Membership is the biggest challenge today.  We need Rotary there for our children and grandchildren, for our communities, our nation, and those all over the world that Rotary helps.  More hands strengthen our service projects; more resources make the Foundation stronger; and more hearts energize the fellowship that spurs all of us to work harder and better.

A straightforward approach is GROW.  The “G” challenges us to get organized.  As you know from your business, profession, career, or home life, nothing happens unless you get organized.  For yourself and for your club, ask “who, what, when, where, why, and how.”  Who am I going to ask to join Rotary, when, where, and how?  How can I help lead my club to add members, and keep those we have?



R” recognizes we must recruit.  First, identify:  watch for community and professional leaders with a spirit of service, who should be Rotarians.  Then invite:  ask them to a club meeting, and then to join Rotary.  Do not be discouraged.  According to the best estimates, you must ask four or five quality people in order to get one new member.

O” reminds us to orient and mentor.  For years, our membership efforts ended with recruiting.  And a lot of members joined, and never showed up again!  So we must focus on the big picture.  New members deserve a dignified, meaningful induction marking a change to “service above self.”  Early on, conduct an organized orientation to Rotary basics and club fellowship.  A mentor, often the sponsor, is critical during the first few months to helping the new member become a Rotarian.

W” signifies “we-retention.”  Pardon the cuteness, but it emphasizes that the new member must become the “we” in Rotary.  Ask them about programs they would like, and service projects they will do.  Profile them in newsletters.  Schedule them to tell a club meeting about their background, job and family.  Get them active, on a committee and with specific duties.

If you believe in Rotary ideals, sharing Rotary is one of the best gifts you can give.  The District website under “Membership and Club Support” has many membership resources.  Each month, this newsletter will have a Membership tip, mostly about recruiting.  If we can help, please do not hesitate to contact your Membership co-chairs though the District website “Organization Chart.”