Membership Corner - September 28, 2015

20 Reasons To Build a Rotary Value Proposition For Your Club
By Tom Sturiale
At "Membership Corner," we're taking the easy way out this week by republishing a list of reasons to belong to Rotary.  It was sent to me by Ralph Hammond of the Rotary Club of Bedford, who chairs District 7910's Foundation Committee. This list is also printed in the 2015-2016 District 7910 Directory.
They are all valuable statements and can be used a part of your club’s value proposition. Every club also has many other unique reasons to add to its value proposition. You may consider reviewing, discussing and critiquing at a club assembly.  It is easy to read these statements and nod our heads in agreement, but it is also more effective to discuss openly and internalize these ideas.
1. Friendship: In an increasingly complex world, Rotary provides one of the most basic human needs: friendship and fellowship.  It is one of the three reason why Rotary began in 1905.
2. Business Development: The second original reason for Rotary’s beginning is business development. Everyone needs to network. Rotary consists of a cross-section of every sector of the business community. Its members come from all walks of life. Rotarians help each other.
3.  High Ethical Standards: Rotarians practice a 4-Way Test (see below) that governs one’s ethical standards. Rotarians are expected to be ethical in business and personal relationships.
4.  Personal Growth and Development: Membership in Rotary consists of one’s growth and education in human relations and personal development.
5. Leadership Development: Rotary is an organization of leaders and successful people. Serving in Rotary positions is like a college education, providing eadership, learning how to motivate, influence, and lead leaders.
6. Citizenship in the Community: Membership in a Rotary club makes one a better community citizen. The average Rotary Club consists of the most active citizens of any community.
7. Continuing Education: Each week at Rotary, there is a program designed to keep one informed about what is going on in the community, nation, and the world. Each member provides an opportunity to listen to different speakers and a variety of timely topics.
8. Fun: Rotary is fun - a lot of fun. Each meeting is fun. The club projects are fun. Social activities are fun. The service is fun.
9. Public-Speaking Skills: Many individuals who join Rotary were afraid to speak in public. Rotary develops confidence and skill in public communication and opportunity to practice and perfect those skills.
10. Citizenship in the World: Every Rotarian and Rotaractor wears a pin that says “Rotary International.” There are a few places on the globe that do not have a Rotary Club. Every Rotarian is welcome—even encouraged—to attend any of the 34,644 Rotary clubs and 8,383 Rotaract Club in over 200 nations and geographical regions. This means instant friends in both one’s own community and in the world community.
11. Assistance when Traveling: Because there are Rotary Clubs everywhere, many a Rotarian in need of a doctor, lawyer, hotel, dentist, advice, etc., while traveling has found assistance through Rotary. The International Directory published every year has a name, phone and email address of every club president and secretary.
12. Entertainment: Every Rotary club and district has parties and activities that provide diversion in one’s business life. Rotary holds conferences, conventions, assemblies, and institutes that provide entertainment in addition to Rotary information, education, and service.
13. The Development of Social Skills: Every week and at various events and functions, Rotary develops one’s personal, social skills, and people skills. Rotary is for people who like people.
14. Family Programs: Rotary provides one of the world’s largest youth exchange programs; high school and college clubs for future Rotarians; opportunities for spouse involvement; and a host of activities designed to help family members in growth and development of family values.
15. Vocational Skills: Every Rotarian is expected to take part in the growth and development of his or her own professional vocation, to serve on committees, and to teach youth about one’s job or vocation. Rotary helps one to be a better doctor, nurse, lawyer, teacher, or whatever one does for a business.
16. Cultural Awareness: Around the world, practically every religion, country, culture, race, creed, political persuasion, language, color, and ethnic identity is found in Rotary. It is a cross section of the world’s most prominent citizens from every background. Rotarians become aware of their cultures and learn to love and work with people everywhere. They become better citizens of their countries in the process.
17. Prestige: Rotary members are prominent people who are either current or retired leaders of business, professions, art, government, sports, military, religion, and all other disciplines. Rotary is the oldest and most prestigious service club in the world. Its ranks include executives, managers, and professionals – people who make decisions and influenced policy. 
18. Nice People: Rotarians above all are nice people – the nicest people on the face of the earth. They are important people who follow the policy of, "It is is nice to be important, but it is important to be nice."
19. The Absence of an “Official Creed:” Rotary has no secret handshake, no secret policy, no official creed, and no secret meetings or rituals. It is an open society of men and women who believe sinmply in helping others.
20. The Opportunity to Serve: Rotary is a service organization. Its business in humankind. Its product is service. Rotarians provide community service in both local and international communities This is perhaps the best reason for becoming involved with Rotary: the chance to do something for somebody else; to sense self-fulfillment that comes in the process; and the return of that satisfaction to one’s own life. It is richly rewarding.
21. The Opportunity to Become Part of Positive Change: Rotarians and Rotaractors are involved with challenges facing society including peace and conflict prevention/resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literary, and economic and community development. The Rotary Foundation has adopted the six areas of focus to initiate funding to promote, enhance and encourage environmental/social stewardship.
In closing, here are the Rotary mission, 4-Way Test and standard of measure:
  • The mission of Rotary International, a worldwide association of Rotary and Rotaract clubs, is to provide service to others, to promote high ethical standards, and to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professionals, and community leaders, known as Rotarians and Rotaractors.
  • The 4-Way Test - Of the things we think, say or do:
  1. Is it the truth?
  2. Is it fair to all concerned?
  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendship?
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
  • "Service Above Self" is a Rotary standard of measure.
Make sure to sign up for and attend the District 7910 Membership Forum on Wednesday, October 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Holiday Inn in BoxboroughClick here for more information and to register.
Please let me know any ideas, comments or stories about Membership you would like to share. E-mail me at
Tom Sturiale is vice chair of District 7910's Membership Committee.
Here are the Membership Corner articles that were posted during August: