Dear Club Presidents,

I have thought quite a bit about what makes Rotary so special and it always comes back to the people who make up the club’s membership. I continually meet new dynamic people in Rotary who broaden the friends I can learn from. It is the people involved with the club that come up with the great projects that make long lasting impacts in the communities. The millions of dollars raised for these projects all come from the members of club. Membership is the heart of this great organization.

Rotary membership is being challenged. We are seeing a continuous decrease in membership in both our district and the world at large. Of the 62 clubs in our district, only 14 clubs saw growth in membership for the 2019/2020 Rotary year. Membership Growth does not come by accident. Each of these clubs make a tremendous effort and have good systems in place for bringing and retaining new members. They all have active membership chairs and a process for guiding prospective members through the courting phase of Rotary. Many of these clubs have adjusted their membership types, structures, dues, time commitments, and requirements in order to make it easier for people to be a Rotarian. Most importantly, these clubs have created a welcoming and fun environment for their meetings. People often laugh and joke throughout the meetings. People feel they belong to a wonderful organization and outsiders want in on it!

Please reflect on the attached Membership Experience graphic whether it represents your club as well. If the best way to appease new members is through service opportunities, make sure your club has enough on the calendar. If new members are wanting personal development and training opportunities, make sure you have speakers in your meetings addressing these wishes. Have enough social opportunities in your year for the current members to enjoy fellowship and friendship. Encourage members to get together outside of official Rotary events. Create group chats or use Facebook messenger groups to encourage invites for a patio beer or simple meme (joke) sharing. Make sure you have a good balance of time, so people don’t think Rotary takes too much time away from their family, friends, and work. Look into flexible meeting structures or attendance requirements. Ask your members what would make for their best experience as Rotarian. Most importantly, make sure people have fun!

As always, please use me and my team as a resource for anything Membership related. Reach out if you would like additional information on the membership types or what other clubs are doing to create a flexible membership. Finally, if you still have not named a membership chair or haven’t connected your membership chair to the District Membership team, please do so.

Have a great month!

John Locke

D6250 Membership Chair