This bulletin is long, but well worth the read. Take your time.

We had a great discussion at the board meeting on Jan. 30 about communication. Jacinthe has done the minutes for us, attached in Downloads. I often feel that I am alone with a megaphone. My message gets out, but most of the time I do not get any feedback from any of you. The statistics show that about 60% of our membership opens the bulletin.
I thought the conversations would happen with our Facebook group, but that’s not the case so far. 16 out of our 26 members are in the group and rarely does anyone comment. Kathy Trim is working on what sort of technology and guidelines so we can use to develop a two-way dialogue in our club.  I am sure we will hear more about this.  At this moment she is looking for volunteers from the group to test a couple of ideas, if you are interested, please contact her directly at
There was an interesting email exchange that followed the board meeting and I want to share parts with you, almost verbatim. 
After the board meeting Barbara was particularly interested in the survey Kathy did.  She emailed to those present at the meeting, “very interesting results, wish I could have seen/done it.  I really like the idea of a platform that will enable us to “discuss” things.  Not all people want to join in major service projects or have the time or be in the right area, but to be able to share snippets of things going on in our own areas with an open invitation to “join me”, I believe, would be a super way forward for the club to expand and meet its attendance/service hour goals.”
Barbara also added.  “Something that also occurred to me about uptake on “things” was perhaps a little more root cause based.  Have we asked the question as to why a person has actually joined a passport club over a regular club? (I believe we have).  Should we be analyzing those responses in perhaps a different way?  Are we trying to fit regular club thinking (regular attendance, weekly bulletins, etc.) to a model that purports to digress from that thinking?  Again, just a thought, and you may or in fact probably have already considered this, and me being new, doesn’t realize it.  I know for me, one of the reasons to join was that I simply don’t have time to attend meetings and will cover my perfect attendance in other ways.  I’m also looking for Rotary fellowship.  I don’t want to lose touch with like-minded people.  
I like the bulletin and its list of events.  Now, to get those event sponsors to ensure the items are actually on the District site, that’s the trick! I know this is a struggle everywhere and we’ll just have to keep “encouraging”. At any rate, this was the first thing I looked at because, for me, I need to fit activities in and around my work locally.  I need to plan well ahead in order to arrange time. Also, going back to my reason for the club, it might be an idea to consider something less formal, which leads back to the “discussion” portal that Kathy is looking at.  Participation starts with Fellowship and Fellowship starts with making contacts and friends. Perhaps the bulletin can help with that.  And finally, people like a “good read”, (or draw to opening an email) so perhaps once a month an article or story could be included on some topic.  And it might not even be a Rotary themed one.  Maybe a story about an event, or something that happened in one of the many Fellowships that people are members of – such as the ITHF that was mentioned last night.  Just a thought.   
Using the (former Presidential) Rotary Citation as a base for ideas for club action is a great idea.  It’s a great way to dovetail ideas, not reinvent the wheel, and to focus thinking!  As an FYI, most RI documents are easily searchable on Google and for many members, this is much easier than My Rotary.  I know....we want everyone to check into My Rotary regularly, but the fact is, most don’t.”
Kathy wrote in to thank Barbara for your thoughts about the survey.  Kathy added, “your email proves the point that we need a place to carry on our conversations! I will certainly take you up on the possible contacts for e clubs and ClubRunner.  I was surprised that CR didn't have a platform already for collaboration.  If anyone else has a contact, I'd love to hear about it!
It may become part of the standard greeting to the Club that this (or similar) survey gets sent to all new members, just to get a bit more info about them and see if there's any gaps in how we operate and what experience and equipment the new member has.  However, there's still a few more steps to go before we make that decision.  In the mean time I've attached the survey results and the original survey.  
In terms of the 60% number, that would be the number of people who clicked on the weekly bulletin email in their inbox. The survey also identified that 60% of respondents read the bulletin, so I think that number is accurate.  I think I'd like it to be higher, but, yes, that's still a pretty good number for any club.
I understand what you are saying about why we join a Passport Club. I've had conversations about 'why Passport' with several of my fellow Club members, and I think there is a feeling that we want to construct something new.  I don't want to simply recreate the mores and practices of a traditional club. That said, some of members have asked about how we can maintain a social feeling.  That's something about a traditional club that members don't want to give up. We want to get to know each other and support each other.  That's the trick to this first year, and I hope that we can get the technology piece right to help achieve this.” 
Len mentioned that we talked about doing something to celebrate our one-year anniversary.  “Could we tie that together with service at Sonshine Cove, such as cleaning the grounds and building for summer?  It could be a one day, Friday and Saturday or a full weekend.  Whatever week-end works in May, preferably the first or second to beat the bugs.  How can we proceed with this?  We should discuss this at the next Board meeting.”
And finally, Dave said “thanks for your work in spearheading this initiative Katharine. These matters really are central to the success of the club going forward and I love the critical thinking so obvious in your work. We need to figure out, the focus on why people were drawn to an innovative approach in the first place, and the notions around how we cultivate friendships/fellowship in a virtual world.
Let me speak to the second point first. Although we are in a generation working to adapt to technology, I wonder if there are things to be gleaned from the next generation who have been born to it and appear to be more at home in it than in real time? My daughter is a homebody and yet is in constant touch with a vast array of friends, employers, teachers and homework partners, (finished college last year). Questions to some of our Interact/Rotaract Clubs might find some resonance. (What platforms do they most enjoy? What draws them to interact there? What are the best ways to move work along in a virtual environment?). Just a thought. I’ll quiz Sara just for fun and see how she responds. Hopefully not, “Oh Dad”.
The first point is trickier. Why I love Rotary has always been tied up in the fellowship I enjoy with likeminded people.  Why an e-club? The flexibility to fit my activities around my work and life in a way that is more supportive of both. Also, the opportunity to be part of innovation in pioneering Rotary into a future that is sustainable in a vastly different world than that of its origin.  This may be a key as it is evident in Kathrine and Barbara’s dialogue and in tweaking my own interest in participating.  I love this approach as, in my mind, it will be much more effective than taking a hard line in trying to strong arm people into participating in a set approach.
Lastly, Ariane, I want to say how much I admire and appreciate your efforts to date to do all of this while structuring the standup of the club and putting out a meaningful and well thought bulletin every week and leading us to a Rotary Citation. Bravo!!
I really do like the format of the bulletin by the way, and the lists of activities you have included. My problem is that where emails were once innovative and informative, they are now intrusive and overwhelming in the sheer number of them, (overall, not from you), and the constant buzzing of that blessed phone every time someone sends one, or a text, or a messenger thread. There are days I curse the thing. That is not a solution I know, but it is an obstacle to be overcome.”
Now, where do we go from here? Katharine is still looking for a communication system and has contacted a few people to get opinions. If you have thoughts, ideas, comments, either write to or post in our Facebook group
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Minutes from January 30