Still have questions about what it means to become a Watsonville Rotarian? We have found that many of the questions below are often on the minds of prospective members. Should you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact our membership chairperson.
Watsonville Rotary service is centered around two expectations of all of its members: the giving of service time and financial resources. Attendance at weekly meetings is highly valued as an indication of your commitment to Rotary service. That said, Watsonville Rotarians lead busy lives, with many family, professional and community commitments. We recognize that these commitments will rightfully come first in a Rotarian's life so the 'making up' of missed Club meetings is flexible.
The minimum requirement is to maintain a level of at least 60% Rotary attendance, with at least 50% at your own Club; the balance can be 'make-up' meetings or club activities. Make-up meetings/activities can be any time two weeks prior or two weeks after the missed meeting. Such flexibility permits you to plan for business trips, vacations, and other occasions where you will not be able to attend your own Club. If you are unable to attend a regular Watsonville Rotary Club meeting, you can 'make up' at virtually any other Rotary activity including the following:
We know that a key component to keeping our members engaged and inclined to bring guests and potential new members is to provide consistently high quality speakers, on a wide variety of topics of interest to our members at our weekly meetings. That is why we put a lot of effort into our program schedule, and we encourage our members to communicate their ideas on good presenters and program topics to our Program Chair. We post the list of our upcoming speakers on our Calendar.
While networking has always been one of the most obvious ancillary benefits to membership, the main objective of Rotary membership is service above self. That means, for example, although our members receive access to a club roster with each member's personal and business information, members are not allowed to be use it for general business solicitation (i.e. putting everyone's e-mail into your marketing list or mass mailing list). That being said, while it is not acceptable to use Rotary membership strictly for marketing purposes, as you build relationships with individual members in the club, you will have opportunities to support each other in business relationships. Members are not expected to support Rotary businesses, but it is certainly not uncommon practice to do so, and our club members do business with each other regularly.
There are also multiple opportunities to highlight your business throughout the year. For instance, when a new member first joins, it is customary for them to give a short presentation explaining their background and interest in joining Rotary, which gives new members a good opportunity to let members know about your area of expertise. Another example is when a member with expertise in a particular field that is the subject of current interest or relevance to the membership is scheduled as the speaker, providing the club with a weekly program which does not advertise the speaker overtly, but does allow the speaker to showcase her or his expertise in the subject at hand. There are also certainly many opportunities for sponsorships, advertisements and participation in our events as well as supporting this website. Members are encouraged to reach out to the Event Chair for our various events or our Public Relations chair to discuss how you can do this.
Opportunities for service vary widely and there is sure to be something of interest to each member. One avenue of service is club business, such as serving as a member of the board of directors or any of the several committees that help the board run the club; helping with meetings duties such as set-up and break-down, check-in, scheduling programs, and also ongoing club tasks such as bookkeeping and Treasurer duties, public relations, and attracting and keeping membership. Other club service opportunities include planning and working our social and fundraising events.
Members can also engage in community service through our youth scholarship program, our school adoption programs, helping with youth mentorship through our local Interact and Rotoract Clubs and job-shadowing event, and also many opportunities to roll up your sleeves and work for the community and club, doing neighborhood clean-ups, providing free labor for local not-for-profits (and even cleaning gutters for elderly members of the Club and community before the rainy season). Last but not least, members can take advantage of many of the international service opportunities through Rotary around the nation and world, pitching in to make the world a better place by focusing on literacy, education, public health, nutrition, alleviation of poverty, peacemaking, and the promotion of equality and human rights.
As you attend club meetings as a guest, you will no doubt see lively exchanges between the "Detective" for that week and assorted Club members, acknowledging special dates such as member birthdays, wedding anniversaries, Rotary anniversaries, birth of a child or grandchild, new car or home or job, community recognition in the media, particularly pictures in the print media, and otherwise engaging in lighthearted ribbing of the membership, ending with the Detective assessing a "fine" to a member.
These "fines" are always good-natured, and are never intended to embarrass or place a financial hardship on the member. Specifically, fines can never exceed $10 per member per meeting (unless arranged otherwise between the Detective and member in advance). The fines that are generated by the Detective serve three critical purposes