Center on the club's purpose; its image will take care of itself!
Many clubs debate whether or not it is more important to be known as clubs that get things done by writing checks or by doing 'hands on' projects. The bailout solution to this dilemma is, of course, that clubs should have both. But it's irresponsible to hide behind the bailout. Doing so avoids addressing and solving the more critical issue - finding unique ways to achieve the club's only purpose. More about that later. But let me tell you a personal story that relates to this issue.
About a year ago, my wife and I decided to do a service project. The beneficiaries were us. We wanted to update our sixty-year-old house so we could enjoy it in our golden years and make it easier for us, and/or our kids, to sell. We put on a new roof, resurfaced the pool deck, remodeled our entry way, updated our utility room, and the biggy - modernized our kitchen. We just recently completed the project. Does it really matter to us, as beneficiaries, if the service project was successful because we wrote checks or did it hands-on? Of course not.
Creating Rotarians is the only purpose of Rotary International and its member clubs. Their only objective is to advance the Object of Rotary. Does it really matter to beneficiaries whether individual Rotarians or clubs create Rotarians and advance the Object of Rotary by writing checks, doing hand-on projects, or combinations thereof? Of course not. But it does matter to a club's target audience, present and future Rotarians. They are the ones who advance the Object of Rotary and should feel good about doing so. It makes no difference whether they do it by writing checks or doing 'hands on' projects. So, in plain language, clubs should center on offering unique services and opportunities that relate to and satisfy the wants and needs of their target audience, present and future Rotarians. After all, the only accurate measure of clubs', districts', or zones' effectiveness is not how clubs and their members accomplish service projects; it is their ability to use appropriate attributes to create Rotarians from within their local social fabrics.