Tim Mason District Membership Chair shares his message that he delivered on Saturday 25th May, 2015 to the District 1100 Assembly. The challenge is that every member Asks a new person to join Rotary in 2015/16.
Tim started by saying that at the age of 27 years he joined a significant organisation called Rotary International, he still wants to belong to an organisation that is relevant in the 21st Century.
To do this all Rotary Clubs need to take Equality and Diversity seriously, as Rotarians we all need to challenge when Clubs or Rotarians are not doing so, plus it is no longer an option to be single gender. We are definitely a dual gender organisation and Tim says ‘when I ask a woman to join I want them to see this and not give me the reply “we thought it was an old men’s organisation”.’ Our communities, businesses and companies are full of potential members and we need to open all barriers.
All Rotary Clubs need to embrace the use of modern technology, our websites need to be swish, relevant and up-to-date. Using Social Media is a must, not an option, we will be left behind if we don’t tweet or post.
When people volunteer today they are expecting the offer to be affordable and flexible, so we need to ensure Rotary can show an experience of belonging that is good value. We need a subscription structure that is like the National Trust, different levels of how you can join e.g. ordinary, family, pensioner, even lifelong, etc.
At RI, RGBI and District Leadership levels we need to stop going on about Membership and start encouraging our Rotary Clubs to think in terms of Recruit and Retain. Building fun, vibrant, community service Clubs recognised for the fact they are accessible to all, flexible with different opportunities to meet together e.g. breakfast, lunch, dinner, over coffee, online or even Sunday morning with the kids, etc.
Rotary Clubs annually change all their Officers and this is to encourage programmes which are new, different to the year before and bring a sense of vibrancy. Instead we see each year Rotary Clubs in their comfort zones, doing the same old, year in year out. Well if Rotary is to be attractive, then change needs to be at the local Club level, embracing the members passions, ideas, listening and not keep saying ‘we’ve tried that before!’ We do great projects, but let us show we are versatile and can do much more.
Has the Rotary Club identified the needs of their local community? Are they helping to asset build and how do they show their community impact to both those who live in the that community and share with Rotary International? We need to use the Rotary Club Central Tool, envied by many other community groups. Tim hopes to run workshops with Clubs around the District exploring how these activities can be achieved.
To sum up Tim say’s ‘I really enjoyed my day speaking about Rotary recruitment and retention in vibrant, fun and community active Clubs, which continue to be part of a modern and significant international organisation.
The secret in recruitment is for every Rotarian to ASK
A – Assist in the running of their Club
S – Service above Self always
K – Know someone they can ask to join and keep encouraging them to think about it
In retention we need to listen, change our programmes to meet the passions of our members and build relationships. The best way is to use CARE as a method
C – Contact
A – Activities together
R – Relationships are built by working alongside each other giving service
E – Engaged members ensure they want to continue Rotary and Ask their friends to join
My challenge then to all Rotarians is to recruit one new member in 2015/16 by asking and really build your Clubs within your communities so that members are engaged in Service and are passionate about what they are doing.’