Frequently Asked Questions

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Questions

  1. What will be the purpose of Rotary E-Club of New England, USA?
  2. Will the Rotary E-Club of New England, USA just be a “virtual” club that lacks Rotary service?
  3. What will be the structure of the E-Club?
  4. What will be the key goals of the E-Club?
  5. What are the planned attributes of the  E-Club?
  6. Will the  E-Club have both a public website for visitors and make-up attendance, and a separate members” clubhouse that is closed to visitors?
  7. Will a secure clubhouse create a “secret society” version of Rotary?
  8. What about Fellowship? Attendance?
  9. What online meeting software will be used?
  10. What online payment system is best for the E-Club to receive club membership dues and accept member contributions to The Rotary Foundation?
  11. What will be the cost of membership in the E-Club?
  12. How will E-Club members meet membership meeting requirements?
  13. Will the E-Club require a set number of hours of service as a mandatory condition of membership?
  14. Will E-Club membership be an easier way to be a Rotarian?

What will be the purpose of Rotary E-Club of New England, USA?
The purpose of the Rotary E-Club of New England, USA is to extend Rotary to business, professional, and community leaders to those who are unable to meet traditional attendance requirements.  Inability to attend a traditional Rotary club could be the result of demanding business or professional commitments, extensive travel, confinement or mobility limitations due to ill health or disability, or residence beyond reasonable distance from an existing Rotary club.

The Rotary E-Club of New England is seeking members that are committed to redefining ‘service’ to fit their busy lives – a refinement that includes leveraging technology and social media to connect like-minded community change-agents and ‘builders’ together to exchange ideas and best practices while having fun.  Our purpose is to work with our members and guests to ensure that Rotary can fit in their lives and that their investment of time and resources are respected while we go about the business of changing the world.   go to top

Will the Rotary E-Club of New England, USA just be a “virtual” club that lacks Rotary service?
In short – NO! The Rotary E-Club of New England, USA is not intended to be a “virtual” Rotary club. The E-Club will be comprised of real living, breathing, working Rotarians doing real Rotary projects. We simply will use the Internet as a tool to manage the club and manage projects. Use of the word “virtual” in the Rotary context is deemed to be inappropriate, because Rotary works in the real world, not in the virtual world. A Rotary E-Club is part of the real world of Rotary International. (See below for assurances of member participation in service activities.) go to top

What will be the structure of the Rotary E-Club of New England, USA?
As a new Rotary E-Club (as of June 23rd, 2014) we have adopted an initial ‘traditional’ Executive that has a President, President-Elect (to be found), an Immediate Past President (in time), Treasurer, Secretary, Membership Director, Foundation Director, and Service Projects Director.  We currently have three at-large Executive Board positions to be filled and our plan is to map our needs such as Social Media and Technology with the interests of our members (new and not-as-new) so that our Board is representative of both the work that needs to completed and futures to begin, as well as the passions of those who give of their time to serve.   go to top

What will be the key goals of the Rotary E-Club of New England, USA?
Rotary E-Club of New England, USA initial key goals are paired with the same six key goals that apply to Rotary E-Clubs internationally:

  1. Use the Internet to retain Rotarians who would otherwise be lost to Rotary.
  2. Use the Internet to attract new Rotarians.
  3. Use the Internet to facilitate meetings.
  4. Use the Internet to provide programming excellence for E-Club members and E-Club visitors.
  5. Use the Internet to manage service projects.
  6. Use the Internet for fellowship by creating a friendly community of like-minded Rotarians.

We have other stretch goals that are more ingrained in who we are and our common desire to build a Rotary club that fits our membership.  These include:

  1. To experiment and find innovative ways to engage and connect our members and guests from around the world to exchange ideas and take on service projects that may defy traditional definition.
  2. To focus on membership engagement and leadership development of our members of all generations, geographies, genders, and vocations.
  3. To use our virtual platforms to give a voice to many that are under-represented in the Rotary world including the next generation of leaders, creative out-of-box problem solvers from outside our organization, stakeholders from the communities we serve, and partners in working to change the world.
  4. To foster, and if possible master, organizational evolution that is brought to us from the fast-paced changes (community, cultural, and commercial) that are found in social media, crowd-funding and crowd-sourcing community-based take-action models, and innovative idea exchanges.
  5. To create and honor a ‘social contract’ between members that helps govern and guide our shared commitment to changing the world while finding balance between life, health, family, career, personal development, and changing the world.   go to top

What are the core attributes of the Rotary E-Club of New England, USA?
Here is what we have defined today:

  1. Clarity of purpose
  2. Commitment to excellence
  3. Intelligent leadership
  4. Sound organizational planning
  5. Excellence in programming
  6. Meaningful projects and activities
  7. Commitment to innovation in service and programming
  8. Continuous contact with members
  9. Harmonious member interactions and fellowship
  10. Thoughtful membership development
  11. Close engagement with the Rotary District, Rotary Fellowships, and Rotarian Action Groups
  12. Effective use of appropriate technologies go to top

Will Rotary E-Club of New England, USA have both a public website for visitors and make-up attendance, and a separate members’ clubhouse that is closed to visitors?
Yes, such is standard practice. Internet security is of paramount importance. We must protect our members and their immediate families from identity theft and other fraudulent activity that could threaten their privacy, their security, or their personal safety. Therefore, personal details of each member, and a member’s immediate family, will be stored in the ‘Clubhouse’ which will also contain the club’s Board minutes, financial reports, service project administration, and discussion forums for every member to access and read.  We currently use ClubRunner for our ‘Clubhouse.  No financial information of our members is retained.  Information will be stored in a secure database protected by AES 256-bit encryption security, or some similar and equally secure method. NOTE – Information security, in the context of Rotary E-Club administration, will be given top priority. go to top

Will a secure clubhouse create a “secret society” version of Rotary?
No! The Clubhouse will offer every member 24/7 access to Board meeting minutes, financial reports, committee meeting minutes, Rotary service reports, project plans, discussion forums (when functionality permits), weekly meeting notes and every other aspect of club management and operations.  go to top

What about Fellowship?  Attendance?
The meetings of traditional Rotary clubs must offer high quality programs (speakers), service projects for which members share a passion, interesting interactive forums, and enjoyable fellowship between members. Our website found at www.rotarynewengland.org serves as the primary website where members and guests enjoy high-quality content to maintain members’ interest and encourage regular attendance.  Members of Rotary E-Clubs are expected to visit attend these 24/7 meetings at least once a week.  Some Rotary E-Clubs use their private Clubhouse to keep members connected, informed, and inspired; some E-Clubs have active “blogs” that keep members connected by sharing the excitement of activities with family and friends.  It has been suggested that such an internet-based “chat” forum enables an even greater opportunity for Rotarians to know more about what is happening with other Rotarians than the once a week gatherings offer around a meal-based event/meeting. As of August 2014, we are actively looking to change our wesbite design to encourage more blogging from all of members and guests as well as the use of an online forum where we can exchange ideas. . go to top

What online meeting software will be used?
We have yet to find the perfect package as of August 2014.   We are  looking at systems that provide remote meeting and desktop sharing sofunctionality that enables a member of an E-Club to meet with other members, collaborate with fellow Rotarians in organizing and managing service projects, and attend meetings with others via the Internet in real-time.  Video sharing and meeting recording are also high on our requirements list.  We’re currently evaluating a number of systems that range from free (like Google+, Wiggio, TeamViewer) to expensive (like GoToMeeting, Adobe Connect, and Micrsoft Lync/365).   We want to be cost conscious as well as every dollar that goes to internal spend is a dollar less to go to the many good works we hope to complete. go to top

What online payment system is best for Rotary E-Club of New England, USA to receive club membership dues and accept member contributions to The Rotary Foundation?
We currently use PayPal to accept donations from guests and dues from members.  We also provide direct links to the Rotary Foundation so our members and guests can donate directly.  go to top

What will be cost of membership in the Rotary E-Club of New England?
Our dues for the 2014-15 Rotary year stand at $200 per member.   Understanding that some members may be in ‘transition’ such as changing jobs, starting new families, juggling school while working, and starting out in new careers, we are open to creating payment plans that allow us to maintain our financial commitments while allowing our members the financial flexibility that they may need.

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How will Rotary E-Club of New England, USA members meet membership meeting requirements?
Members can fulfill weekly meeting requirements in one of the following ways:

  1. Logging on to the Rotary E-Club of New England, USA site and completing one of the program activities listed. Each member who fulfills his or her meeting requirement by visiting the Rotary E-Club of New England, USA site will complete and submit an online form to document attendance in this fashion. Types of activities/meetings are similar to, or already available on websites associated with, other Rotary E-Clubs. (A visit to Rotary E-Club One is very instructive in this regard.) Additionally, it is proposed that Rotary Clubs throughout D7930 and  New England  can record and submit videos of meeting speakers to be made available on the Rotary E-Club of New England, USA website.
  2. Completing a make-up with a traditional or other Rotary E-Club; and submitting a make-up request.
  3. Participate in Rotary service projects, meetings, and local District events.
  4. Participating in a sponsored Rotary E-Club of New England, USA service activity, or participating in a Board-approved Rotary E-Club activity, e.g. participating in a service activity associated with another Rotary Club, ideally in our members’ home district. go to top

Will Rotary E-Club of New England, USA require a set number of hours of service as a mandatory condition of membership?
Yes, this is proposed. This is not a membership requirement of Rotary International; but It is proposed that each member of Rotary E-Club of New England, USA must commit to a minimum of 9 to 12 hours Rotary service per calendar quarter (as determined by the Board), or lose membership. Those who wish to join Rotary E-Club of New England, USA will be informed of this Rotary service rule when they first inquire about membership. Some may withdraw their membership application, while others will proceed and become part of a deep commitment to Service above Self.  We’re developing a system for recording members” service hours as they are reported each month. It is anticipated that many members will contribute more than 12 hours Rotary service per quarter. It will be encouraged, and can be seen as real opportunity, that E-Club members participate in the service activities of other District 7930 Rotary Clubs or Clubs in their geographic area. Furthermore, with a “culture of electronic communications” among E-Club members, it is anticipated that there will be a heightened exchange of communications about service opportunities for fellow-Rotarians to join in “spur of the moment” service activities together. go to top

Will E-Club membership be an easier way to be a Rotarian?

Certainly not! Membership in a Rotary E-Club is not an “easy” option. Requirements for membership admission should be stringent. The same basic membership requirements in a traditional Rotary Club will be required of Rotary E-Club of New England, USA members  Qualification for membership will be the same as set by RI, plus references and/or endorsements are proposed. Membership fees will be assessed. Weekly, monthly, and quarterly “attendance” requirements must be met, plus it is proposed that there be documentation of a minimum of service hours per quarter (see above). go to top