Home' Rotary Down Under : June 2015 (International) Contents MEMBERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
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In an ideal world recruiting a new Rotarian would be a
simple matter. You would simply ask the person if he or
she would like to join Rotary. Unfortunately, it is not as
easy as that. There is always the fear that they might say
no and the feeling of rejection and humiliation can be
as strong as the feeling of jubilation should they say yes.
Certainly there are people who have no problem
asking a friend, colleague or acquaintance straight out,
but those people are a rare breed.
Many clubs hold Rotary membership nights, but even
that requires a face-
Over the past few
years the Rotary
Club of Yass, NSW,
has come up with
a formula for such
an evening which,
if followed exactly,
having to personally
We follow the idea of an information night, but there
are certain steps we take that make the whole process
much easier for everyone.
• Ask members to submit names and addresses
of anyone they think would make a good Rotarian.
• Send an invitation from the president by mail
• Keep the evening informal, cocktail party rather than
a meal, and NO GUEST SPEAKER (they have come to
hear about Rotary)!
• Organise three or four Rotarians to tell their Rotary
stories in a few minutes each. Have varied topics such
as what happens at meetings, club projects, PolioPlus,
overseas opportunities, etc.
• As the guests leave give them something to take away
(e.g. a brochure on the club).
• FOLLOW UP! Have someone contact them the next
day to invite them to the next normal meeting.
For more information on this topic and a sample
of the president’s letter go to www.yassrotary.
“The feeling of
be as strong as
the feeling of
they say yes.”
Words By Judy Ford
Rotary Club of Yass, NSW
Words By Peter Hartley
RC Central Blue Mountains
members can be easy
Membership has been, and probably will remain,
a challenge for Rotary clubs throughout the world.
However, there is a solution. Tired Rotary clubs can
be enlivened and revitalised through the introduction
of people of all ages and of different ethnic and
The Rotary Club of Central Blue Mountains, NSW, took
on the membership challenge a couple of years ago. A goal
was to induct one new member a month over 12 months.
Membership went from 22 to 34 members in a year. The
club now boasts 38 members.
How was the membership plan achieved?
First, it was necessary to invest in people. Looking after
existing members and catering for their needs was most
important. There is no point in gaining some only to lose
others through lack of communication or dissatisfaction.
Also, members had to be willing to accept change.
Meetings were streamlined. The sergeant-at-arms
was stripped of his fines session, Rotary formalities were
eliminated, business at meetings was cut to a minimum,
good guest speakers and an á la carte menu were introduced,
and one long dining table was used at meetings, helping to
break up cliques. Social activities assisted in assimilating the
new people, each of who had a mentor until they became
familiar with our organisation.
It was also essential to have a high profile and be
extremely active within the community. Successful Rotary
information nights were arranged. Invitations were sent to
local people who had shown an interest in Rotary and to
those who would be suitable Rotarians.
Social media and handheld devices have rewritten the
rules, so it was necessary to embrace Facebook, Twitter and
the internet to interact with members and the community.
People became connected. The weekly newsletter was
expanded as an information source, not just for members,
but for Rotarians and interested people across District 9685.
Publicity was increased, with the club being referred to
as “Central Blue Mountains” or “CBM Rotary”. Use of the
word “club” in publicity was discouraged. A large catering
trailer at local events and Sunday markets helped build an
excellent public image through improved visibility.
The introduction of new people with their respective
skills stimulated the original members, producing a happier,
brighter and enthusiastic outcome to weekly meetings
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