Our Rotary club invites its members based on candidates’ history of service and leadership, then engages and supports them in the early portion of their membership to help build connections to foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise.
Membership development supports the club through active recruitment of community members whose interests are aligned with the club’s mission and initiatives and are reflective of the rich, diverse community that we serve. Membership engagement works closely with new members to help them make the transition from “recruitment / induction” to “participation / engagement.” In addition, membership engagement efforts include the Rotary Cares team to assure that members are supported in times of need such as illness, family death, and business difficulties.
New members are inducted in either two or three ceremonies per year. The last two classes have brought in 17 and 13 members, respectively. Hence, we bring in 30 members to our club of about 320 members, or about 9% per year. However, due to turnover, we lose a similar number of members each year, meaning that we maintain a membership in the range o 315 to 330 members.
The role of a mentor is key to introducing a newcomer to the hundreds of members, dozens of committees, and myriad service and social opportunities. We find that when a member leaves the club, it is often within the first year and that it appears that the member has not become fully connected with club activities. Not only the mentor, but also social activities, a six-week “new member health check,” and overt efforts to connect the new member to an area of service with for which the member has a passion, all help engage the newcomer. Indeed, the individual personal invitation to participate is the most effective tool for member engagement.
Interim Chair, Downs Herold