Fireside chats help club thrive
Every club faces the challenge of involving and retaining members. By instituting the time-honored practice of fireside chats, the Rotary Club of Lexington, Kentucky, USA, has motivated new Rotarians and rekindled the enthusiasm of longstanding members.
社長約瑟夫．巴克博士(Joseph Bark )相信「溝通不是對社員講話，而是跟社員對談」，於是在當社長當選人時他就在自己的家開始爐邊談話。該社有377個社員，許多社員都三五成群來參加。巴克說：「每個人都想談。」他們提出了數百個好點子。
Believing that "communication is not talking to the members but with the members," club president Dr. Joseph Bark initiated the chats in his home while president-elect. Rotarians from the 377-member club turned out in droves. "Everyone wanted to talk!" Bark says. And they had hundreds of good ideas.
One new Rotarian suggested handing out table assignment numbers as each member arrived for lunch so that younger members could get to know the more experienced Rotarians. "We did it, and it works," Bark says. "Sure, we got some complaints initially from those who come to meetings to socialize with friends. But they started to enjoy the company and ideas of newer members."
Relaxing by the fireplace in Bark's library, new and longtime members voiced numerous other wishes that the club has since fulfilled, including launching new service projects, creating a club Web site with a password-protected member directory, and videotaping club speakers for broadcast on television. For the many members who want to know more about Rotary, the club inaugurated a quarterly meeting with a talk show format.
The club has other activities to orient members, but the fireside chats are ideal for fostering exchanges leading to action. And it's a two-way street.
"When I discovered that only 2 of every 10 Rotarians who came to my home had ever sponsored a new member, I solicited pledges from each group to do just that," Bark says. "Our club numbers are rising steadily."