Waconia-West Carver Rotary receives district award

The Waconia-West Carver Rotary Club recently received the District award for Club Administration. Pictured here are Rotary President Ron Seib, left, and President Elect Richard Scott. (Patriot staff photo by Todd Moen)
The Waconia-West Carver Rotary Club recently received the District award for Club Administration. Pictured here are Rotary President Ron Seib, left, and President Elect Richard Scott. (Patriot staff photo by Todd Moen)

Infrastructure is the basic, underlying framework of an organization.

It forms the building blocks upon which an organization can grow. While critical to the success of an organization, it is rarely recognized, let alone awarded. Yet that is exactly what happened this past April when the Waconia-West Carver Rotary received the District award for Club Administration.

The Club Administration Award honors clubs that have made a concerted and successful effort to run their club more efficiently and effectively. Definitely that applies to the Waconia-West Carver Rotary. During the 2012-13 year, the local Rotary Club became more effective and efficient in the area of finance, membership drive, operations, public relations and programming.

Increasing one’s financial picture is always on the top of every organization’s mind.

Waconia-West Carver Rotary supports a number of worthy causes in the area. The needs in the community have increased dramatically. In order to help meet those needs, the local Rotary knew it had to increase its fundraising. The three fundraising vehicles it used during the year – the Rose Sale, the Gourmet Wine Dinner and the Duck Races – were much beloved, but needed to be made more efficient and effective.

By applying a number of business management techniques to the Duck Race, the net profit was increase from $139 to over $10,022. The techniques were then applied to the Gourmet Wine Dinner and increased the net profit from $11,463 to $16,185. These additional funds are being directed to increase support of the International and Community Services, expand the Youth Exchange program and enhance Club Marketing and Membership recruitment efforts.

The club also increased membership and fellowship opportunities by offering additional social gatherings. These events were held as part of local service projects, membership orientation and holiday gatherings. The events provided a venue for Rotarians, spouses, business associates and friends to cultivate and strengthen relationships by getting to know each other in a more relaxed and enjoyable setting.

Making operations more efficient and effective was also a goal this past year for the local club.

The bylaws were reviewed. Then the club established guidelines and standard operating procedures for approving Community Service projects, facilitating fundraising events and other club administrative activities. In addition, the local club partnered with an established Rotary 501.c3 non-profit to better manage donations and to provide fiscal accountability. The financial operations effectiveness was evident in the increased number of Rotarians who contributed to Rotary International.

To increase Rotary visibility, the club embarked on a public relations campaign that included the addition of a Service Above Self award, given to a local non-Rotarian who embodies the Rotary motto in serving the local community. In addition, the Duck Races were used to promote Rotary throughout the community.

The launch of the Club Runner, which is both the external website and club management software, served as an enhancement of membership communications also served as a means to advertise upcoming events and current achievements. A social media component was also added.

Finally, programming outside the club was studied and the Waconia-West Carver Rotary increased its participation in International projects. Two Rotarians, Dr. Nancy Rajanen and Richard Scott, traveled to Chimbote, Peru to explore expanding collaborative partnerships with Rotary Clubs.

The award was presented to the Club at the District 5950 Annual Meeting on April 19. Paul Batz’s keynote message that night was “Spreading Goodness in Leadership and Business.”

By strengthening the Club infrastructure, the Waconia-West Carver Rotary Club did just that. The outcome is a more robust club with the financial means to help even more worthy causes in the western area of Carver County.

If you are interested in learning more about the local Rotary Club, contact Rotary President Ron Seib (952-361-9294) or President Elect Richard Scott (612-805-8899). You may also learn more by linking to www.clubrunner.ca/waconiawestcarver.