Rotarians share ideas on member retention
When it comes to recruiting and retaining members, creativity is the name of the game. Rotary Images/Alyce Henson
Diana Wood Howard, president of the Rotary Club of Spring Valley (Columbia), South Carolina, USA, says membership has never been better since the club decided to move its meetings to a brand-new grand hall at a local church.
"We've inducted 20 new members in less than 18 months," Howard notes. "Don't be afraid to think outside the box for a new meeting venue" when it comes to membership development, she advises.
Recently, Rotarians discussed innovative approaches to recruiting and retaining members on Rotary International's official Facebook page . Rotarians are encouraged to e-mail their creative strategies to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Howard says it's also important to get new members involved early. “Our ‘newbies,’ as we refer to them, organized a PolioPlus fundraiser this past July.”
Elizabeth Penny, president of the Rotary Club of South Ukiah, California, says her club encourages members to bring their children to meetings. As a breakfast club, it meets early enough to allow members to get their children to school.
"We're a pretty informal club, and we wanted to be welcoming to younger parents," she says. "It has worked really well for us. The children have their own table and call themselves 'Rotary kids.' They even have their own project: collecting used towels and blankets from hotels and donating them to the humane society."
The Rotary clubs of Sebastopol and Sebastopol Sunrise, California, focus on fellowship. Every spring, Rotarians volunteer to host an evening meal at their homes for three members of their own club whom they’re less familiar with.
“We match participants based on their not having significant relationships with each other,” says David G. Mark-Raymond, of the Sebastopol Sunrise club. “The idea is to develop new relationships and be more inclusive.”
John T. Capps, of the Rotary Club of Morehead City-Noon, North Carolina, recommends that Rotarians “always keep a bright-colored 3 x 5 card in your shirt pocket, handbag, mode of transportation, or on your desk for a quick, efficient, effective way of remembering potential club members.” Capps says the method works: He has proposed 92 members, 78 of whom are still Rotarians.
What are some successful ideas that your club has tested to attract and retain members? Post your comments below, or continue the discussion on Facebook .
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