A Member’s Interest

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LCP Martin Alex Bose

For most organizations, recruitment and retention of its members are the most difficult part of an organization. Too many factors come into play. There is leadership, admiration, individuality and diversity, contradiction, perception, finances and capacity, doubt and ignorance, religion, culture, hobbies and many more. However, above these is membership interests which not only motivates a member to join and stay, but to actively participate and work for Club objectives as well.

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Membership becomes senseless and irrelevant if club matters and goals are not met. Simply put, members are not actively participating. A club is destined to fall without active members just as a building will easily crumble without its pillars and bricks.

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This is why in the Rotary Club of Hiyas ng Maynila, camaraderie, communication and business, professional and personal development are being harnessed and honed to achieve Club unity.

This takes me back to my early days as a Rotarian. Doubt, insecurity and anxiety engulfed me to the point that I chose not to speak and interact with my Club members. How can I interact? I couldn’t speak without being asked, what would others think of me? But don’t get me wrong. The Club is active in “meet n’ greets”. The Club always do Classification Talks for new members wherein new members are given the chance to speak, talk about themselves, the reason why they joined Rotary, their expectations, hobbies, etc. However, personal nature just kicks in and restricts a member. Why wouldn’t it? For a new member, he/she is a stranger on an unchartered land.

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However, if a member is truly destined for a Club, everything will fall into its proper places and destiny itself does the work. For me, a certain member of our Club paved the way. Just like a mother, she listened and acted. She carefully and correctly read my intentions of joining Rotary, to wit: having a chance to help the needy and becoming relevant. With this, she asked me to conduct Club seminars, the first being about Basic Accounting for Non-Accountants, then the Anti-Bullying Law of the Philippines which I was also able to discuss to public school teachers. This person is no other than Past District Governor Karen Tamayo.

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Encouraged, composed and welcomed, I then proposed and lead a project titled “Bangon Bicol – Oragon Kita” which is a relief operation for the people in Bicol which were hit by Typhoon Rolly. I then joined series of projects such as the E-Learning School Program and I even joined activities from the Rotary Club of Legazpi such as their 2020 Christmas Party. Being a Rotarian of the Rotary Club of Hiyas ng Maynila then became very meaningful, uplifting, fun and fulfilling.

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To sum these all up, everything boils down to interest. A person will not join a club, will not stay in one or will not participate in Club activities without personal interest. The challenge now to the Club and its officers is to identify the interests of every member, find a way to satisfy it and use it for the benefit of the general public. 

For this reason, the Club, acting through its officers, must be united, must be understanding and must be respectful. It should be flexible, accommodating and careful with its members. While new strategies and fellowships can be utilized to encourage and motivate members, old tactics such as what Past District Governor Karen Tamayo applied to me, still prove to be very advantageous and beneficial for these purposes. Under the leadership of the officers of the Rotary Club of Hiyas ng Maynila, new Club processes are being developed and implemented such as the fixing of a new schedule for monthly meetings and fellowships, the development of an incentive program and membership assistance, the fixing of its organizational structure, the fixing of goals and principles, fixing of the SEC registration and the development of project “Wheel of Knowledge” which is a self-sustaining, free and convenient project focused primarily on education and literacy, and secondarily on fund raising to finance community projects, all of which play a vital role in developing membership interest.