Posted by Peggy Sheldon on Sep 28, 2017
Freshman Project
The Rotary Club of Marlborough is very focused on Membership and on Service.  We have been lucky to attract good new members to our club last year. As club President, I wanted to focus on engagement and retention.   I tried to involve the new members in different roles in the club. 
I was looking for other ideas when I attended RLI last year.   One of the presenters was a Past District Governor; his club offers a grant to the new members to do a project in their freshman year.   I thought this was a great idea and decided to make this my President’s project for my year. 
I wanted our new members to feel engaged and empowered.   I hope that they stay with us and continue with us in Service for many years.   This can only make our club stronger!  I budgeted $3,000 and invited all members who had joined in the previous 12 months to participate in a “freshman project” – here’s the invitation I sent to the new members:
Dear Fellow Rotarians,
One of the amazing and powerful things about Rotary is that one person can have an idea and can use the resources of Rotary to make a positive change in the world.   As my President’s project for this year I want to give all of you that power.   I am establishing a club grant for the New Members of 2016-2017.   The grant will be $3,000.00 to use for a service project of your choosing for next year.   I will also be happy to work with you to apply for a matching grant with the district if you select a project which may qualify.   If you are interested in applying for a grant, we should get going quickly since the application process is open.  I hope you will work together to find a project about which you feel passionate.   The money is yours to use to the best Service possible.   I would ask you all to join us either for the July or August Board meeting to present your project to the board.   I hope you will have fun with this.
Yours in Service,
Peggy Sheldon, Marlborough Rotary President 2016-2017
This Freshman group has met several times to discuss their project and has decided to do a project to help Seniors be safer in their homes.   Using a checklist from AARP, our members will go in the Seniors’ homes to check safety items, smoke detectors, grab bars, emergency contact info.   Members will replace safety items where needed.    They are hoping to help 50 Seniors.   The members are partnering with AARP and the Fire Department.