Posted by Les Divers on Apr 03, 2018

In a though provoking address to our meeting on Monday night Sylvie Wilkinson outlined the results of exit and entry surveys she had carried out on behalf of District.  The purpose of the surveys was to endeavour to collect evidence as to the motivation for people joining Rotary and leaving Rotary.

Some clubs are thriving, energetic and vibrant.  Others are in their death throes, dying peacefully without a succession plan in place.  The exit survey of Rotarians who had left their club within the last 3 months of the time the survey was carried out showed a predominant age grouping of 60 to 70 leaving.  The main reasons:-

  • Too few community projects 60%;

  • Club culture 50%;

  • Lacking networks 40%;

  • Work/family reasons 20%;

  • Age, health 20%.

A survey of those who had just joined Rotary revealed a gender imbalance of 65% female and 35% male.  The reasons given for wanting to join:-

  • Community projects 100%;

  • Networking 70%;

  • Friends/social 65%;

  • Proximity 60%;

  • Profile 50%.

There were two standout takeaways from the survey – 100% of the newbies joined because they were interested in meaningful community projects and 60% of those exiting Rotary listed the lack of community projects as a factor in their decision to leave.  70% of those joining indicated networking was a factor in attracting them to Rotary while 40% of those leaving felt Rotary provided them with insufficient networking opportunities.  While clubs frequently concentrate on attractions like good speakers, financial accessibility for young members and early responsibility given to new members, it is vital the community projects and networking retain a high priority in the operations of every club.

Sylvie went on to outline the success she has experienced with a Rotary Think Tank formed from local school principals and responsible professionals in the health and education sector.  The group is of mixed ethnicity and demography but all have integrity and community spirit.  They were anxious to become involved in a club that had flexibility, fun and a clear benevolent purpose where there were expectations and limitations and they had knowledge of how things worked.  They were not interested in hierarchal systems, talk fests, traditions or meetings for meetings sake.  Three of the initial group of twenty have since joined various Rotary Clubs.  The group has come up with a list of projects, many involving assisting young people.  They would fit in well as an auxiliary club.  The question left hanging – is Pakuranga up for the challenge?  Sylvie works tirelessly for Rotary as evidenced by 6 PHF’s and has a long history of identifying and bringing to our club opportunities for community service.