Hi Fellow Rotarians,
Gosh, February already and many of you will have attended your first Rotary meeting for 2018. I know I have, and it always good to catch up with other Rotarians and hear what they did over the summer break. It is a good time to share the highlights and events that we attended.  The challenge all Clubs have, is to share more good stories of Rotary in Action.
Think back to December and look at all the events and projects you did and ask the question – who knew about it?  How many invites did you send out asking people to come and join us, to help run those fantastic projects? You never know, but those people you ask for help on your project night, might even like us and want to join Rotary!
January and February are busy months for clubs who are involved with Youth Activities. Last Sunday, our RYLA programme finished and by all accounts was a huge success.  A big shout out to the organisers and all the volunteers that make D9940 RYLA the best. Now is the time for Clubs to get leverage from the event.  Here is how: keep close to the participants you sponsored, many will come and give a thank you speech. Ask them to bring their parents or guardians, ask them to bring some friends to listen. Theme the night for them, make your club look younger, have some fun. Please do something different for the night, the biggest thing to remember is to make them welcome and special. Ask them to help with your next club project and bring their friends.  Please nurture them as they are highly motivated, focussed and pumped up ready to make a difference in the community. Is your Club ready for them?
The next few months in the District are going to be very busy.  We are planning on running another two Club Development and Memberships workshops very similar to what we did last year. We are looking at both the Wairarapa and New Plymouth areas. These workshops are available for all Rotarians to attend.  Dates will be set shortly and the events will be well promoted.  These updates will give you information and knowledge on how to make your club even bigger, stronger and more relevant in today’s changing world.
Membership continues to be a challenge for many clubs. Rotary International is well aware of many of those challenges and obstacles.  They are working tirelessly to provide tools, resources and ideas for clubs to pick up and use. Please see below the Membership Minute to refresh yourself on just a few of the topics that are available.  As always, if you need help or resource or you would like a visit from the Club Development team to present to your club, email me.
Tony Heyward
0275 499938
Tony Heyward <tony@transitlounge.co.nz>
District Chair - Club Development & Membership
December 2017
Ideas for strengthening membership
New year, new connections — engaging with prospective members 
As the new year approaches, people around the world will make resolutions to live happier, more meaningful, more productive lives in 2018. Perhaps they want to get involved and give back to their community. Maybe they want to improve the world on a larger scale. Or they might be hoping to make new friends or professional connections.

Is your club following up with prospective members?

Every January, we see a sharp increase in inquiries about joining Rotary. Prospective members tell us about themselves and what they want in a Rotary club through rotary.org/join. Rotary staff screens these inquiries and sends them to district leaders, who then match the prospective members, or leads, with clubs that might meet their needs. It’s up to clubs to make sure that these people in their communities who want to make a difference hear back from Rotary. Learn how you can follow up on your membership leads to find great new Rotarians.

What first impression does your club give? 

Is your club welcoming to guests? How do you promote it? Rotary’s customizable club brochure, available on Brand Center, allows you to upload photos of your club in action and show your community its projects and events.

Need more resources? 
Visit the Learning Center to take the new Online Membership Leads course. You’ll see what a prospective member experiences after expressing interest in Rotary. You’ll also learn how you can create a consistent, positive experience for prospective members. Sign in to My Rotary to take the course. In the Learning Center, select the Membership category from the left side of the page, and then select the Online Membership Leads course.

Watch a recording of the webinar Hot, Warm, and Cold Leads: Engaging Your Prospective Members. The webinar covers how you can respond to leads, check and update their status, and find prospective members that are waiting to hear from your club.  
How additional revenue will improve your membership experience 
Last year, the 2016 Council on Legislation raised dues by $4 to meet members’ growing need for improved products and services. Thanks to this increased support, we’ve provided tools that allow members to expand their clubs and better serve their communities.

Both Rotary.org and Rotary Club Central were completely redesigned in 2017. They are now faster, easier to navigate, and accessible on mobile devices — important for busy members who are always going somewhere. We wanted to make your interactions with Rotary better, too. To that end, we’ve improved our member support, expanded automation efforts, and kept up with changing security and privacy requirements. 

You can expect even more enhancements in the future. 
Coming soon: Updates to My Rotary; a new financial system with greater data integrity and security; a streamlined process for making a contribution online; and much more. 
Young Professionals Summit
A three-day event in Mexico attracted 170 young professionals from 10 countries. Read about it. 
What is your club doing to reinvent itself? Tell us your story at club.innovations@rotary.org.