Survey Results….Oh Boy!
Thanks to everyone who took time to respond to my little questionnaire.  Open-ended questions are sometimes difficult to answer, but thoughtful, written responses are so much more useful than trying to interpret the difference between an “8” and a “9” on a 1 – 10 scale.  All of the comments I received were excellent and therefore, I would like to devote this month’s column to a few of the more memorable entries.  And as promised, the identity of the author’s will be protected….unless they said something really nasty about me!
            Male – 10
            Female - 4
Have we ever impeached a President of the Rotary Club of Ames?     (Jim Mason)
I do enjoy the breakout (off-site) meetings we had last week and would like to see more of those if possible, maybe quarterly.
I have made up at many clubs and I think that our programs are as good or better.
Adding a specific networking component to the weekly meetings could attract new (younger) members to the club.  After the pledge and moment of silence, 30 to 45 seconds could be carved out for everyone to press palms with folks not currently at their table.
Rotary was designed for interpersonal relationships to flourish…we have become used to sitting in groups that don’t change much.  I think at least once a quarter there should be some random seating scheme.  Make it a fun scheme but get people to sit with someone new and different.
Does Iles own more than one suit?     (Reno Berg)
Nice balance on asking for money/donations…as long as the board knows that as individuals we shouldn’t be expected to support everything.
It’s important to engage new members early.  The new member projects may not get started until someone has been a member for several months.  Greeting at the door and working the registration table is a way to get to know people…great opportunities for new members.
I think donor fatigue is a big problem.  We have so many requests for money from so many sources; Rotary Foundation (polio), District Governor (coats), District programs (RYLA), and on and on.  I do not think our club has really had a thoughtful consideration of donations to various “causes”.
My experience is that active important service to the club will sustain membership.  Should we assign a mentor/neighborhood watch captain to members who are less engaged?  Find opportunities for them to get more involved?  Identify interests…make connections, etc.?
I like that we continue to try new social options outside the Monday noon timeframe.  It has taken awhile for people to accept that, and some never will, but I hope we keep trying.
And there were more…so many more excellent comments.  So thanks to those of you who responded….and to those who didn’t…it’s never too late to make your voice heard.  My door is always open, e-mail always functional, and cell phone at the ready.  Obviously, we can’t act on all suggestions, but I (we) certainly will take all of them seriously.  Small steps but always in a positive direction, eh?
Finally, in this month during which we set a thankful tone, let me say how thankful and grateful I am for your membership, involvement, and dedication to the Rotary Club of Ames.  Members of this club truly are an amazing amalgamation of caring, thoughtful, and hard-working people.  You make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of all citizens of the world. 
Happy Thanksgiving!
Jeff Iles, President
Rotary Club of Ames