In this series, Rotary refers to the enterprise of Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation.
Rotary captures value in the form of dues from Rotary clubs, therefore Rotary clubs must produce something of value for which a few community citizens are willing to exchange value by paying dues and committing time and talent. To do so, any Marketing Rotary initiative should be designed to assist clubs in determining answers to this question: Why would a person in any community be interested in joining and paying dues to any Rotary club?
In order to respond appropriately, Rotary and its member clubs must be conscious of basic organization and market fundamentals, some of which are:
· Rotary clubs are social welfare (civic) organizations, not charitable service organizations.
· Less than one percent of the people in the world, or any community, is interested in joining a Rotary club, which, by personal selection, makes them an exclusive group.
· Those who are interested in joining a local club make a commitment involving time, treasure, and/or talent.
· They, and only they, judge whether or not they are receiving sufficient value in exchange for the commitment they have made.
· Rotary clubs (and all member-supported organizations) are exclusive; i.e. they exclude everyone that, for whatever reason, is not interested in becoming a member.
In marketing terms, segmenting and recognizing those who may be interested in joining a Rotary club is referred to as identifying target audiences. The challenge Rotary and its member clubs face is identifying those that may be interested, determining what values they seek, and producing those values. When identifying and communicating with target audiences, consider that, in
North America, most people volunteer to do some type of
community service activity. Even most of
the 85% that live above the poverty line contribute something to charitable service
organizations. Confusing exclusivity
with elitism and referring to Rotary clubs as 'service' clubs hinders public
image initiatives and reinforces the need to re-establish a universally acceptable brand statement and marketing philosophy.
Rotary's strength lies in how much value clubs deliver to the few who choose to join clubs. To meet this challenge, Rotary needs to center on serving its clubs. This requires an extensive internal marketing initiative, consistency in messaging, critical examination of how messaging is delivered, and centering on target audiences - particularly its prime target audience.
Marketing Rotary for Non-Professionals 107 - Rotary's Prime Target Audience