Tacoma Sunrise Rotary is known for their commitment to literacy and fun. Their membership committee may be less well known, but it is a hardworking group. Over a year ago, membership leaders commissioned a survey driven by values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The survey’s purpose was to collect ideas from community members who did NOT belong to Rotary to learn their perspectives on career building, networking, and civic betterment. These ideas could be used to inform Rotary’s membership practices. They especially called for interviews of tradespeople, members of minority groups, and young professionals.
Care was taken to ensure the qualitative survey followed sound scientific practice. It took over a year to design and deliver. But it was worth it! The committee learned the most common barrier that held back interviewees from joining Rotary was TIME. Community members did not have time to commit to routine meetings.
The best feature of the interviews was an open-ended question which gathered surprisingly honest and down-to-earth individual recommendations. Advice from members of minority populations included, “Rotary isn’t the first service opportunity that comes to mind, especially with the BIPOC community. Rotary has been reliant on individual members reaching out to acquaintances rather than Rotary collectively providing the message.” Advice gathered from young professionals included: “Members should know their communities, younger generations are will[ing] to help…make the younger people feel as though they will not be used as worker bees.”
If you would like more information, contact survey co-chair Kathleen Figetakis at Tacoma Sunrise Rotary.