Committee to create plan to work with all clubs to implement this strategy, including the creation of a prototype for clubs to use.  There are clubs in our district who already use a mentorship program or have used it in the past.  Guidelines would include principles of Rotary, member responsibilities, club history, advice on club activities and committees, and introduction to other members of the club.
  • Challenge clubs to implement a mentor program incorporating the prototype and guidelines suggested by District Membership Committee.
  • Ask each club to appoint a Club Membership Chair or Champion to oversee mentoring and to serve as a liaison to the District Membership Committee.
  • Use special badges for new members for the first year in Rotary and have a mentor assigned to each new Rotarian. 
  • Create a Membership Champion position in each club to serve as liaison to District Membership Committee.
  • Convene meetings of Club Membership Champions two times per year.
Who:  DG, District Membership Chair, Club Membership Champions
Success Defined:  10 clubs have started a new member mentoring program by July 1st 2019 
Attracting members to Rotary -  
Open up service projects to the public and advertise them; utilize social media campaigns to target young members and invite them:
  • Market our community service projects for to the general public and especially younger people to encourage their involvement; tie in the club’s communications to the hands on project leader or committee. 
  • Create a calendar of events that we share on local media, in church bulletins and in other media such as Facebook events. 
  • Capture information on non-Rotarians who are involved in Rotary events; pass that info onto the club membership champion. 
  • Make sure there is an Ambassador of Rotary at all community service projects we do. 
  • Invite people who were involved in past events to future events. 
Who:  club communications or PR Chair, club community service project leaders, club membership champion
Success Defined:  District Clubs are finding more ways to advertise and include non-Rotarians in their club events by July 1, 2019
Creating new types of Opportunities for Membership -
Explore the role of satellite clubs and encourage their development when appropriate.  Identify opportunities for the development of new clubs, particularly in under-served areas of the district.  Encourage the creation of new clubs by younger members:
  • Survey current and past AG’s to figure out geographic areas with a need for a new Rotary Club within the District. 
  • Encourage our clubs to consider other forms of meetings including virtual meetings. 
  • Consider starting after-work clubs, which may be more successful as new club opportunities for younger members as well as members whose daytime work schedule is not flexible enough to attend a lunch or breakfast meeting.
  • When building new club opportunities, consider option of no meals at meetings, especially after work meetings, to make membership cost less expensive, especially for younger members; food, if available, can be at member’s own cost. 
  • Create and promote a “How to Start Your Own Rotary Club” kit; if one already exists, find it and make it more accessible and user friendly.  
The District Membership Committee facilitates idea sharing, discussion and best practices for membership growth -
  • Communicate what’s working and what isn’t with the clubs by holding a membership meeting for the clubs in three different locations throughout the District at least once a year.
  • Promote the opportunity for clubs to create a business membership if they so choose; sell the networking aspect of Rotary as well as the service aspect. 
  • Approach businesses with a culture that is service oriented and invite them to join Rotary. 
  • Collect and disseminate success stories via social and traditional media.  
Welcoming back past members of Rotary and its programs -
Reach out to past Rotarians to see if they are interested in returning to Rotary and identify and connect with alumni of Rotary programs and ask them to join Rotary:
  • Create a “Welcome Back” program for people who left Rotary because they were not involved enough, their lives were too busy at that time, they had job pressures, or for other reasons beyond their control. 
  • Utilize the mentorship program and Ambassadors of Rotary to get past members back and re-energized about Rotary. 
  • Give each returning Rotarian a set of actionable items through the mentorship program. 
  • Suggest that Clubs set money aside in the club budget for a “class of 2017 service project”, and let the new Rotarians from a given year have their own small budget to devise and carry out a plan; recognize their efforts!
Recognizing our efforts -
Create a Governor’s Challenge:
The club with the largest % growth in membership has the trophy for that year.
When:  July 1, 2019
Who:  District Governor led and facilitated by the District Membership Committee, with input from AG’s and other seasoned members.  Consider creating ad-hoc Club Expansion Committee to focus on new club development.
Success Defined:  2 new clubs by 2020, 5 new clubs by 2022.  District membership of 2000 by 2022.
Identify and develop strong District and Club leaders -
The District promotes training resources and job descriptions for club officers including the President, Secretary, Treasurer and Foundation Chair:
  • Make an effort to inform clubs about the resources, including training and job descriptions, that already exist and are available from the District, often available on the District website.
  • Encourage clubs to share job descriptions, customized to club size, with members before people are ready to assume a title as a passive resource.
  • Suggest that clubs provide these materials to club members who are mentoring their own members or recruiting prospective members.
Adopt strengths-based leadership assessment to match strengths of Rotarians to those needed for the position:
  • Develop a District–endorsed strengths-based leadership assessment tool.
  • Promote the tool to clubs to use in identifying potential leaders by matching skills to jobs
  • Encourage club leaders to use the assessment process to coach and mentor club leaders.
  • Mentor our hard working volunteers. 
Identify and mentor new leaders via a Leadership Academy or Rotary Leadership Institute:
  • As a District, promote attendance at the Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) to provides important and valuable information for developing future leaders. 
  • Consider creating an annual District Leadership Academy to provide further leadership training opportunities for Rotarians. This training, which could be modeled on successful programs such as RYLA would address the unique challenges inherent in managing and motivating volunteers and l endeavor to offer creative solutions and strategies.
  • As a District, evaluate how training is offered, the time commitment required, geographic constraints, ease of contribution, and the need for quality participants as part of an effort to help the clubs grow and expand their leadership base.  The overall goal will be to increase the pool of capable leaders. 
We will offer online classes via a Rotary Classroom that explains “how to” on a variety of topics:
We will look to the technology committee to create training materials and to share trainings done at District Assembly and other Rotary events, posting the content to the online classroom.
Make Available to Clubs a District Mentor for club leadership track:
  • Develop a five year plan for mentoring potential district leaders. 
  • Appoint a District Mentoring Champion to help establish a successful plan for mentoring at the club and district level.  
  • Assess the role of the District Trainer and the types of training currently offered; determine what other kinds of training could be implemented to assist clubs in future club leadership development.  
Who:  District Training and District Technology Committees working with District Leadership and Club Leadership
Success Defined:  District leadership and training have investigated the options suggested by the Strategic Plan and 50% of district clubs have future club officers participating in new training and leadership development opportunities by July 2022
Explore a District board of directors or advisory board so that future District leaders can rise through the ranks by demonstrating their skills and experience, similar to what occurs at the club level:
  • Research whether a board of directors or board of advisors is a feasible option to provide a launching pad for new leaders to emerge, to increase feedback and discussion from the clubs to District leadership and help bring leaders up through the ranks towards District leadership.
  • Explore what other Districts do and what the leadership structure and membership makeup might be, possibly including the head Assistant Governor, a current past president, two or three key committee chairs in addition to the District Governor track. 
Telling the Rotary story-
Improve our visibility and recognition by the general public:
  • The District, using resources from Rotary International and resources they create, will give the clubs training and access to PR templates, articles and videos they can utilize locally that will help tell the Rotary story.   
  • The District will encourage clubs to partner with business organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce so that local business leaders will be more aware of what Rotary is and what we can do in the community. 
  • The District will consider setting aside funds in the future to help clubs with PR and advertising. One idea worthy of further consideration: pick a theme each year that clubs within the district can choose to participate in, with the District PR Committee providing public image and awareness support via a “PR-in-a-Box” centered on the chosen theme.  With multiple clubs participating and marketing efforts streamlined and consistent, it would create a greater impact and a regional presence for our local community service efforts.
Sharing best practices:
  • The Public Image and Awareness committee will develop a PR handbook with detailed instructions on “how to” on a variety of PR topics, links to Rotary International resources, and guidance for club PR chairs to utilize including basics of setting up a website, and how to make it interesting. 
  • The District will include strategic planning for marketing in its yearly updated strategic plan and utilize Rotary International’s new branding tools. 
Who:  DG, District Public Image and Awareness Committee with help from Technology Committee
When:  By July 2019
Rotary clubs working together -
The District promotes inter-club collaboration and acts as a clearing house of ideas and best practices for clubs to work together on similar community projects and fundraising, as well as for networking and social events:
  • Create an online database for all events District-wide that individual clubs agree to share with proven fundraising ideas and tips included.  The database will be managed and updated by a member of the technology team. 
  • Establish Private Facebook user groups to share information about annual fundraisers for clubs interested in holding a new event and looking for feedback as well as clubs currently engaged in them to share new information.  The Technology Committee will survey the clubs to determine what activities and groups exist and set up categories for sorting the information as well as determining how much information to include. The Assistant Governors will assist by promoting the site and encouraging participation by the clubs.  The technology committee will create a mechanism for adding new events and information from the clubs on a regular basis.
Coordinate regional social activities and encourage Rotarians to visit other clubs:
  • Start a “Passport Program” within the District- participants gather stamps by visiting other clubs or attending their activities during the course of the year.  The District will appoint 2-3 people with interest in club collaboration to research it, define the details and present a plan to the District Governor team.  See assistance from the Assitant Governors to publicize it.
  • Coordinate regional social activities between clubs with the Assistant Governors acting as liaisons between the clubs and helping to facilitate participation.  The District will promote and encourage connecting with other clubs and publicize our success stories.  
Plan to succeed -
Share expertise to help clubs engage in long range strategic planning and leadership development:
Active and strong District Vision and Planning Committee helps clubs with visioning and strategic planning at the club level which supports the goals and objectives of the District.
The District and Clubs utilize a 3-5 year planning process to set and achieve long term goals:
  • A District Strategic Planning Committee, as a new standing committee of the District, formulates a District Strategic Plan that includes SMART goals and is shared with all Rotarians.
  • Every three years the Strategic Planning Committee will solicit input from District Rotarians and leadership to update the goals and priorities of the District and draft a new, updated plan. 
  • District leadership, committee chairs and others designated in the plan will assume accountability for focus areas and report regularly on their progress. 
  • The District will hold a meeting with the Vision and Planning committee, club presidents, club vision champions and anyone else who has interest to encourage the process and talk about results thus far.
Identify leaders for key areas to implement the District Strategic plan:
  • Create a checklist for club Presidents and President-elects to help them identify and recommend members of their club to fill slots at the District level. 
  • Ask the clubs to suggest leaders to help fill open positions.  District appointments will come from a leadership pool and the process is more transparent. 
  • Expand the role of the District Trainer to a District Training Committee. 
Succession plan for all District Committees:
  • Chair is recommended as a three year position with goals and objectives in writing, with an under-study who is in training to assume the role in place for at least one year prior to assuming the position.  Succession planning is in place for all key roles.  Detailed job descriptions are in place for all District positions including expected time commitment and access to past committee chairs for mentoring and assistance. 
Better utilize technology to help achieve the goals set in the District Strategic Plan -
Create a District Technology Team:  
  • Assemble a team of Rotarians with strength in the area of technology.
  • Survey other Rotary Districts to determine best practices.
  • The Technology team will determine which topics lend themselves to online training then create, edit and upload materials, with the ultimate goal to build a library of online training materials. 
  • The District will leverage the skills of a Technology team to create and disseminate internet training videos through the Learning Management System, free to us through Rotary International, or a dedicated YouTube site for District 7780 training and education without the time and expense of in person meetings.
  • The technology team could also keep a database of resources for club and volunteers willing to help clubs with their web sites or other public facing social media. 
Develop additional technologies to address needs identified in the District Strategic Plan and needs identified by other groups within the District:
  • The District will establish private Facebook user groups for all club Membership chairs, Foundation chairs, Public Relations chairs, and other relevant committee chairs to allow for and encourage open communication and idea exchange. 
  • Each club chair will have access to a district chair for ideas, support and training as needed.  
  • The District will create an online database with information shared by the clubs for all events district wide with proven fundraising ideas and tips.