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Reversing Membership Freefall. Mid-year Assembly February 13, 2010 The Carolina First Center. Membership - How are we doing? . District 7750 June 30, 2009 2, 929 December 30, 2009 2, 911 (18) .6% Zone 33:

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Reversing Membership Freefall

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reversing membership freefall

Reversing Membership Freefall

Mid-year Assembly

February 13, 2010

The Carolina First Center

membership how are we doing
Membership - How are we doing?
  • District 7750

June 30, 2009 2, 929

December 30, 2009 2, 911(18) .6%

  • Zone 33:

June 30, 2009 37,799

December 30 , 2009 37,131

(668) .7%

  • International :

June 30, 2009 1,206,441

December 30, 2009 1,215,076

+ 8,635 .7%


RRIMC Jim Henry

An active Rotarian, Jim is a Paul Harris

Fellow several times over and served as District Governor of District 6960 in 2003-04

A minimum of 25% of sales of his books goes to Rotary projects local and

International and to other worthy causes

jim henry says
Jim Henry says!
  • North American Rotary Clubs do not have a recruitment problem, but a RETENTION PROBLEM
  • Why? Because Rotary leaders are not providing for the needs of its members
  • If businesses are not keeping customers, the leaders make it top priority to find out why and correct the problem. If they don’t, they most likely will not be leaders very long.
jim says
Jim says…
  • The number one internal problem is the lack of CONSENSUS among leaders, which is followed by frustration and apathy resulting in loss of desire and initiative to make the necessary changes
  • When asked, Rotarians often say a club’s major purpose is performing community service. Some say it is to abide by The Four Way Test or it’s Service Above Self. Some say the club’s major purpose is to support The Rotary Foundation.
jim says1
Jim says…
  • That all these worthy aspirations are the result of the club’s only purpose, and that is to advance:

The Object of Rotary

the object of rotary
The Object of Rotary

The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:

First: The Development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service

Second: High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society


Third: The Application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life

Fourth: The Advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service

so what s jim s point
So what’s Jim’s point?
  • Research indicates that the first five years a member is in the club they are generally interested in networking, building friendships, and, if starting a business, developing leadership and other related skills, which are accomplished while advancing the first and second Objects of Rotary
  • Once the member has achieved these goals, for the next fifteen years they want to connect to the community and provide service to others
jim says2
Jim says…
  • After that, they want to maintain friendships while providing service to others. Advancing the third and fourth objects of Rotary helps members satisfy these personal achievement needs
jim says3
Jim says…
  • Answer this question - How many organizations offer business, professional, and community leaders the opportunity to network, build friendships, develop leadership skills and satisfy their service needs while socializing with a multitude of differing leaders?
jim says4
Jim says…
  • For almost ninety years, through two World Wars, The Great Depression, several military conflicts, sustained periods of economic recession and changing ethos, Rotary clubs experienced exponential growth. Advancing the Object of Rotary was their core strength.
myles says
Myles says….

When I was DG, I ended my speeches with the following quotation:

“Rotary is not only one of the world’s greatest humanitarian organizations, it is one of the world’s greatest leadership and career development organizations. It has been that for me and I can’t imagine what my career would have been like without Rotary.”

jim says5
Jim says…
  • Establish Priorities – around which they can build a consensus. Use the Object of Rotary as a compass.
  • Create a Powerful Coalition – Start by using both long term and new members

Establish an Attainable Vision- within a reasonable length of time

  • Create a Strategic Plan - that keeps the vision in focus
  • Communicate- the club goals and where the club stands relative to the goals.
  • Examples: Websites, newsletters, blogs, email blasts

Remove Obstacles- some will fight the winds of change so some hard decisions will have to be made. May have to ask some to step aside.

  • Do Not Declare Mission Accomplished too soon- membership drives are not the answer to retention problems.
  • Refine Priorities- until new customs become the new operational norm
recent success stories
Recent Success Stories
  • Greenville Rotary - Women in Rotary Lunch
  • Clemson Rotary – Best Practices
  • Greenville Evening – Prospect Orientation Dinner
your resources
Your Resources
  • Your speakers bureau: PDG Myles Golden and PDG Bruce Baker – Co-chairs of the District Membership Committee
  • Membership Development Resource Guide 417-EN-(408)
  • “Growing Rotary - A Personal Collection of Ideas that Worked” by Mary Chapman
  • Rotarian Magazine - Lots of Articles relative to Membership
  • The District Website and With DG Newsletter and Blogs
  • The Zone 33-34 Website and
  • PETS and your PETS Manual