Saturday, January 27, 2018

Rotary Membership-Some thoughts

Membership-Some thoughts
At zone it was mentioned that most of our clubs are based on a specific idea or way to be a Rotarian. A lot of the appeal of a club is the connection/interactions between Rotarians. Friendships are established and that keeps you coming back to the club. 
Some Rotarians invite lots of people to join and others not so much. 

In any case there are three steps to get and retain new members 1) invite people to come to one or more meetings/gatherings and then invite them to become a member, 2) induct them into the club and 3) help them establish connections/interactions with other Rotarians so that they feel a part of it. We have left it to members to do 1) and we have left 3) to chance.

So what can clubs do to help. 1) Public events. Clubs can organize events which are open to the public and are publicized. These can be cocktail hours, small service projects(packaging gifts for children at the holidays), or any other planned event. Put it in the paper, talk it up by members. Just informally do something together. Don't do it solely to get new members, do it as part of the clubs' regular business but open it up to the public. Mystic Rotary club has done this monthly, recently and gotten 11 new members. They had a series of small public events and invited people to come. Eleven new members.
David Cruthers the President Elect at Mystic where they have inducted eleven new members
2) After a member is inducted into the club we need to help her/him establish connections/interactions with existing members or other new members. As part of the normal club process we should ask new members and existing members to work together. This does not have to be a big thing, it can be a small piece of a project or even just dealing cards together or whatever happens during the regular meeting. The key thing is to ask new members and existing members to work together over a period of time. And we don't hit it off with everyone, so do this with a bunch of different existing members for every new member.

At New Haven Rotary Club-Two new members with PDG Colin Gershon

So two things clubs can do 1) have some small public events which are publicized and 2) invite new members to work alongside multiple existing members on small projects and tasks.

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