The Rotary Club of Ann Arbor accomplishes its goals through the work of its committees that are the heart and soul of the Club. Therefore, this strategic plan is predominantly the aggregation of individual committee plans. Because of the considerable number of committees and the thoroughness with which they prepared their individual plans, the committee sections included in this document were reduced to statements of either their fundamental goals and objectives or new initiatives and strategic issues to be implemented and/or evaluated over the next five years. Detailed plans remain with the committees for use in carrying out their work.
Please use the links below to connect to the several major committee categories.
The relevant committees are Program, Invocations, Greeters, Hosts, Attendance, Music, and Rotarians in the News.
Meetings in General (All Committees) ensure weekly meetings accommodate the needs of all members and visitors.
- Execute meetings that provide both a warm and caring ambience for club members, guests, and visiting Rotarians and ample opportunity to network with other attendees.
- Facilitate interaction among members at meetings in addition to the monthly random table assignments.
- Ensure that individual members receive attention where appropriate, such as members in the news, milestone recognition, condolences, and support during illness.
- Assure punctual conduct of meetings and ensure the speaker receives the full time allotment promised.
- Recognize that our standard meeting format does not accommodate all members.
- Provide an opportunity for members to leave after one hour without any adverse feedback.
- Understand that some members may not be able to meet attendance requirements because of our meeting time; thus, create alternate attendance criteria that value total contribution to meeting the Club’s goals and objectives.
- Provide high-quality and educational programs consistent with the goals of Rotary International and Club policies.
- Select topics of interest and relevance to club members and draw from the resources available to create programs of excellence.
- Utilize the knowledge, skills, and talents of Club membership in developing stimulating programs.
- Develop methods to gather feedback from Club membership regarding weekly meeting programs.
The relevant committees are Membership Development, Member Survey, Social, Bowling, and Golf and Tennis Outing.
- Membership Development Committee Ensures that the Club renews itself with incoming members who will sustain the Club as envisioned in this plan.
- Provide clear policies and procedures for the recruitment of new members so that any person considering membership or sponsoring a potential new member can understand what is expected.
- Recruit new members who are representative of all facets of the community. Members will include those who are recognized as current or emerging community leaders, who have demonstrated community contributions and good citizenship, who represent a diversity of age, race, ethnicity, gender, and beliefs, who want to commit to the principles and goals of Rotary, and who may have demonstrated past service in Rotary.
- Provide an orientation program that will educate and motivate new members to participate in the Club’s many programs and activities. Determine the benefit of additional orientation six months after induction.
- Strengthen member retention and participation. Ensure that each new member selects an initial committee assignment and is assisted by at least one mentor. Conduct exit interviews with members who have resigned.
- Consult with the Board to determine the most desirable Club membership size; cultivate and present two recruitment classes per year.
Member Survey Committee
- Provide a mechanism for the members to tell the Club leadership how they feel about a variety of issues in an organized fashion at regular intervals.
- Design, conduct, and report the results of an Annual Survey. The Survey will evaluate programs and activities, solicit suggestions for strengthening the Club, identify members’ interest for Committee participation, and gather other pertinent information. Survey results will be submitted to the Board and reported to the membership by May 1 of each year for use by current and incoming directors and committee chairs in planning the new Club year.
- Explore the benefits of more frequent and focused surveys during the year.
- Ensure the sustainability of the committee by recruitment of additional members.
- Provide a variety of affordable and enjoyable opportunities for social interaction among Club members, their significant others, and guests by putting on a number of events throughout the year.
- Continue to hold the Spring Fling, a major cocktail buffet event, with an emphasis on getting newer members to attend to foster interaction with other members.
- Offer six to eight other social events each year, planned, promoted, and carried out by the Social Committee. These events will make use of the venues headed or supported by members whenever feasible.
- Schedule, plan, and communicate the year’s social events to the membership during September, if possible; use attendees’ evaluations to decide if events will be repeated.
Maintain one or more teams in the Ann Arbor Service Club Bowling League, and encourage interested club members to join the team as regular and substitute participants.
Golf and Tennis Outing Committee
- Plan and carry out the Annual Golf and Tennis Outing, the Club’s major fundraiser. The one-day Outing is combined with an external solicitation program to inform the local community of the Club’s Community Service work and to obtain their financial support for specific, designated projects. The Outing also serves as an opportunity for fellowship among Club members, their guests, and contributors from the local community.
- Participate in comparable local outings in order to benchmark and gather new ideas that will continuously improve the event as well as demonstrate Rotarians’ support of important community initiatives.
- Use the Golf and Tennis Outing Fundraiser Planning Matrix, developed in 2007, as a management system for the Outing’s many tasks and as a guide for changing Committee leadership.
- Increase the number of solicitors involved in the fundraising for this event.
The relevant committees are Website, History and Archives, Membership Directory, Harpoon, Annual Report, and Public Relations and Publicity.
- Provide information to current and prospective members and the general public in the most efficient and effective forms for their needs and to support and promote Rotary’s mission.
- Develop the Club’s website, ensure implementation of Board-approved policies and procedures, enhance site accessibility, and evaluate the Club’s ongoing communication needs.
- Create an active online communications center for Club activities, history, and derivative products, i.e., the Harpoon and Club brochure.
- Develop materials and train the membership in the navigation and use of online Club resources, providing basic training as necessary, or suggesting where such training is available. Continually assess the Harpoon to encourage readership.
- Provide regular updates on the implementation status of the Strategic Plan.
- Create opportunities for telling member stories, sharing Club history, and describing Committees’ activities and accomplishments.
History and Archives Committee
- Develop policies and procedures for archiving the Club’s print materials, visual images, and artifacts, with an emphasis on digital media as feasible.
- Determine methods and responsibilities for collection of materials from all the Club’s officers, committees, and activities.
- Work with the Bentley Historical Library to assure that an appropriate set of paper materials is maintained and accessible.
- Establish methods of accessing and sharing archived information with Club membership.
Membership Directory Committee
Maintain and publish the Membership Directory.
- Continually update the membership database, assessing relevant, worthwhile, and preferred member contact and biographical information for tracking and documentation so that it can be downloaded from the website as needed.
- Produce paper copies of the Membership Directory annually in the fall and insertion of newly-inducted members’ contact information with each membership class.
Oversee the weekly Harpoon newsletter, including committee-created content, special features, and photographs, ensuring that the membership receives timely information about the Club’s events and achievements and news of Rotary members. Increase member involvement and decrease use of the Club’s Administrator in producing the Harpoon.
Annual Report [Past President]
Produce and distribute a comprehensive Annual Report for the Club, covering the prior Rotary year, July through June.
Public Relations and Publicity Committee
Advance the external recognition and image of Rotary and its activities.
- Develop and implement, in concert with the Board, a comprehensive public relations plan to ensure that the local community is aware of the mission and goals of our Club and Rotary International.
- Publicize Rotary’s commitments and outcomes.
The relevant committees are International Humanitarian Projects, International Outreach, and Ambassadorial Scholars Inbound and Outbound.
Encourage increased participation in international activities and publicize the work and activities of the committees to the membership by whatever means are available within the Club. Collaborate across Committees whenever this is appropriate and beneficial.
International Humanitarian Projects Committee
Identify and implement international humanitarian projects. The major objectives will be to:
- Fund and manage humanitarian projects that address health, education, and the alleviation of poverty in developing countries. Based on the available budget and the identification of worthy projects, the committee will attempt to implement multiple projects each year in accordance with RI guidelines for Matching Grants and the committee’s internal, Board-approved guidelines. In addition, the committee may contribute funds to worthwhile projects sponsored by other clubs or districts.
- Expand the scope of project funding by participating in other Grant Programs of The Rotary Foundation (TRF) such as 3-H Grants (Health, Hunger, and Humanity) or by obtaining funds from external funding agencies.
- Partner with other Rotary clubs in funding and managing international humanitarian projects.
International Outreach Committee
Promote and cultivate international travel and relationships beneficial to our Club.
- Maintain the current Sister/Twin Club relationships with Pune Central and Bangalore Midtown Rotary Clubs in India and from time to time initiate such new Sister Club relationships beneficial to our Club and approved by our Club’s Board of Directors.
- Encourage and facilitate travel of our Club members and families to other countries by participating in club-to-club and district-to-district Friendship Exchanges.
- Provide opportunities for our Club members to host visiting Rotarians and their Families from other countries through Friendship Exchanges and other Rotary activities.
- Facilitate Group Study Exchange activities, including working with the District GSE Committee and other district clubs.
- Provide a focal point for invitations and opportunities to visit or participate in Rotary service projects, education programs and conferences in other countries, e.g., National Immunization Days, Rotary International Conference, and others.
Ambassadorial Scholars Committee, Inbound
Support Scholars who are at the University of Michigan by helping them fulfill their responsibilities to The Rotary Foundation and work in cooperation with the District to follow The Rotary Foundation guidelines for hosting the Scholars. Whenever possible, encourage current Scholars to address our Club.
Ambassadorial Scholars Committee, Outbound
Actively seek out and support the nomination of highly qualified candidates from our area and, if selected, sponsor the outgoing Scholars in accord with District 6380 criteria and scholarship requirements.
The relevant committees are Community Allocations, Community Service Projects, High School Scholarships, and STRIVE.
Community Allocations Committee (CAC)
Provide financial support to community nonprofit organizations that meet important local needs and whose programs and services are consistent with our Club’s goals and values.
- Retain a major focus on “helping kids succeed,” while also considering other important needs.
- Define the appropriate level of funding for individual grants and seek increased support for the entire program.
- Establish a membership process and term limits to assure participation among interested Club members of diverse points of view while providing for continuity as well as a regular infusion of new ideas and perspectives.
- Continue to strengthen the committee’s methods for selecting priority causes and recipients by establishing a formal, balanced, and documented process of decision- making; provide a system of accountability for results and assess outcomes.
- Publicize grant recipients and work outcomes in the Club and in the community so that all will be informed about the nonprofit organizations and programs we support and the contributions Rotary makes.
Community Service Projects Committees
Oversee the Club’s participation in community service projects where the Club’s members are actively engaged in executing the work.
- Support the approved projects by engaging as many members as possible in their implementation. At the start of this plan, Tree Planting, Rotate Your Food, and Success By 6 were the current projects.
- Expand or phase out programs as needed, and publicize these activities within the local community.
Community Awareness Committee (proposed new committee)
Identify and suggest new community service projects that the Club may wish to undertake.
- Learn the issues confronting the Ann Arbor community and seek specific opportunities where Rotary members can play an active role in addressing the problems.
- Position the Club in a proactive role in identifying and evaluating new community service work.
High School Scholarships Committee
Select qualified students from public and private high schools in Ann Arbor to receive Club academic scholarships with an emphasis on financial need.
- Recommend the number of scholarships and the amount of the stipends.
- Evaluate any additions to the schools currently participating (Huron, Pioneer, Greenhills, Community, Gabriel Richard, and Rudolf Steiner)
- Improve awareness in the schools of Rotary and its goals.
- Strive to ensure that the most deserving individuals are nominated from each school.
- Include Interact sponsors from our Club in the recruitment process.
Enhance the quality of life for the Stone School STRIVE (Students Taking Renewed Interest in the Value of Education) scholars, their children, and their families.
- Encourage support for the program from within the Club as well as from community members.
- Motivate the students to maintain healthy school attitudes and high performance standards. Specifically,
- Continue the Partner Program and explore the feasibility of Rotaract members serving as STRIVE Scholar Partners.
- Continue STRIVE@Work involving both members of Rotary and the local business community.
- Strengthen the guidelines for participation in the STRIVE Scholarship competition.
- Develop an assessment procedure that shows benchmarks and milestones toward success.
- Honor and recognize STRIVE Scholars.
YOUTH AND VOCATIONAL SERVICE
The relevant committees are Junior Rotarians, RYLA, Rotary Tutors, Interact, Rotaract, and Rotary Youth Exchange.
Junior Rotarians Committee
Recognize outstanding seniors from Ann Arbor high schools.
- Set the selection criteria based on outstanding leadership, academic excellence, community service and good citizenship.
- Invite three students from each of the larger high schools (Pioneer, Huron and when applicable, Skyline) and a group consisting of one student from the smaller schools (Community, Greenhills, and Gabriel Richard) so that each group is introduced at two luncheon meetings and addresses the Club at the second meeting.
- Arrange for each student to sit with a Club member who has professional expertise in the student’s area of interest.
- Use the process to publicize Rotary and its mission to the students within the high schools and within the local community.
- Connect Junior Rotarians with their respective college or university Rotaract Club and introduce future University of Michigan (U of M) students to the U of M Rotaract officers and/or liaison.
Partner annually with other local Rotary clubs to send students from Ann Arbor high schools to the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards weekend retreat.
- Work with area high school counselors and Interact advisors to identify students from each school to take part in the RYLA conference.
- Provide conference transportation for the students.
- Invite RYLA participants to Club meetings to discuss their leadership training experience.
Rotary Tutoring Committee
Support the reading and math tutoring program at Angell and Burns Park Elementary Schools.
- Pair Club members and interested spouses or significant others with students identified by school administrators and teachers for the one-on-one weekly sessions.
- Meet regularly with school personnel to monitor the program and receive feedback on the student participants’ test scores and other measures of program success.
- Work with the Ann Arbor Public Schools Partners in Excellence Program to utilize Club members’ expertise and provide help to students in other core academic subjects, such as literature, cultural issues, science, and library activities.
- Communicate within the committee at least 3 times during the school year to allow members to share best practices and seek help if needed.
- Purchase a book for all students in kindergarten at Burns Park and Angell Schools.
Develop the Interact program in the local high schools.
- Support the two established Interact programs at Pioneer and Huron High Schools.
- Establish new clubs, when feasible, at schools that do not currently have an Interact club and, after it opens, at the new Skyline High School.
Support and mentor the University of Michigan Rotaract Club, an organization for young adults that carries out local and international projects.
- 1. Meet with at least two other college- or university-based Rotary Club’s Rotaract Committees to learn their successes, incorporate best practices, and determine ways to assist the U of M Rotaract Club in attracting both university and community members.
- 2. Promote awareness of Rotaract in the Club, the U of M, and local community in order to increase Rotaract membership.
- a. Give an annual presentation to our Club of Rotaract’s accomplishments and the upcoming “Year in Preview.”
- b. Encourage Club members to recommend young adults in the community for Rotaract membership.
- c. Formalize a process for connecting Interact and Jr. Rotarians with the U of M Rotaract Club.
- 3. Initiate a mentorship program with our Club’s membership to:
- a. Promote the development of professional liaisons.
- b. Help educate Rotaractors about real-life experiences.
- c. Expand the number of Rotarians who make presentations at Rotaract meetings.
- d. Mentor the Rotaract officers in their leadership and budgeting roles.
Rotary Youth Exchange Committee
Collaborate with the District leadership on exchange programs for high school students.
- Work with local high school counselors and administrators to identify and nominate local students for international Youth Exchange opportunities.
- Identify Club members to serve as host families for visiting international high school students or as hosts at special events in the community.
- Invite Rotary Youth Exchange participants to attend Rotary meetings to discuss their experiences with Club members.
ADMINISTRATIVE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
The Officers and Board of the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor are responsible for the successful operation of the Club in accordance with its Bylaws and for meeting its obligations to District 6380 and Rotary International. In addition to supporting the specific goals and objectives for each service area, the Board of Directors is responsible for several overarching goals and their associated strategies and action plans.
A. GOVERNANCE AND LEADERSHIP CONTINUITY
- Assure nomination and election of Club Officers and Directors in accordance with the Club Bylaws by convening a nominating committee by Oct. 15 each year to recommend a slate of candidates for vote at the Club Assembly in December.
- Establish planned succession for officers other than the president.
- Maintain excellence in the Club’s business operations by providing training and support for new officers and staff.
- Mentor incoming officers by current officers to maintain smooth transitions in leadership.
- Establish and implement policies that govern all internal and external Club operations: committee functions, programs and services, planning and evaluation, financial management, budgeting, resource development, and internal and external communications.
- Establish the annual club budgets for operations and for community service. In carrying out this duty the leadership will balance the opportunities for the Club to increase its service area initiatives with its reasonable expectations of financial resources for the coming year.
- Establish a strategy for increasing the Club’s resources, being mindful of financial demands placed on the membership.
- Establish and support succession planning at the committee level. Examine the rotation of the committee chair positions and, if appropriate, encourage specific changes or consider setting a policy on term limits.
B. ADDITIONAL BOARD ADMINISTRATIVE GOALS
- Create and maintain a systematic record of committee minutes, rosters, responsibilities, goals, and accomplishments that is passed from one chair to the next and is incorporated into an ongoing historical record of club milestones.
- Provide an efficient and effective communication system as well as a variety of opportunities for member interaction, caring, and sharing.
- Promote diversity among our membership with sensitivity to required and implicit obligations of membership, including time, dues, contributions, and lunch expense so that costs do not undermine our commitment to broad-based representation.
- Strike a balance between building our Club’s own permanent endowment and promoting contributions to The Rotary Foundation, always being mindful of the reasonable financial expectations of the membership.
- Maintain good relationships with area educational institutions through frequent communications with faculty, counselors, and administrators at area high schools, colleges, and universities.
- Ensure that annual plans for the Club are consistent with our overall strategic plan and are implemented as intended, that progress is measured, and that, as necessary and advisable, there are periodic evaluations and revisions of the strategic plan.
- Carry out annual job performance evaluations of persons employed by the Club to ensure that administrative functions requiring outside support are identified and included in the planning and budgeting for each upcoming year.
C. ANN ARBOR ROTARY ENDOWMENT
The Ann Arbor Rotary Endowment (Endowment) is a nonprofit, charitable corporation created by the members of the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor. The Endowment consists of assets contributed by Club members and is overseen by a separate Board of Trustees who operate the Endowment based on its Bylaws and consistent with the legal requirements of a 501(c)(3) organization. The Endowment trustees, based on their current policies, distribute funds annually to the Club to support the Club’s service work. The Club’s Board of Directors determines, in its sole judgment, how to disburse the funds for charitable purposes. The strategic objectives of the Endowment are simple and twofold:
- Grow the assets in the Endowment consistent with prudent financial management practices, and
- Distribute as many funds as possible each year to support the Club’s service work while
sustaining the growth of the core assets.
The specific objective for this five-year plan is to increase the annual distribution from the Endowment to the $100,000 per year level. Based on current policies, this will require a prior 12 quarter average market valuation of $2,350,000 to justify the desired distribution.
There are three groups within the Club whose work will produce the desired outcomes for the Endowment. These are:
The Endowment Trustees consist of eleven members of the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor including the current President, Vice President/President Elect, the immediate Past President of the Club, the Endowment Treasurer, and the Endowment Secretary. The Trustees oversee the management of the Endowment and set overall policy for its operation. Among their responsibilities are to:
- Set the policy on how the annual distribution will be determined based on the needs of the Club and on their fiduciary responsibility to the Endowment.
- Select the most qualified Club members to serve both as officers and trustees of the Endowment and as members of the Investment Subcommittee.
- Set up a formal succession planning and mentoring program for incoming officers, trustees, and subcommittee members.
- Be aware of, and take the necessary steps to comply with, the legal requirements of a qualified 501(c)(3) organization that meets or exceeds best governance practices.
- Make periodic reports to the Board of Directors and membership regarding the financial health of the Endowment.
Endowment Investment Subcommittee
The Investment Subcommittee of the Endowment Trustees works to maximize the growth of the assets in the Endowment and recommends to the Endowment Trustees how to take advantage of growth opportunities without incurring undue risks. The strategic objectives of the subcommittee are to:
- Analyze current financial market sector and individual fund performance data to determine the preferred Endowment investment and management strategies, make recommendations to the Trustees, and execute the approved strategies.
- Periodically evaluate the cost-benefit of hiring a professional asset manager to replace the current use of Club members with relevant financial expertise who carry out this function on a pro bono basis.
Endowment Development Committee
The Endowment Development Committee obtains new contributions to the Endowment by educating members about making gifts, promoting annual contributions by all members,encouraging bequests and memorial gifts, and soliciting major gifts and pledges. Its specific objectives are to:
- Achieve 100 percent member participation in a voluntary contribution to the Fund each year.
- Promote giving at the $25,000 level through current giving or the Legacy Wheel program, where members may join the Sustainers Society for contributions of at least $1,000 in outright gifts on a cumulative basis, or the Legacy Wheel for every $5,000 of cumulative giving to earn a spoke of the Rotary Wheel.
- Obtain five new bequest commitments to the Fund each year.
- Recognize major donors in the Club’s annual report and Club Directory and periodically at the Club’s noon luncheon meetings.