San Marino Rotarians looked toward the future and where they’d like to see their club in five years.
Rotary District 5300 Vision Chair Mary Ann Lutz and Area 4 Assistant Gov. Marilyn Diaz helped guide Rotary Club of San Marino members through their 5-Year Vision Plan on Thursday, Oct. 13 during a three-hour dinner meeting.
Lutz said they’ll first figure out what the goals of the club are and then they’ll assist in formulating projects to reach the goals.
San Marino Rotarians set a goal of having a net of 119 members by 2021. In order to achieve this goal of a net increase of two new members per year, a committee of 10 dedicated members will be formed to recruit new Rotarians by Nov. 10. Current Membership Chair Molly Woodford will head this committee with the help of San Marino Rotary President Gilda Moshir, who will serve as co-chair.
Another goal that San Marino Rotary set was to start posting to its Facebook page once per week and promoting events on weekly email alerts.
Further goals will be set at a later date.
San Marino Rotary Vision Keeper Rob Feidler will ensure that the club stays on track to achieve its goals.
These goals were thought up after Rotarians examined and discussed results of a recent online survey. Diaz went over the results of a survey that all San Marino Rotarians were asked to take several weeks ago. At least 50 percent of the club responded to the request to take the survey. When asked why people joined the San Marino Rotary Club, the top answers were: “to make a positive impact in my community” followed by “friendship,” “business networking” and “global impact.” The most popular answers to why most San Marino Rotarians stay in the club were the same reasons.
For a question regarding the amount of time one has been a member of San Marino Rotary, 48 percent answered 10 years or more, 13 percent from six to 10 years, 33 percent for two to five years and 6 percent were less than a year. When asked to list two to three things they’d like San Marino Rotary Club to be known for, the top answers were: “community service,” “international charitable work” and “youth services.”
Survey takers ranked four things the club does in order of importance as “fundraising,” “community projects,” “international projects” and “youth service projects.” Things the club does well were listed by those surveyed as “fundraising,” “community services,” “member involvement and participation,” “support of youth programs” and “international service.” When asked to list items that the club could do better, answers were: “recruit younger members,” “nothing, I’m satisfied with where we are,” “stronger member involvement,” “better public relations,” “more interesting programs,” “more business emphasis,” “increase membership” and “collaborate with other clubs and organizations.”
The next question of “In your opinion, what has been the main reason for the increase or decrease in the club membership” received some confused reactions from club members, specifically for the second most common answer of “We are not inclusive.”
San Marino Rotary President-Elect Denise Wadsworth said while she doesn’t agree with it, she believes some people believe that it is too expensive to join San Marino Rotary, compared to San Marino City Club and San Marino Chamber of Commerce.
“If you’re willing to pony up the two grand a year with all the parties and stuff, and the donations, then you’re included,” she said. “That’s something we need to have a discussion about. Do we want to have different ways to include members without it being so expensive for them?”
“This is the least expensive Rotary Club in the area,” Rotarian Bob Eichel said. “We made a study of that.”
“It costs about $1,250 to be a member of this club, counting the things that we do, unless you go hog wild on socials,” San Marino Rotary Treasurer Dennis Kneier said.
He also said there has been no significant increase or decrease in membership throughout the years. Kneier listed the amount of members that ranged in the past seven years from 110 to 106, and currently membership is at 108.
“We may all have different definitions of being inclusive,” Immediate Past President Mike Driebe said. “People may be defining it financially. People may be defining it culturally. People may be defining it ethnically. I don’t know, but what concerns me is that it’s the second most frequent response.”
He asked if anyone in the room chose that answer to the survey, and no one came forward.
Lutz said she doesn’t think that answer needs to be debated, but just kept in the back of peoples’ minds.
Rotarian J.P. Mainguy said the Rotarians are trying to answer a question that was not well posed and they should find out how many people actually chose that answer before moving on.
Other answers to that question were “need for flexible scheduling” (No. 1 answer), “change in demographics” and “we’re doing a pretty good job.”
The couple dozen Rotarians in the room at last Thursday’s meeting were then asked to answer survey questions there by placing a dot sticker on answers written on large poster boards.
When asked how many members the club should have in five years, most Rotarians answered between 100-119. Rotarians most suggested community outreach as a way to gain new members.
Kneier said he doesn’t believe San Marino Rotary has a retention problem.
“If people move away, they move away,” he said. “If they die, it’s pretty hard to keep them. I kept track during the last five or six years of the reasons why people have left. Very few are on the list because they don’t like our club, very few. There may be one or two, but not much. Most of them are legitimate reasons for leaving.”
“Better communication about projects” and “collaborate with other clubs” were selected as the main way to make the Rotary Club better, as far as administration. “Increase involvement in community and schools” was chosen as service projects and ideas to make your club better. More promotion on social media was suggested to improve public relations. Rotarians felt the club did well supporting the Rotary Foundation.
When asked what upcoming project the club wants to get involved in was one that addresses homelessness and hunger, locally.
Lutz said when going over the survey answers, it was clear to her team that San Marino Rotary is “a very proud club.”