By Tom Sturiale
District 7910 began the Visioning Project during the second half of 2013 and we have conducted a Visioning exercise in almost 20 Clubs. A few more are scheduled in the next few months and one Club has decided to repeat the Visioning process after three years.
If you are interested in conducting Visioning in your club, please e-mail Laura Spear, District 7910 Visioning Coordinator, at She has replaced Bill Domings of Westborough Rotary, who deserves special praise for his leadership of the past three years. Bill has moved to Cape Cod.
The Visioning process is a great tool to help Clubs plan for their future.  All Clubs go through periods of change in membership, leadership, communities and environment, which cause some uncertainty.  Older, experienced members leave for many reasons, leadership turns over each year, and younger members join with different ideas but with little knowledge of Rotary International or the club’s history. It is important to refocus the Club and develop plans for the future.
One of the ways to maintain a continual and consistent pursuit of RI and the Club objectives in an environment of change is to conduct a Visioning exercise. The process helps to collect and align the ideas of Club members into a consistent set of objectives regarding community projects, fundraising, membership, youth projects, international projects and The Rotary Foundation. It also helps Clubs to sort their priorities and rank-order their objectives with the interest, scope and resource constraints of the Club. And, very importantly, Visioning helps to develop the Club’s plans for the next two to three years. By establishing a two- to three-year plan, Visioning aids the Club’s Steering Committee and guides the Club through annual leadership and membership changes.
Feedback from all the Clubs that have completed Visioning has been very positive. The process has been beneficial in focusing the members on specific objectives, prioritizing plans and providing a degree of consistency in Club operations. It is also clear that annual leadership changes are a factor leading to a loss of knowledge and interest in the objectives identified in Visioning.  It has been recognized that a strong Club Visioning “champion” along with continual follow-up by the Club leaders and the District Visioning Team are necessary to ensure consistent progress.
It is interesting to note that Clubs generally develop more aggressive objectives during the Visioning process. Membership objectives reflect a desire to substantially increase Club membership.  While aggressive, these objectives would still be attainable if Clubs are willing to develop detailed plans followed by a commitment to action. Attracting new members is a multi-faceted objective requiring a consensus of members, a focused plan of action and a few folks capable of communicating the benefits of Rotary.
 Of course, Clubs have to be attractive in terms of interesting meetings, good venues, great community-development efforts, interesting speakers and a socially oriented group of welcoming members interested in fellowship and fun.
Tom Sturiale, chair of District 7910's Visioning Committee and vice chair of its Membership Committee, may be reached at
July 2016 'Membership Corner' articles:
"A Rotary Membership Guide" is a collection of "Membership Corner" articles written for this weekly newsletter during the 2015-2016 Rotary year, which began last July 1. It is intended to offer an idea or thought each week aimed at stimulating discussions, questions and actions to effectively increase membership at all our clubs. Click here, to download this 52-page "Guide," in Word format.