This story appeared in the December 7, 2014 edition of the Culpeper Star Exponent. This story is a result of a press release being sent via email to local newspapers. This is evidence that sending press releases to local newspapers will result in publicity for our local Ruritan Clubs! All local Ruritan Clubs are encouraged to send press releases to their local newspapers!
From the Desk of the District Governor:
I would like to apologize to James Duerson, his family, and the Louisa Club for my oversight at our District Convention this past Saturday. James has served our District faithfully in many ways over the past 50 years, and for his effort, we are all grateful. James is our Chairperson for the Growth and Development Committee. At the convention, I overlooked this Committee during our Business Session. I take complete responsibility for this oversight and I apologize to him and our Rapidan District for my mistake.
From the desk of the Lt. Governor:
This is the time of year when Ruritan Clubs typically form nominating committees to come up with candidates for their local Ruritan Club’s Officers for the next year. Elections are scheduled to be held during the club’s October meetings.
As the clubs consider their candidates, they would be wise to keep in mind these important details:
Only full members “in good standing” are eligible to hold an office. By “good standing” that means good attendance, and dues are paid in full prior to the election.
Ideally the club’s secretary and treasurer would be on the nominating committee, and they would be able to discretely determine those facts before the candidate is approached.
Candidates should be made aware of the dates of both the District and National Conventions, and should be able to attend the conventions to receive important training in addition to representing their clubs during the business meetings, learn about what is going on at the National level, participate in awards ceremonies, vote on the motions being brought before the clubs, brainstorm with other Ruritan members, and enjoy some great fellowship time. If they are unable to attend the convention, they may find it difficult to perform their jobs correctly, and their clubs may suffer from the lack of representation during the business meetings.
Candidates should be given a thorough explanation of what the job entails. If they are unwilling or unable to perform the tasks, such as attending important training sessions or preparing important reports, nominating committees would be wise to consider different club members to fill the position.
From the desk of the 2016 Publicity Chairperson:
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In this day and age, more businesses are feeling the call of corporate leadership, and are looking for ways to support the local community. One way they can do that is by joining local community service organizations, such as the Ruritan Club.
Having a business member helps increase public awareness of a club’s existence. When a business member receives the membership plaque or window cling from the club, the business might display the plaque on their wall, window, or door, in a public space.
Customers and/or employees may see that wall plaque or window cling and through that sighting become aware for the first time that the Ruritan Club exists (they may have never heard of us!) This may spark a conversation between the customer/employee and the person within the company that did the paperwork for the application. Maybe even result in a few new members joining the club! This relates to the first part of our slogan “Fellowship, Goodwill and Community Service.”
Often businesses have newsletters that they distribute among their customers/employees. They like to include stories in their newsletters about how they are “giving back” to the community by joining local community service clubs. If they join our club, chances are that they will publish a story about it in their newsletter. If they have a website and/or facebook page, they will likely include a mention about their membership with our club on that media as well. After all, those stories make their companies look like good corporate citizens. And, those stories will help to publicize our club at the same time.
Businesses that are members of our club have already indicated (by the very act of joining) an interest in supporting our causes. Chances are good that they are going to be receptive to the idea of donating gift cards, money, or services to our club from time to time when they are approached in the right way. That relates to “Community Service.”
A business owner may also decide later on in the relationship with the club to become an active member on a personal level, once he/she has become more familiar with all of the good deeds that our club does. They may consider encouraging their employees/families to join the club as well. More “Fellowship.”
A business member is a good resource for networking. Networking is a great thing! If our club has a need, and reaches out to the business members, asking for advice or referrals, the business member may be willing to help introduce us to people and companies that can help us accomplish our goals. The business member may not be able to help us directly, but often can help us get in touch with someone else who can help us, and with a little bit of social finesse, may get us discounts or free labor. This directly relates to “Goodwill.”
Some business members might help us with free publicity, letting us put our flyers in their windows. Others might donate gift cards or merchandise for us to use as door prizes, raffle prizes, or auction prizes. Some of them might buy ads in future fund-raising calendars in future years, or buy an ad in the District Convention Program. Some may donate ammo for a Turkey Shoots, buy a vendor table at a yard sale, or donate food for the concession stand to sell at one of our events. Some may provide free Internet installation and monthly service to the building we use as our club house. Still others may create and maintain our club’s website for free. Others may provide us with office supplies, or free printing services. Some businesses might even donate money to our scholarship fund-raising! All of this relates to “Goodwill and Community Service.”
Having a business member will increase our membership numbers, making us look good for National. That’s always a good thing! A business membership in the Ruritan Club is a form of Associate Membership. Clubs get rebates from National on the dues that an Associate pays to Ruritan! A business member will not interfere with the internal workings of the club, as they have no voting rights, and cannot serve on the board of directors. However, they may attend our meetings and be part of our “Fellowship” any time they wish.
Listing our business members on our website, our Facebook page, our membership promotional materials, (which costs us next to nothing) makes our club look good in the public eye. Acknowledging their membership and thanking them for their association with us, will help them to feel appreciated, and will encourage their continued membership and sponsorship of our events. This promotes “Goodwill.”
Putting all of that information on our promotional materials helps potential members to see us as a worthwhile club. After all, if these businesses have joined our club, then we must be a good club, right? This will encourage potential members (both business and personal) to join us, as we have the endorsements of these respected business members of our community. More “Fellowship” ensues.
There really is no down-side to having business members in our club. The more business members our club has, the better. More money goes to National Ruritan to help with all of the good work Ruritan does, and the local endorsement we get from the business members is priceless.
A business membership in a community service club such as our Ruritan Club is a win-win situation for everyone. Actively recruiting business members will help the club to grow and thrive, and supports our slogan “Fellowship, Goodwill, and Community Service” in every way possible.