Rotary Membership Retention - July 6, 2015

Rotary Membership Hints
By Thomas Sturiale
Hello Fellow Rotarians.  It is time to start up the Membership blog once again. 
I took a year off for quiet contemplation and now feel energized to begin anew.  Membership has once again surfaced as a critical issue for our district.  District Governor Jim Fusco has set membership increases for each club as one of the very important objectives of the coming year.
I will try to offer some ideas, thoughts and suggestions to help club officers and membership chairs increase their memberships. These may not apply to all clubs in the same manner, but they may help to keep membership in the weekly conversation of every club.  I hope that anyone with additional ideas or suggestions will forward them to me. 
Membership is one of those very simple but difficult-to-attain objectives.  It is simple in that we all know how we are supposed to accomplish the objective.  All we have to do is to identify prospective Rotarians, get them to attend a meeting and then ask them if they would like to join one of the preeminent humanitarian organizations in the world.  Nothing to it – right?  Then why is it so difficult to achieve? 
Some possibilities are offered:
  • Clubs do not maintain membership as one of their primary goals. 
  • Membership is not recognized as a continuing, never-ending process.
  • Clubs have not established a total-member commitment to the objective. 
  • Membership chairs and/or committees have not been organized. 
  • Clubs have allowed other issues such as, fees, dues, venues, programs, etc. to get in their way.
  • We simply do not have the kind of club which will attract anyone to join. 
There may be many other reasons but the outcome is clear.  Our membership has declined and we are not keeping up with attrition. Think about where your club would be five or even 10 years from now if you continue your present course.
I will conclude this first blog with one suggestion.  Each club president should open a conversation with all club members to gain a commitment to the need, the objective and an organization to establish membership as an ongoing continual effort.  Let’s recognize the problem, establish the objective and assign the right folks to work on it.  This is a survival issue and should command very serious attention.
Details to follow!
Thomas Sturiale may be reached at