MEMBERSHIP FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

(Revised July 2020)

 

Prospective, new and even established Active and Honorary Members have questions. Here we try to answer the most common questions and provide empowering solutions.


General Membership

  •         What does Annual Active Membership really cost?

 

Firstly, membership is composed of Active and Honorary members. Honorary members do not pay any annual membership costs (other than $12 annual subscription to the Rotarian magazine) and are typically nominated to their status based upon a long history of community service or material Giving to The Rotary Foundation. Annual Active membership costs can be divided into five general categories and are subject to change based upon the directives from Rotary International, our Rotary District 5220 Board of Directors and our Club Board of Directors. There are other membership types (Corporate, Family, Vocational) that reflect different costs and benefits - the following is a baseline annual estimate for one person.

  1. RI and District Dues.  Each Active member, even those under a Leave of Absence, must pay $142 each year for their share of RI ($82) and District ($60) dues. These are paid to the Club.

  2. Meals.  Most members annually pay $298 for their meals. This amount covers breakfast for themselves only when the Club meets. Dues and Meals are typically added together into a single $440 annual invoice. Many members choose to divide this cost at a higher rate across four quarters at $116.50 ($466 total). Extra meals are charged $10 each.

  3. "Fines".  The Club does not charge separate formal Club dues for its operations, but it does levy an informal (and humorous) "Fine" against members each meeting for notable life or public events - birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, photos in newspapers, etc. (See "ring the bell" below.) Members are expected to be minimally "fined" $100 each year. The Club will account and invoice any unpaid fines. Many members simply request their fine is included in their annual or quarterly invoice for simplicity. Dues, Meals and Fines are tracked by the Club Treasurer.

  4. Giving.  All members are expected to donate at least $100 annually to The Rotary Foundation (TRF) or through the RI website. This can include small automatic payments or single donations. Many members routinely contribute over $1,000 annually. $10,000 is considered a Major Donor. The Club Foundation Chair tracks this progress and assists members.

  5. Shrimp Feed.  The Shrimp Feed is the Club's traditional Annual Fundraiser. In addition to volunteering, Active members shall provide either a small gift or a $50 donation for a raffle. Additionally, New Active members are financially responsible for selling five tickets their first year with the Club and 15 tickets thereafter. The current face-value of each ticket is $50. Members very rarely need to purchase their own tickets since demand is so great. That said, it is still a real financial responsibility to take seriously.

 

The current estimated minimal annual cost of Club membership is $690.

  •          What is a Paul Harris Society Fellow (PHS)?

Paul Harris, an Illinois attorney, founded the club that became the humanitarian organization Rotary International in 1905. A member is recognized as a Paul Harris Society (PHS) Fellow with a special gold pin and related notation in Rotary records when they donate $1,000 to Rotary International. Each additional $1,000 in Giving is equally recognized as PHS+1, +2, +3, etc. Each increase is also recognized with a new unique pin. The Club is generally recognized as a 100% Paul Harris Society Club - meaning all members are recognized as PHS Fellows due to the Club's historical Giving. The Club typically uses its resources to make all new members PHS Fellows with the expectation that each new member will follow suit with material Giving. The Club's Foundation Chair assists members in these matters.

  • I am interested in being a member of the board for Sunrise Rotary, how do I sign up?

As a member of Sunrise Rotary, we encourage all members to get involved. Contact the current Club President to find out what the needs of the Board are.

 

  • When members are fined, what does it mean when they choose to “ring the bell”?

 

Choosing to “ring the bell” is a $50 contribution towards each member’s $100.00 annual contribution towards club operations.

 

  • What are Sunrise Rotary’s Major Fundraisers?

 

The major fundraisers in which ALL Sunrise Rotary members are expected to volunteer are the Shrimp Feed (March) and the Merced Field of Honor (November). Members are welcome to volunteer to be a part of each events planning committee.

 

  • What is the Marble Game?

 

The marble game is held at the weekly meeting. Tickets are $1 each or six tickets for $5. Each marble has a meaning. Clear = $1, Black = $10, Green = Jackpot (amount varies).
 

  • Can I bring my spouse or a family member to a weekly meeting for breakfast?

 

Yes, family members are always welcome to attend a membership meeting. Please make sure to pay $10.00 to cover their breakfast. Payment can be given to the club Treasurer.

 

  • How can I make up a missed meeting?

 

Members can attend other area Rotary meetings (i.e. Merced, Atwater, etc.) or club meetings (i.e. board meeting, committee meeting, etc.) and either convey the attendance to the club secretary or login to DACdb and enter the attendance makeup.

 

  • Rotary Websites - What is DACdb?

 

DACdb is a mandatory website for Rotary members to input their contact information, view Rotary info on all clubs, communicate, etc. One can access a Sunrise Rotary membership directory as well as other club directories. Once an individual becomes a member, they should login to DACdb to upload a head-shot photo and complete their contact information. This is important because electronic communication with members is done through DACdb. (www.dacdb.com)

 

  • What is P-mail?

 

P-mail is the e-mail system that is available through DACdb. All club notices are e-mailed out to Sunrise Rotary members via P-mail which uses the e-mail listed in each members DACdb profile. It is important to maintain an updated profile.

  • Rotary Website - Rotary International.

Rotary International, also known as "RI" is the headquarters for all 33,000 Rotary clubs operating globally. All members should create a profile with RI at https://my.rotary.org/en. Here membership can do many things; subscribe to the electronic edition of the Rotarian magazine, search for any one of the 1.2 million Rotarians organized globally, make a tax deductible donation and track your Giving, enter important information about the Club's activities and learn more about the Rotary Zone and District, and access critical tools and media resources to enhance the Club.

 

  • How can I make a contribution to the Rotary Foundation?

 

Members can create an account and log in to www.my.rotary.org. Visit the “Give” section of the website to choose the causes to donate towards. Members can also view their donor history on this site. Each member is expected to contribute a minimum amount of $100 per year. The contribution can be given in one payment or through monthly payments that are automatically withdrawn.
 

  • Where can I buy Rotary “swag”?

 

Rotary branded items - shirts, jackets, pins, hats, awards, etc can be purchased from The Russell Hampton Company (www.russellhampton.com). There are other vendors as well. The Club maintains an account with Russell Hampton and purchases many Club items from there.

 

  • Other Rotary websites

 

Rotary International: www.rotary.org
Rotary District 5220: www.rotary5220.org
Merced Sunrise Rotary: www.mercedsunriserotary.org
Merced Field of Honor: www.mercedfieldofhonor.org

  • How can I get involved in the planning of the annual Shrimp Feed - held in March?
     

All members are encouraged to be a part of the shrimp feed planning. Contact the Shrimp Feed chairperson (President-Elect) to get involved.

 

  • Do I have to sell tickets and make any other contribution to the Shrimp Feed?

 

Yes, each Sunrise Rotary member has a commitment to sell tickets. New members should sell 5 tickets and all other members will be asked to sell a minimum of 15 tickets. Plus contribute a minimum of $50.00 or an item that is valued at $50 or more towards the raffle. All members shall fully volunteer for this principal annual fundraiser.

 

  • How do I decorate my table for the Shrimp Feed?

 

Every member is assigned a "table" based on the number of tickets they sell. Some members sell nearly 100 tickets and have many connected tables, other new members their first five and have one table. The Club provides basic table items such as tablecloths, plates, napkins, etc, wherein each "Table Captain/Member" has an opportunity to uniquely dress-up their table for the big event. Table decorating is a friendly competition each year when typically our District Governor judges the best decorated table in the Club. Some members have been known to post large candelabras, St. Patrick's, sports teams, and cowboy themed tables. Flowers and place-settings can also complement simple snacks brought for guests. While not mandatory, members do find the process creates a personal and inviting space and a good conversation starter with new guests and visitors.
 

  • Where do members get their aprons for the Shrimp Feed?

 

Rotarians wear aprons with their names and the Rotary logo on them at the Shrimp Feed. They are ordered prior to the shrimp feed. Members will receive order forms beforehand from the shrimp feed chairperson (President-Elect).
 

  • What is a Table Captain?

 

The purpose of the Table Captain is to assist the Club in providing a “quality experience” at the Shrimp Feed. By acting as a host/hostess for our guests, we make them feel welcome, and they will want to return the following year.
The Table Captains are usually a spouse, significant other, family member or friend over the age of 21. The reason for this is that they will be able to bring the wine to the table(s).

 

  • Merced Field of Honor (MFOH) - How to Get Involved?


Like the annual Shrimp Feed, all members are expected to volunteer for MFOH. The events starts with planning in July after the Club President appoints one or more Chairpersons. These Chairs then select and organize members and other volunteers for the November event. This event lasts a week to 10 days. Contact the appointed Chair or Club President to learn what roles are needed. The event grows and changes each year.

  •           What kind of “job” will I have while volunteering at the Merced Field of Honor?

 

MFOH operates for approximately two weeks (depending on where Veteran’s Day falls in the calendar). You are asked to participate in the initial set-up and final tear-down. Historically, the Field posts more than 1400 American flags in addition to other displays. Other volunteer activities include; hosting Opening and Closing Ceremonies, other special speaker and night-time events, fundraising, meal-preparation, volunteer organizing, equipment set-up, selling and preparing flags for display, running flags or escorting visitors onto and off the Field. Each member should prepare to work six hours on different shifts on at least two days physically at the Field during the event in addition to other efforts.

More Questions? - Just ask another member. So much of Rotary is about learning by doing. Service clubs in general are volunteer organizations - members change, leaders change, technology changes, as does our patrons and their needs each year. Contact us for more information, and if you are interested in Rotary the best advice is to just invite yourself to our weekly breakfast meeting - it's that simple.

© 2015 - 2020 Rotary Club of Merced Sunrise

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