Home' Rotary Down Under : October 2014 (International) Contents HUMANITARIANS ONLINE
16 Issue 566. October 2014
For more information phone
James Cunningham on
03 9729 6300 or
An easy way to raise money for
your Club and Community
Create an income stream by screening movies to your local community
with a giant inflatable outdoor movie screen.
Great for community events, fund raisers and even backyard parties.
We have systems for small events all the way up to events for up to a
few thousand people. You can screen Blu-Ray & DVD movies, live TV,
games and PC on the big screen.
People love outdoor movies, they are fun, they are entertaining
and they are magic.
By Kate McKenzie
Rotary Club of Randwick, NSW
In Rotary we pride ourselves on telling the truth and it
is a truth universally acknowledged that Rotary is in dire
need of attracting younger members because our global
percentage of under 50s still sits at 6 per cent. Or does it?
I wanted to create a statistical graph to share on social
media for Membership Month in August, so I took a look in
Rotary Club Central to see what my club’s data looked like.
I soon found that 32 per cent of our members had an age
of “unreported”. At the global level, a staggering 79 per
cent of members have an age of “unreported”.
The truth is that all of our global statistics are based on
a fiction, because, as custodians of the data that identifies
our members, we have neglected to fill out the birthdate
field when we enter our member information.
Interestingly, globally 2615 members also have an
unidentified gender. Although there may be legitimate
reasons for this, as reflected in the recent NSW legislation to
permit transgender people to have an alternative to male/
female, it is perhaps more likely that the person entering
the data has skipped over the necessary field.
So what should we do? The first step is to ask your
club secretary or membership officer to log in to Rotary
Club Central and update the birthdates of all current club
members. Bring the laptop to your club meeting and do it
on the spot, or gather the info via other means. When your
club has 100 per cent of your data reported, create a graph
in excel and take a look at the picture it paints. Where are
the peaks and troughs? If a certain age bracket is missing
in action, what can you do to smooth out the graph? Reach
out deliberately to people in that age group, redesign your
activities or communicate images and stories that change
the perception they might have that they don’t belong.
Within two days of discovering the error, I had the missing
data and our club is now 100 per cent reported. I’m proud
that my club has a decent demographic spread, but we do
have a gap in the 40-49 bracket. Due to shifting childbirth
patterns, this is a key age for raising young children. Family
friendly options are really important, as is the chance to
connect with those parents as their children transition
into upper high school. The key is to just keep asking and
reaching out until we find someone who is ready. I’m using
our graph to run a small Facebook campaign to the 45-59
age group in our area with the headline “Don’t wait until
Web forms might seem like a chore and we might not
always understand the value of the data we submit. Imagine
if we got our basic demographic information right. What
other questions could we ask to better understand who
our members are, in order to better design our future club
structures and projects? We might also have a very different
story to tell about the diversity within Rotary if we have the
right data. I’m a firm believer that one of Rotary’s greatest
strengths is the intergenerational exchange of wisdom and
talent, so knowing our demographics is not only about
pointing out that the ranks of members in their 30s are
growing – it’s also about encouraging those who have key
experience and skills to share to bring it to the table just a
little earlier, before they retire, so we get the benefit of their
talents for a few more years.
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