Since 1 July, 2016, my Rotary club has recruited and brought in 31 new members. Eleven of these new members are women and eight of them are under 40 years of age. The club has gone from being classified as a “medium” sized club of 68 members in our district to being classified as a “large” club of 93 members in just over nine months. How did this happen? Here’s our tips:
1. Know your club’s strengths. If you meet in
the morning, you will probably be a good fit for a 9 to 5 employee.
But if you meet at noon, you’re more likely to appeal to retirees
or parents of school-age children. If someone doesn’t fit
your format, recommend them to another club. They won’t forget
you and may send you someone another day. Let all the clubs in your
area know you are looking for members, and they may send you some
that better fit your format than their own.
3. Make recruiting the top priority in your club.
You can’t do everything as a club president, and knowing that
will give you some freedom to focus on the most important thing.
Having new members – with new energy – will help
you have more people to raise money for The Rotary Foundation, serve
on your committees, and invite additional members/more smiling faces
to your meetings and fun event. Let your members know this is the
top priority so they can all help.
6. Be persistent. There will be times that it takes
literally a dozen requests to get someone to a meeting. Keep asking.
They may come to a meeting, or tell you they can’t join now
because they are too busy, or they aren’t interested in joining
at the moment. These are all fine answers as long as you keep track
of them and keep in touch. How many times did you have to be asked?
(It was over a course of two years for me)
8. Celebrate when you get a new member. This gets the club excited about getting more members. Our club makes a poster of the individuals after they’ve been voted in and we put it in the front of the room at our next meeting. We do the same thing when we induct a new member.
9. Realize there is no finish-line. Even if you are
at the size that your club wants to be, there are always reasons
people leave. And new insights always benefit a club. You’re
either growing or you’re dying.
These really work. Try them out.
- Tom Gump, president of the Rotary Club of Edina Morningside, Minnesota, USA, and a District 5950 trainer, writing in
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