E-commerce and Rotary

By John Borst

“I don’t have any cash!” That is the refrain I heard repeatedly as I sat in our local IGA selling “Turkey Shoot” raffle tickets, one of the Dryden Rotary Clubs many annual fundraising activities.

What if I had been able to reply, “That’s okay; you can pay with a credit card.” And I had been able to open my laptop, tablet or smartphone and let them pay via the Internet. Frankly, we have the technology and software to do just that, especially, if we are already a ClubRunner client club.

During the past month, I also had a lesson in how young parents register their children for hockey leagues and swimming lessons in places like Toronto. They do it on line and only on line.

The system works like this. A time to register is set such as 8:00 am on September 15th. All those wishing to register must pre-register their personal data, create a user name and establish a login password prior to that date. Then at the designated hour everyone logs in, registers their children in the appropriate league/swimming class level and pays with a credit card on line.

As Rotarians, we claim as a goal a desire to attract a “New Generation” of Rotarians, yet we actually persist in our financial transaction behavior as if we are still living in a pre-credit card or better still, debit card world.  This is not the world our youth generation operates within.

Some of the places where we as clubs can use e-commerce are payment of our semi-annual dues, our weekly meeting costs, and our special events especially those requiring registration and a fee.

If you are a ClubRunner software user, it is easy to arrange for their Online Payment & eCommerce Module to be operational. Costs are modest with a quick roi, especially for those volunteers who have to manage the current manual system.

Rotary International is already there. Those who registered for the recent New Orleans’ conference likely did it on line and paid on-line.  It is now possible to also make payments to The Rotary Foundation’s Annual Program Fund and to purchase Rotary paraphernalia on-line.

This month District 5550 will be piloting an on-line registration and payment for the November 4, 5 2011 World Community Service/The Rotary Foundation Retreat. Expect to see more examples as the 2011-12 year proceeds.

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