Maintain Member Connection during the COVID-19 Pandemic

This guide is provided as resource for Districts to assist Clubs with online connection solutions to maintain Rotary Club meetings. Clubs are recommended to look to their District Governor and the leadership team, including the District Membership Chair, Foundation, and Public Image Chairs as a significant source for information and support as we adapt to this new, and hopefully short term, reality.

Overview

Replacing In-Person Meetings with Virtual meetings is an essential part of this guide, but it is not its entirety. However, the initial overview mainly concentrates on this possibility. We do strongly advise having an influential and significant online presence in the absence of ‘in-person’ meetings. READ MORE...

Please ensure that you maintain regular communication with your members about your Club’s plans, including ‘Rotary’ news, Club announcements, and the latest guidance on health/safety advice. Weekly communications, in addition to any virtual meeting, are essential.

If you are having virtual meetings, ensure consistency of your messaging by involving all Club Officers in the arrangements for these meetings. Clear and consistent messaging gives confidence and encourages good attendance.

As stated, we strongly recommend having Virtual Meetings when in-person meetings are not advisable. If this is not possible, regular Rotary communications are an essential service to your members.

Given the community concerns about this virus, let us not forget our own Rotary family, sometimes the caregivers need care, and we should be mindful of the needs of vulnerable Rotarians in our own Club, District or Zone.

Many Districts are currently in training mode, and thankfully, most have completed many components of training our PEs and District officers. However, some training requirements remain outstanding, and many Districts are now working hard to create an online District Training Assembly program. Your Rotary Coordinator team will be glad to assist in this endeavor, just let us know of your requirements.

There is an exceptional resource offered on our Rotary International Website at the Learning Center. The catalog of available courses is extensive, covering all aspects of Rotary positions, disciplines, projects, and initiatives. You can learn by the subject, job, or even develop your life skills in an easy to connect format that you regulate on your timescale. Please click the link in the appendix for further information.

If you are not using virtual meetings for your Club, please encourage your members to visit existing E Clubs, many Districts have them, but of course, they are Clubs without borders, and you can visit with any E Club, anywhere. Search Google for information on how to connect with an E Club.

GUIDANCE FOR A SUCCESSFUL ONLINE MEETING

  • Choose your time – consider whether you want the virtual meeting to be at the regular Club meeting time and day, or do you want to meet at another time- always consider maximizing the attendance.
  • Next, choose a suitable duration – probably best not to exceed 1-hour, or perhaps you should consider a shorter duration.
  • Decide what elements of your ‘in-person’ meeting you want to include in your virtual meeting – maintain the vibrancy, not everything can transfer to virtual format successfully
  • Do keep all of the strong friendship activities, i.e., Member profiles, entertaining speakers, happy bucks – figure out creative ways to collect these.
  • Maintain a manageable meeting – Mute if necessary and set up a system for recognizing someone who wants to speak.
  • Confirm if your speaker, if you have one, needs to use PowerPoint – you will have to pass the ‘share screen’ option to your speaker or make other arrangements.
  • If you are comfortable using video – using the ‘share screen’ option – there are many excellent Rotary videos available on the RI website, or Vimeo, or YouTube. You must remember to share audio as well as the screen so all participants can hear.
  • If you have not used the online meeting format before, do practice before going live. Get accustomed to the control elements offered and ensure a good picture and sound quality.

Do you have a new strategy that’s working for you? Why not share your success with others. Send details  to Jim Bell, Rotary Public Image Coordinator, Zone26 jimbelldg1516@gmail.com, or David Bobanick, Rotary Public Image Coordinator, Zone27 david@harvestagainsthunger.org.

USEFUL LINKS FOR YOUR USE