Our Club’s Latest (if not First) Classification Survey

As we all know, Rotary Clubs are to be comprised of members representing a wide range of professions and occupations. A large club like ours has not had to worry too much about that guidance but it is worthwhile to take stock of our situation every once in a while. On January 12, a small ad hoc group of members presented the results of its Classification Survey to the Membership Committee. The findings were that our club did have a diverse collection but also found that there were areas where we could fill in some gaps.

The Classification Survey project was initiated after a question in our Annual Survey invited respondents to indicate if they would like to become more involved in the work of the club. Options ranged from “ad hoc project as an individual” to “Officer or Director.” Downs Herold, Dave McDowell, Peg Talburtt, and John White checked the “…as a part of small group” box and were recruited to take on the project.

The team chose to look at categories of organizations for individual members and identified seven somewhat distinct ones that readily allowed for sorting of members. The categories and percent of current RCAA members are: Government (3%), Education (17%), Health Care (11%), Commerce – as in business to business (20%), Professional Services – as in business to consumer (15%), and Finance (13%). Overall, the team determined that our club is in reasonable shape for now but there is still room for improvement. Click here for details on the categories.

The team’s recommendations to the Membership Committee were:
1. Continue in search of persons who share in our “Service Above Self” ethos and are interested in fellowship, service, and professional development.
2. Pursue candidates from underrepresented organizations such as, government agencies, education (U-M, WCC, AAPS, private schools), large/prominent companies (Toyota, Google, Zingerman’s, Conway/XPO, Dominos, Terumo, Thomson Reuters, ProQuest, etc.) as well as local small businesses.
3. Also, seek candidates from other organizations, some of which typically included Rotarians (Red Cross, Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, United Way, State St. Association, Downtown Development Authority, NEW Center, Main Street Ventures, SPARK, Chamber of Commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureau, religious groups, etc.).
4. Since so many Rotarians have local connections through their other activities, each should be on the lookout for candidates and could take the first step in recruiting. The Membership Committee could equip them with training and other resources.
5. Another technique might be to invite a potential candidate to be a speaker at a weekly meeting.

A next step in the process could be to compare the demographics of our membership to the community in terms of the persons who would be appropriate and qualified for Rotary membership but the team is leaving that for another ad hoc effort.