Rotary Membership-Development training hand-out

Rotary Awareness and “Satellites”

A Match Made in Rotary Awareness Heaven

By Pat Landaker, Rotary Awareness Committee, District 5450

 The results of the November 10 “Satellite Summit” confirmed:  At our fingertips, we have the best way to introduce Rotary to prospective members who lie in the fringes of various Rotary Clubs in District 5450 –  “satellites.”

So, what is a “satellite”?  A “satellite” is a separate Rotary operational unit that is organized by an interested group along with an individual Rotary Club.  It is set up with different meeting times/locations, structures, and activities and is tailored to serve those in a community who cannot meet the standard Rotary Club schedules and expectations.  It is considered to be part of an existing Rotary Club for membership purposes and generally covers the same geographic area as the sponsoring Rotary Club.  (See site link on District website for “Satellite Groups.”)

At the Satellite Summit, leaders from existing “Satellites” and Rotaract Clubs shared that “satellites” have flexibility, convenience, efficiency, effectiveness, and often the mobility needed for the future Rotarian.  It’s an arm that reaches out and embraces those who truly believe they just can’t make Rotary work with their personal and professional lives. It’s the call to action that fulfills our responsibility to meet the needs of America’s business, professional, educational and nonprofit communities by introducing them to Rotary in the most convenient way possible.

“Satellites” make a community aware of Rotary through a narrower lens.  They are tailor-made for those who want to engage in Rotary but feel they just can’t get to a meeting.  “Satellites” are everything 21st century Rotary should be and is.  Its appeal is valid and verified by the many successful “satellites” around the world and appears to have an ever-increasing retention rate.

“Satellites” offer tremendous value.  They usually boast a lesser cost to its members because of shared dues, yet also offers most of the characteristics and experiences of an existing Rotary Club, including the opportunities to serve local and global communities.  The real appeal is features like proximity to work or school and conformity to professional or educational lifestyles.  “Satellites” are the perfect fit for a busy urbanite, “tethered to the desk” professional, and immersed in studies post or graduate student, and comes complete with service projects for community giving and social opportunities for friendship and fellowship.

“Satellites” are smart and on trend.  They have many of the elements of a traditional Rotary Club only with the freedom of an e-club and contours of a social club with a brown bag lunch.  It’s Rotary a la carte, quick and streamlined, functional and fun.  And it’s a first-line marketing approach for Rotary clubs to better engage and enlist today’s on-the-go prospects who will hopefully become long-term independent club Rotarians.

“Satellites” are critical to Rotary’s long term immersion into today’s world and its many nuances.  And their growth must continue in the most organic way possible and be a personal choice made through the hands on and convenient opportunity a “Satellite” offers.  It’s really an easy case to make and truly is a match made in “Rotary Awareness Heaven.”

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