Member Engagement—Part 4

This is the fourth and final post describing the Membership Jumpstart template.  Today, we’ll review new member induction and orientation.  New member orientation is conducted inconsistently or is even nonexistent in many clubs.  I think the easiest way to handle orientation is to simply extend the regular meeting time for a few minutes once a month and cover one or two small topics.  This ‘automates’ the orientation process and helps to develop friendships among the new members.  This suggested process is described below.

Earlier posts in this series include:  Part 1—Why Membership?; Part 2—Lead Generation and Publicity; Part 3—Total Club Engagement in Membership Growth

Step 7

Induct New Members!  Make the new member induction ceremony special.  This is an opportunity to remind existing members of the value of being a Rotarian.  If you are inducting 2 or more members at once, consider asking your Assistant Governor, the District Governor or a Past District Governor to do the installation.

Step 8

New Member Orientation & Engagement

  • Provide each new member with a packet that includes basic Rotary information, club information and an orientation checklist or scavenger hunt activity.
  • 1-2 weeks after induction: new members, their sponsors and the Club President meet briefly to discuss the new member’s interests and expectations.  Club President reviews expectations of members (dues payment, attendance, involvement in club activities), answers any questions, clears up any misconceptions* and identifies a committee or project for the new member to join.

*Misconceptions may include: Rotary will immediately help grow the new member’s business;  expectations around the level and scope of community, international or youth service.

  • Hold monthly new member orientations before or after the last meeting of the month. Ask members to attend 5-6 of these monthly meetings, to learn more about the club and how they may be able to serve.
    • For the orientation meeting days, ask new members to sit at the same table, along with the Membership Chair and 1-2 mentors.
    • Before or after the regular meeting, hold a brief 15-20 minute new member orientation, discussing 1-2 topics and allowing time for questions. Provide a handout with supporting information.  Topics might include:
      • Service projects and fundraisers,
      • Opportunities for professional development,
      • Rotary’s Five Avenues of Service,
      • The Rotary Foundation’s Six Areas of Focus,
      • My Rotary resources, including the Learning Center,
      • Four-Way Test, motto and Rotary’s Vision Statement;
      • Club-specific online resources: website, Facebook, DACdb, etc.
    • During announcements on the last meeting of the month, allow new members to give a 1-3 minute introduction of themselves, their business and hobbies. Include an opportunity to ask for mentorship to support professional development.  For example, ‘I need help with analyzing my sales and developing a growth plan for my consulting business.  If you have experience in this area, I’d love to buy you a cup of coffee to discuss it.’
    • Create a culture of support and mentorship. Encourage all members to ask for both personal and professional support and to offer to be a mentor to other members.

I hope you have enjoyed this series and find it a useful tool to grow your club’s membership.  Email me if you would like a pdf version of the entire Membership Jumpstart template.

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