Posted by Don Sword on Apr 18, 2018
The 2016 Council on Legislation (COL) was absolutely groundbreaking for Rotary and its clubs around the world.
The 2016 COL approved a number of changes to the old Rotary rules around attendance, meeting time, place and frequency and signaled a new era in Rotary marked by a recognition that change is needed for clubs to attract and retain quality members to remain vibrant forces in their local and world communities, well into the 21st Century.
Clubs within District 7820 have taken the change message very seriously. Here are some of the innovations that clubs within our district have tried or are currently implementing:
  • Reduced the number of meetings to the minimum required by Rotary - twice a month.
  • Taken advantage of the fact that all clubs may now meet online. Some clubs broadcast their meetings/guest speakers on Facebook Live or other technological format.
  • Eliminated old rituals and formalities - like graces, anthems, singing, fines, ticket draws, head tables - that are not relevant or welcoming to the next generation of Rotary membership. 
  • Eliminated old labels like "Sgt at Arms" for a less militaristic and more welcoming term "Host"
  • Mix traditional meetings - sit down meals and  guest speakers - with meetings that are entirely club related (working meetings like a club assembly, commitee/board meetings) or simply a social meeting (pot luck, BBQ, picnic, pizza party, wine and cheese) or a community service meeting (volunteer at local food bank, Salvation Army kettle duty, seniors event, etc.)
  • Combine social events with fundraising - like the World's Greatest Meal for Polio - or a BBQ or pot luck hosted by a Rotarian with a donation by attendees going to a designed charity or cause. 
  • Different times and locations - for example a regular breakfast, lunch or dinner meeting three times a month and once a month hold a less formal meeting at a coffee shop or pub. Some clubs see higher attendance at the non-traditional venue than the traditional venue/meeting!
  • Hold occasional joint meetings with a nearby club.
  • And that's not all!
If your club is planning or is currently trying an innovative way to hold meetings, why not share what has worked and what has not with other clubs in the District? We all can learn from the experiences of others. Post it on social media and let your Assistant Governor and District Governor know how your club is finding new ways to "Make A Difference" in your community!