M & Ms

As I’ve discussed in previous posts, Membership Matters (M & Ms, get it!) to the health of your club.  Ideally, attracting new members to your Rotary club is an intentional and fully integrated club activity.  But if your club is like many, members rarely ask friends or colleagues to attend a meeting, and membership initiatives are inconsistent, at best. Below are some ideas on how to make member attraction activities as automatic as your morning routine.

  1. The first step is to know your membership goals and the strategy for achieving it.
  2. Then, identify your club’s value proposition—what is your club all about, what makes it different from the other opportunities to serve the community? Develop this into a short introductory statement.  Include it in a club brochure.
  3. Identify prospective Rotarians—enter their name, email and cell phone information into DACdb as potential members.
  4. Sharpen your image—update your website, social media, and print materials using the new brand guidelines, and check that the contact information is current. Make your meeting location inviting with good signage and a greeter.
  5. Routinely schedule interesting events that are a positive introduction to the club.
  6. Send invitations to prospective Rotarians to special events using DACdb’s Pmail function.
  7. Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up until you get a ‘yes’, ‘not now’ or ‘no’. Remove the ‘no’s from your DACdb potential member list, convert the yes’s to Active members, stay in touch with the ‘not now’s.

How to find prospective Rotarians:

  • Provide information packets to speakers and guests
  • At a meeting, ask every member to open their smart phone and give the membership committee the name and contact information for 1 potential member. Perhaps develop a card for this purpose.
  • Put a colored dot on the screen of members’ smart phones to remind them to bring a guest to a meeting
  • Contact members of the chamber of commerce and invite them to a meeting
  • Invite your partner and adult children to join
  • Establish a corporate membership at your company
  • Contact the parents of Interactors, Rotaractors and RYLA participants
  • Ask members of other clubs, organizations or places of worship
  • Have a booth at a city fest or mall
  • Have a 3-person recruitment team—each team brings in a new member every 6 months
  • Hand out invitation cards for a free meal
  • Place a notice in public places—library, grocery store, community center, doctor’s offices
  • Award community leaders with a Paul Harris Fellow and follow up to ask them to become a member
  • Post events on social media and ask club members to share the event on their timeline to expand reach
  • Get membership ideas by attending a district membership training, Rotary Leadership Institute, subscribe to the Rotary Membership Minute or learn about membership on MyRotary
  • Offer reduced membership rates: scholarships, rule of 35, first year, family & corporate membership…
  • Invite the media to cover events and high profile speakers
  • Have members give talks at other organizations
  • Look for members that are poorly represented in your club. Consider:  occupation, age, gender, ethnicity, etc.
  • Ask the Assistant Governor to give a talk to the club or Board about membership
  • Ask the District Membership Chair for help
  • Wear your Rotary pin, every day
  • Have an incentive for recruiting—coffee card, free meal, recognition in the club newsletter and website…
  • Contact all members that have resigned from your club and neighboring clubs in the past 3 years
  • Videotape a recipient of one of your projects and post to Facebook
  • Have M&M snack packs at meetings and label with a sticker that says: “Membership Matters”  Maybe even personalize M&Ms for your club!

Invite new members to interesting events.  These events will generally fall into four categories:  discover Rotary, fun, fellowship and purpose.  Enjoy your M&Ms!

Discover Rotary Fun
Hold a quarterly open house to introduce prospective members to the club.  Include a presentation, club brochures, new member applications and refreshments.
Simply bring a guest to a regular meeting, and gather contact information for follow-up
Have an intensive social media and PR campaign to raise awareness of your club
Have a social event at a local restaurant
Have a family of Rotary picnic, invite Interactors and Rotaractors, alumni, etc.
Organize a night of games at a bowling alley or amusement park
Fellowship Purpose
Have an outing, tour a local business, invite guests and also identify interest from the employees.

Hold a networking event open to the public

Hold a wine and cheese social for prospective members.

Have a fun induction ceremony for new members and their guests.  Send a formal invitation and follow up with a thank you letter from the club President

Invite potential members to small, in meeting projects (IMP)

Have high-profile club meetings with a dignitary as a speaker.  Ideally schedule these on a frequent and predictable schedule, such as the first meeting of the month.

Partner with a non-profit on their projects.  Invite their volunteers and staff to become club members.

Invite community members to join you in major projects, gather contact information and follow up.

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