RONR — Needed or Not?

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Does your club need to adopt formal rules of order on how your meetings should be conducted, such as RONR (Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised)? If you watch your government sessions on TV, you might wonder. In Canada, sessions of parliament are chaotic with members yelling out of turn and banging their desks. In South Korea, physical fights and brawls have been known to break out. Fortunately, you can put those images aside — governments tend to adopt their own rules of order and as counter-productive and disgusting as those may be, clubs can do better.

We’ll talk about Robert’s here because the advantage of RONR is that it has been around since 1876, it is comprehensive and, most importantly, ubiquitous. That is, your members are more likely to be running across Robert’s at any other business, charitable or other club meetings they attend. The question here, however, is does your club need to adopt rules of order or not? Continue reading RONR — Needed or Not?

Volunteers — 3) Impact

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Third of Three Posts:
1) Types
2) A Strategy
3) Impact

If, with persistency and time, the expected volunteerism of the four-step plan does become ingrained into the culture of a club, here’s what a Board can expect.

Type One — One or two Type Ones may feel a sense of responsibility now that the Board has made it clear that all members are expected to volunteer. Some Type Ones simply become apathetic and need to be explicitly reminded that their club must have volunteers, particularly if the club’s activities are extensive. Whatever the case, a few Type Ones may now actually step forward and volunteer thus moving up to Type Two. Continue reading Volunteers — 3) Impact

Volunteers — 2) A Strategy

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Second of Three Posts:
1) Types
2) A Strategy
3) Impact

If your club does not have enough volunteer help to meet its needs, your Board of Directors may be to blame. It’s the Board’s job to provide the leadership and policy-making to resolve the problem.

True, a Board generally doesn’t have any power to force members of a club to volunteer. A Board can request, negotiate, cajole and beg for volunteers but usually only an employer or government has any real power to insist. By definition, the word volunteer implies a willingness to freely donate time and work. So what can a Board do for a club that’s not meeting its needs for volunteer help? Continue reading Volunteers — 2) A Strategy

Volunteers — 1) Types

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First of Three Posts:
1) Types
2) A Strategy
3) Impact

Based the an average wage in Canada and the number of volunteer hours, volunteerism generates about $50 billion in annual economic value. Not bad for a country with a population less than the state of California and it’s a prime reason clubs survive. Even the richest clubs need volunteers if only for their Boards. For clubs of more modest means, volunteers keep the club running and membership dues reasonable — most need them to exist.

Is volunteerism working in your club? When your President or a committee chair calls for volunteers, do hands go up, signifying a willingness to help, or do heads turn away? Are your Board and Committee positions all filled or are there vacancies for lack of volunteers? Are new club initiatives dropped because help is not available for their successful implementation? Continue reading Volunteers — 1) Types

By-Laws — Democratically

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Non-profit, unincorporated clubs writing new by-laws or revising old ones have to make a decision. How democratic should their by-laws be? Some by-laws leave most of the decision-making process affecting the club’s health and prosperity in the hands of a Board of Directors or an Executive Committee. Others provide a more democratic environment for members with inclusions in their by-laws that allow a Director to do their jobs but at the forbearance of the voting membership.

For example, by-laws can allow members to vote a Director out of office. This one appears in an article entitled ‘Board and Directors’ under a ‘Declaring Vacancies’ Section:

Voting Members may by a two-thirds vote at a General Meeting of Members declare a Director’s position vacant: a) if the Director fails to perform the substantial responsibilities of the position or, b) for other cause.” Continue reading By-Laws — Democratically