Getting Your Club’s Commitment to Grow

Gerry Jackson

·         Strategic Planning (Vision Facilitation)

o        Club established goals

o        Whole club buys into the plan

o        Everybody in club knows the membership plan

·         Establish Membership Committee

o        Minimum 3 people (not just a chair)

o        Set Goals/accountability

o        Set regular meetings

o        Set regular reporting to club

·         Set membership growth plan

o        Goals established by the club

o        Get every member to buy in to plan

·         Establish an Invite a Guest program

o        Set a guest quota for each member

o        Have members pledge their own quota

o        Set a mentor/buddy for each member to check on each other regarding reaching quota

§         Accountability to each other

§         Buddy systems help remind each other to invite guests

o        Make sure everyone knows it is not a chore but rather fun and an honor

o        Develop a club list of invitees

·         Member Orientation

o        For existing members as well as new

o        Progressive dinner concept (different part of orientation at different member’s house)

o        Written set of what is covered

·         Have fun activities too.

·         Look beyond traditional targets or new members

·         Have a program to seek out people that have just retired

o        Take advantage of the many early buyout/retirements going on right now

o        newly retired will join service clubs in a heartbeat and will generally join the first club that invites them

·         Establish a formal Friends of Rotary group

o        Not everyone can make meeting dates but many will want to help on projects

o        When time comes in their life, they will automatically join

o        Allows small club to have a big club impact in their community

·         Establish a community based Rotaract club

o        Focus on the 30 & under crowd in your community

o        Rotaract has little/no dues

o        Better for young adults still getting established

o        Less time commitment

o        Will naturally transition to Rotary when opportunity arises in their lives

o        Allows small club to have a big club impact in their community

·         Conduct a classification survey at the club level

o        Every member helps identify the missing “nice-to-have” classifications for their club

o        Establish the target list of nice-to-have classifications

o        Fishbowl of classifications, each member draws out one of the nice-to-have classifications and as an individual or pairs figures out how to seek out a person for that classification

·         Membership Recruiting based speaker program

o        Establish a list of target classifications of people you would like to have in your club

o        Each member or pair of members takes responsibility for finding speakers for the month

o        So many weeks of the month are filled with speakers that are actually new member targets

·         4 Avenues of Service speaker program

o        One avenue featured during each quarter of the year

o        Publish upcoming speakers list to the public

·         Establish a database of those in your community (beyond club members) that get regular club communications (newsletter, announcements, notices, etc.) (this is a newsletter feature in ClubRunner)

·         Club needs a theme/community tie in

·         Positive attitude toward membership growth

o        Give the club a reason to grow

o        Determine the “right” size for your club - Establish a long term target number (Vision Facilitation)

o        Define value of additional members

§         more projects

§         bigger projects

§         shared organizational costs (lower dues)

§         diversity of ideas

·         Review costs/dues structure (concern for economy, flexible payments)

·         Break down cliques in the club (even those in small clubs)

·         Plan for attracting younger people

o        Types of projects chosen (particularly hands on projects)

o        New member Assignments

·         Review the club for potential blockages to membership (e.g. if you really want to attract younger business people – can you really meet at noon in this economy and expect those people to get away from their business; also – can younger people get away from their families for an evening meal; is your meeting room attractive; is your cost reasonable; etc.)

·         Monthly business meeting (club assembly)

o        Low attendance at this meeting so address how to make meeting more attractive to encourage members to attend

o        Perhaps make this meeting a breakout session for committees to meet & end of meeting report – might help get the committees to regularly meet

·         Club Website

o        ClubRunner makes this easy and allows multiple people to keep up – not just those with computer talents

o        Internet the preferred communications tool for younger members and potential younger members

o        More and more the opportunity to communicate to the public

o        Possible provide a community calendar as a public service as well as a way to advertise your Rotary club and events

o        Way to communicate to friends of Rotary

·         Commitment to public exposure

o        Have speaker programs planned in advance and publish in the newspaper the opportunity to come to these programs as guests

o        Regular column in local paper

o        Make local communications people honorary members

o        Use all media avenues available – don’t forget YouTube

·         Make key community figures honorary members (superintendants, police chiefs. Newspaper editors, etc.)

·         Challenge Senior Active / Retirees to replace themselves with someone in their classification

·         Make a club commitment to change (also in Vision Facilitation)

·         Suggest/share potential members to other nearby Rotary clubs

·         Make sure each and every member in the club has a job

·         Place every new member on the Community Service committee (for retention)

·         Place every new member on the Membership Committee (takes advantage of their recent interest in joining)

·         Establish a membership education plan

o        Formal new member orientation

o        Formal Red Badge Program – targeted list of activities new member must complete to get rid of the temporary new member red badge and get (earn) their permanent blue badge.

o        Don’t forget educating (and re-educating) old members as well

·         Rotate committee chairs every year – keeps it fresh

·         Make sure the club knows whenever a Rotarian is “in the news”

·         Have regularly scheduled programs on membership

o        One every 3 months

o        In-club speaker as well as from outside

·         Blub board needs to review membership each and every month at their meeting

·         Establish a care program within the club – visitation of members when in heed, in hospital, offering to drive, etc. This gets out into the community quickly and community then understands how much club cares about its members.

·         Establish a consistent, simplistic, focused plan for club membership goals that everyone is aware of and understands.

o        E.g. every member responsible to bring in potential new members but need not understand/remember the detailed process to do so.  Once identified, they turn over the potential to a key set of individuals to complete the details.  Gives a team approach to the process.

·         Establish membership recruiting competition – teams/challenges.  Reward success.

·         Make membership a formal part of the new members orientation.  Make sure the new member understands he/she is allowed to and expected to recruit.  Make sure they know how to propose a new member.

·         Make sure the club board makes a formal commitment to the membership plan

·         Be sure to have a way to measure progress – visual chart

·         Break up long term goals to smaller accomplishable steps and goal dates.  Celebrate when reaching the smaller goals as a way to encourage the growth to the greater goal.

·         Don’t assume there is a commitment, make sure there is a formal commitment (vote or vision facilitation buy in) by both the club and the board.

·         Educate all members of the club on the process of becoming a member.  Make sure becoming a member is not complicated

·         Make sure entire club understands the membership committee is NOT responsible for finding new members but rather for establishing the club’s plan on membership.  Everyone is to respond to the membership committee and participate in the plan.

·         Learn from those that are succeeding

o        Clubs that are growing

o        Those successful within club

·         Focus club on the Honor of Rotary

·         Develop a Club retention plan