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Club Service Development & MEMBERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Best Practices Ideas and Tips from District Membership Committee Members
Printable version of Best Practices Ideas and Tips from District Membership Committee Members  (Acrobat File)

From Matt Davis, Rotary Club of Tulsa, OK:   (918-298-3800)

My favorite membership drives have been focused on key missing businesses, where we have brainstormed about companies obviously missing from those represented within a club, contacted a key person within that business and asked for the name of a good Rotarian-candidate within that business.  Matt Davis, RC of Tulsa

I definitely agree that mentioning the need for new members regularly in meetings is a big help, as is circulating a list of classifications.  While we no longer need to keep a classification in mind when bringing in a new member, I have found that a list of open classifications jogs my memory of people I know who might make good Rotarians in those classifications.  Matt Davis, RC of Tulsa

Finally, anything that involves teamwork within a club gets some good, healthy competition going and increases the chances for success.  Matt Davis, RC of Tulsa

From Tom Jensen, Rotary Club of Joplin Daybreak, MO:   (800-658-1306)

I hope I can add something to this committee. I have always been a believer in one idea for membership, and that is “retention” and the recruiting will take care of it.  If a Rotary club has fun, gives time and money to worthwhile causes and makes weekly meetings interesting with good programs, their members will stay and they will invite their friends.  Tom Jensen, Joplin Daybreak RC – MO

Our best membership drive went something like this. Our membership chair asked 5 members to be team captains.  Then, using a random drawing, each team got 5 members. Over a 7-week period, there was a contest to see how many guests each team could bring in each week. At the end of the 7 weeks, we had a meeting with all of those guests invited. It was fantastic, although we had forgotten to inform the restaurant, which is another story! The winning team got their dues paid for one quarter, and our club netted 18 new members. Tom Jensen,  Joplin Daybreak RC – MO

From Pam Bohannan, PP Springdale, AR Rotary 01-02    (479-756-7050)

These were a few things that made our membership drive in 2001-02 successful.  This is the year we inducted 70+ new members. Our retention of these members has been great.

  1. Applications were acted upon quickly (2 weeks or less)
  2. Inductions were scheduled for the Monday following date candidate was accepted
  3. Prospects were allowed to attend up to 3 Rotary meetings at no charge to them or the proposer
  4. Prepared and handed out a fact sheet 'What Is Rotary' to interested parties
  5. Handed out the book 'Frank Talk' by Frank Devlyn to prospective members
  6. Sponsored a membership contest/challenge for all areas clubs (each losing club had to pay winning club $1000)
  7. Published our membership stats in monthly club bulletin:  (how many prospects each member had proposed)
  8. Offered incentive: Any member who brought in 3 new members would receive a fishing trip to Gaston's
  9. Clarified and emphasized new classification rules; then updated and published classification list and handed out frequently to membership
  10. Made a concerted effort to offer exciting programs throughout the year
  11. Set a goal to win the Zone Award for club with over 100 members
  12. Appointed a STRONG Membership Chairman for the year; then conducted monthly membership committee meetings to brainstorm.

Hope this helps!  Pam Bohannan, Springdale, AR

From Grover Bauer, PP Rotary Club of Southeast Tulsa, OK 02-03  (918-492-7408)

  1. Rotary members have diverse backgrounds and a wide variety of interests.  To participate to the fullest in Rotary activities, discretionary time is a key component.Grover Bauer, Southeast Tulsa, OK
  2. Before simply inducting people to reach a 10% membership growth goal, it may be helpful to have a standardized District 6110 handout telling prospective new members what Rotary is all about.  If people do not have discretionary time to volunteer for worthy causes on occasion, or are not fully informed about opening their check book from time-to-time (what is the minimum cost plus other expected financial participation contributions) retention of newly inducted members will be difficult. Grover Bauer, Southeast Tulsa, OK
  3. Those Rotarians who are responsible for bringing new members into the club should be willing to be a mentor for that new member for at least a year.  Part of this should include encouraging the new member to attend both regular meetings and club social events, stressing the importance of volunteering at times to help out on club sponsored charitable activities (such as Medical Supplies Network) and participating in the annual Change of Horses Banquet.  Most likely, in smaller clubs everyone is already acquainted, so a new member immediately feels at home; however, in larger clubs, many of the club members may be a stranger to the new inductee.  For the inductee to avoid that potential uncomfortable feeling, the inductee's mentor and a well-planned Red Badge program should aid in helping the new member at the outset. Grover Bauer, Southeast Tulsa, OK
  4. In my opinion, Rotary is no different than any other product or service, as in order to attract new members Rotary must be "sold".  In the sale process there are many questions to be answered. Some of these might include: 
    • What are the benefits to me?
    • Why did you (the proposer) join Rotary? 
    • What are the costs? 
    • How much time will it require?
    • What is expected of me?
    • What does Rotary do?
    • Why should I join Rotary?
    • Who are the members?
  1. Grover Bauer, Southeast Tulsa, OK

  2. In the many sales training courses I've attended over the past 30 years or so, the consensus seems to be that about 1 out of 5 people have a sales aptitude.  People with a sales aptitude statistically have about a 65% chance of being successful in their field.  People with a low or no aptitude for sales (4 out of 5 people) have very little (about 6%) chance of being successful in sales. Grover Bauer, Southeast Tulsa, OK
  3. Based on applying sales aptitude statistics to members of Rotary we could expect that, provided all District 6110 Rotarians have ample discretionary time, about 13% of Rotary members in District 6110 will participate in bringing in new Rotary members.  Most Rotarians will lack a sales aptitude if Rotary membership is a cross-section of the general population (1 out of 5 people have a sales aptitude).  Perhaps part of the focus of the membership drive should be to seek Rotarians who most likely have a sales aptitude, and discretionary time, to serve on each club's membership growth and retention committee.    Grover Bauer, Southeast Tulsa, OK
  4. To make the new member drive as successful as possible, your concept of having the Assistant Governor, Presidents-Elect and other club leaders focus on membership growth and retention is excellent.  "If" club leaders bring in new members, then, perhaps, other club members will make inducting new members a "higher priority" than presently exists at most Rotary clubs. Grover Bauer, Southeast Tulsa, OK
  5. Contests and/or membership promotional events should give a short-term boost to bringing in new members.  Long range, club members just need to "buy in" to the membership growth concept.  This will best be accomplished when there is a commitment by individual Rotarians to meet the need to focus on making Rotary membership growth and retention a high priority at the club level. Grover Bauer, Southeast Tulsa, OK
  6. The "buy in" starts when leadership takes an active role, and feeds on itself as the members in general participate. The most crucial step of all is "asking" others to join Rotary.  By leading in this manner, others will follow. 

As prefaced in my opening remarks, the points made are just comments.  If any of these are useful for the purpose of reaching the 10% Rotary membership growth goal and/or helps in the area of Rotary membership retention, great!  Grover Bauer, Southeast Tulsa

 From Jack Maxwell, PP Bixby Rotary , OK 02-03   (918-296-0689)
The Bixby Rotary Club grew from 29 to 53 members last year, an 83% growth rate!  Hence, in looking back to identify our best practices, I offer the following thoughts.

  1. First, we streamlined the process of membership to make it shorter, and more appealing to the new member.  Nobody wants to wait 6 to 8 weeks to be inducted into any club.  To do this, we placed several Membership Applications in the Badge box so the greeter could give one to a member with a guest/member-prospect visiting our club.  The sponsor would sign the application showing the guest that he/she is happy to propose them for membership.  If the guest filled out the application and turned it in to the president at the meeting, then the president would announce a Stand-Up Board meeting following the meeting.  If the Board Members present approved the application, then that would be announced at the next meeting and it would also be in the newsletter next week.  With the Board approval, we went ahead and ordered the Badge and induction materials from RI assuming no veto votes from the club membership.  We had no veto votes the entire year, so that helped.  With this process, we were able to induct a new member within 2-3 meetings from the time they turned their application into the club.  Jack Maxwell, Bixby, OK
  2. I think new members should be interested in joining Rotary for the Service Opportunity rather than the Business opportunity.  The Bixby Rotary club had a drop in membership from the Chartered 32 members down to about 17 members in the first full year.  That was a flushing out of people who joined a new club thinking it was a ‘tips’ club rather than a service club.  Stress to the prospect the Service above Self motto.  Tell them, Rotarians like to do business with other Rotarians because we all subscribe to the ethics made possible by our adherence to the 4-way test.  First, you prove yourself as a good Rotarian and you won’t have to ask others for their business.  Jack Maxwell, Bixby, OK
  3. I think I must bring up our secret weapon, Women in Rotary.  It all started with our Charter President, Rev. Jessica Moffatt, and it has gotten better and better.  About 40% of our membership are ladies.  Get service oriented women in your club and it will grow.  They know how to serve and get people to do things.  Those of us that are married know that! Jack Maxwell, Bixby, OK
  4. Givers vs. Takers.  When thinking of a new prospect, I look for someone who is already giving of his or her time and efforts in some other venue.  It could be in their church, or coaching a youth team, or doing missionary work, or volunteering in the PTA at the school.  Those service-oriented people will easily see how they can leverage their time and talents with the power of Rotary and a Rotary club behind them.  Jack Maxwell, Bixby, OK
  5.  I think one must be proud of being a Rotarian in order to invite one of their friends into Rotary.  If you know anyone that isn’t proud of Rotary, then invite him or her to leave, and replace him or her with someone that is proud.  Sometime it is best to be smaller, leaner, and down to the core group, before real growth can be possible.  A few bad eggs will stink up the first impression that a new prospect has when first invited into your Rotary Club.  Jack Maxwell, Bixby, OK
  6. The Bixby Club’s major fundraiser is the Bixby BBQ’n Blues festival. I invite all of you to join is on May 7-8, 2004.  Last year was our second festival and we raised over $36,000 in profit.  Our first event raised about $29,500 profit, and at the time we were a 29-member club that was 18 months old.  To say the least, when our club had the first festival drawing 43 BBQ teams to cook and over 4,500 guest into the park, The Rotary Club of Bixby put a stake into the ground.  This BBQ’n Blues festival has been a tremendous help in recruitment on new members.  We have had some that have approached us and wanted to be a part of Rotary because of what a difference we were making in Bixby. Jack Maxwell, Bixby, OK
  7. Service Projects that are visible, well publicized, and significant draw the attention of new member prospects.  Our first large service project was a $36,000 electronic marquee sign for the Bixby Public Schools on the main highway running through Bixby.  Our Centennial Project will be a $200,000 Rotary Club of Bixby Amphitheater to be located in the Washington Irving Memorial Park where we have the BBQ’n Blues Festival.  The entire town knows what our club is working toward and the City of Bixby voted to match dollar for dollar the amount of money we raise toward this project to enhance their city park. Jack Maxwell, Bixby, OK
  8. Recognition of those who have brought new members into your club during this time is important.  This is one reason I thought of the Green Dot/ Gold Dot idea to keep membership out in the open the rest of this year and all of our Centennial year.  Another way we did this last year was to have a spreadsheet showing the new members and their sponsors on a cumulative basis.  We shared this list quarterly to recognize the members that were growing our club. Jack Maxwell, Bixby, OK 
  9. Good Programs are a must in order to grow your club.  We have 12 members each Take a month and provide the 4-5 programs during that month.  This gives a diversity of programs, and it spreads the load over many club members. Jack Maxwell, Bixby, OK.
  10. Keep people in Rotary.  People leave a Rotary Club for many reasons that are personal.  Several members joined our club because it was closer to their home or business.  When you have a resignation, try to refer them to another club in your area or if they are relocating then refer them to Rotary in their new home. 
  11. This last idea I give credit to PDG Ed Clifford.  He told us to tally all the good things our Rotary club had done last year.  Then we projected what we wanted to do next year.  When talking to the prospective new member, share the successes from last year and invite them to join our club and help us achieve these additional service opportunities. Jack Maxwell, Bixby, OK / PDG Ed Clifford

From Chad Kumpe, PP Rogers, AR 02-03     (479-621-3683)

  1. What we learned from recruiting in Rogers is FIRST you got to Ask them.   You find people to ask, in a Rotarians Company, Church and other Business Assoc. that show a desire to put back into a community some of what they receive from their community. Look to the new people entering the area, especially in upper management of local firms. (New Lawyers and Bankers) A club can find people to ask while working on such community activities as United Way or Community Building.  Chad Kumpe, Rogers, AR
  2. The important part of developing and retaining new members is internal to the club. A new prospect must go through Membership, Classification, and Orientation as quickly and efficiently as possible. From First Visit, to Membership Proposal, to Club Introduction would be a minimum of two to three weeks. We have found the longer that process takes the more enthusiasm is lost.   Chad Kumpe, Rogers, AR
  3. The new member must be welcomed quickly into the group and put to a task as soon as practical. Listen for clues during the persons Orientation and in their Bio. when introduced to the club. Surly one of our broad Avenues of Service will fit almost anyone. If practical keep the new member "Up Front" for the first 6 weeks. The Rogers Club also has introductions of the older members each meeting so the new members will feel a since of history. Retention is all about "Getting to know you" and "working together." Chad Kumpe, Rogers, AR

From Chaddie Kumpe Platt, Rotary Club of Fayetteville, AR   (479-575-8440)

  1. Before the "Gerald Harp" challenge, we had a quarterly contest for bringing guests to the club.  Whoever brought the most guests in a given quarter won $100 cash! Chaddie Platt, Fayetteville, AR
  2. The Fayetteville Club instituted a new member meal policy that now applies to all prospective members: the club member pays for the first meal, and the prospective member pays for their own meal after that.  That way, the cost of having guests is not a deterrent to recruitment and the club member doesn't have to be embarrassed about explaining it -- it's club policy. Chaddie Platt, Fayetteville , AR
  3. Prospective members are approved via e-mail in order to speed up the acceptance process. Chaddie Platt, Fayetteville, AR
  4. Our extensive Orientation process is designed to improve retention.  Each new member comes in knowing exactly what is expected of him or her, financially, socially, committee-wise, etc.  Things such as history of Rotary, etiquette, avenues of service and just about everything else is covered in detail.  I don't think a person could come out of one of these orientation sessions taking their membership in Rotary "lightly." Chaddie Platt, Fayetteville, AR
  5. We encourage members to invite the general public to our social events, of which we have one per quarter.  This way, their first exposure to Rotary is fun and relaxed. Chaddie Platt, Fayetteville, AR
  6. We've just instituted a new "Family of Rotary Committee," that is designed to keep in touch with widows, honorary members, and other honorees(Service Above Self Award Winners).  They are invited to social events and brought to the club periodically.  Service Above Self Awards are for people in the community who do great things that are not in Rotary.  Obviously, this is a great way to identify potential members. Chaddie Platt, Fayetteville, AR

From Eric Ferrell, Rotary Club of Carthage, MO.    ((620-235-4927)

Greetings from Carthage and southwest Missouri!  I have visited with several PP, as well as our current Club President, regarding things that they remembered as being successful over the last 4-5 years. There are three:

  1.  the decision to invite women to join the club;
  2. the tradition of ‘Pre-Rotary’ in Carthage; and
  3. reimbursing members for their guest’s meals, if they join the club. Eric Ferrell, Rotary Club of Carthage, MO

Regarding ‘Pre-Rotary’, our club meets only twice a month, the first and third Thursdays, evenings at 6:30pm. What is so popular is the ‘Pre-Rotary’ that takes place before the meeting at a member’s home. Our club is basically divided up into three Pre-Rotary groups, and the host duties are rotated in each group, each ‘Pre Rotary’. There is a lot of networking, socializing and relationship building that goes on before the regular meeting. The concept could certainly be expanded to a breakfast or noon club by scheduling a Pre-Rotary once or twice a month in a member’s home.  I hope these are acceptable. They have worked for us! Eric Ferrell, Rotary Club of Carthage, MO

From Jenyfer Glisson, Rotary Club of Sapulpa, OK    (918-224-6560x2002)

  1. Fireside Chats.  The Sapulpa Rotary has an annual Fireside Chat at a member’s residence with the purpose of recruiting prospective members.  This is a great social gathering with plenty to eat and drink in a casual atmosphere.  Each service chair heads a group of members to brainstorm a list of prospective members.  This list is then given to the club president who assigns mentors to contact the recruits.  This list is also diligently refined at every board meeting to determine who has/has not been contacted, who wants to join/not join, etc.   Jenyfer Glisson, Rotary Club of Sapulpa, OK
  2. Honorary Rotary Member from your local newspaper.   An essential part of a successful recruitment campaign is advertisement.  Thus, the Sapulpa Rotary appoints an “honorary” member from the Sapulpa Herald.  Our club pays the membership for him or her.  In turn, this member is responsible for taking pictures of guest speakers, Rotary Juniors of the Month, special events, etc.  Most often, this member accompanies these pictures with an informative article.  Thus, the Sapulpa Rotary probably appears in our local paper at least 2 or 3 times a month with pictures and great articles.  This is a huge way to get our message out and to inform the public of our purpose and to entice new members. Jenyfer Glisson ,Rotary Club of Sapulpa, OK
  3. Rotary Junior of the Month.  Members of the Sapulpa Rotary identified a need to be more active with students at the secondary level at our local high school.  Since another club spotlighted seniors, the Sapulpa Rotary decided to highlight the juniors at Sapulpa High School.  A contact person is in charge of the voting/selection process at the school.  The contact person dispenses a ballot to each faculty member.  Each faculty member then selects for each month l male and 1 female who best represents the tenants of the Rotary 4 Way test.  A “brag sheet” is then completed by the students and is read during one of the weekly meetings.  The students are invited to eat and socialize with the club.  Oftentimes, this is the first time that these students have even heard of Rotary.  Hence, we feel this is a great time to “plant a seed” with teenagers who may possibly be future Rotarians.       Jenyfer Glisson, Rotary Club of Sapulpa, OK

From Steve Robb, PP Pittsburg Sunrise, KS    (620-235-4934)

  1. Recruit energetic people that don't sit like bumps on a chair during meetings. Steve Robb, Pittsburg Sunrise, KS
  2. Make meetings fun, lively, hospitable, and full of energy. Everyone should feel energized when they leave, then they want to come back. Steve Robb, Pittsburg Sunrise, KS
  3. Develop a Rotary Family Tree. Have each member list the name of who brought them into Rotary and put those names in the proper branches. Put the tree on the wall. If nothing else, it helps you see who is really sharing Rotary and who is not. Steve Robb, Pittsburg Sunrise, KS At least every other year, have a membership contest with teams appointed. Give the teams funny names like "Body Snatchers", etc. Award a pizza party to the winners. Have the  teams meet and compare notes of who they should share Rotary with, then go after them. Steve Robb, Pittsburg Sunrise, KS
  4. Make a big deal out of new member inductions and give lots of recognition to the sponsor. Steve Robb, Pittsburg Sunrise, KS

The most important of these is having good meetings. Our visitors leave thinking, "Man, I'd like to be part of that group."

From DG Tom Clark 03-04, Rotary Club of Tulsa Sunrise   (918-446-3553)

  1.  “ASK” – a sometimes forgotten theme which needs to be regularly mentioned to anyone who wants to know how to get into membership recruitment.  A good beginning!  Tom Clark, Tulsa Sunrise
  2. Always carry your Rotary Business Card  . . .  your name and contact information can both start and close a valuable productive Rotary conversation. Tom Clark, Tulsa Sunrise
  3. Timing” can be everything!  Catching a good prospect at the wrong moment is a waste and a deterrent to future efforts.  Patience . . . the time will come.  Tom Clark, Tulsa Sunrise
  4. “Age” – keep an open mind always . . . especially to retired, experienced, able people who are looking to be “needed.” Tom Clark, Tulsa Sunrise
  5. Be a good listener . . . and feed your recruit in small “mouthfuls.”  Too much Rotary “stuff” will choke not only the interest but also friendship.  “Direct” your answers not only to the question asked, and to the logical next question . . . but listen, listen, listen!!!
  6. PDG Ed Clifford likes to “select” potential members from a list of club service vocational needs . .  (i.e. photography, printer, writer, construction foreman, equipment rental, restaurant owner, etc.)  I agree with this.   Tom Clark, Tulsa Sunrise
  7. A key area often over-looked is the necessary element in wanting to become a Rotarian – not just a member of a Rotary Club.  The “want to” is often the missed ingredient in the application/recruitment procedure. (Particularly a commitment to helping/securing others – as opposed to selling, self improvement, self marketing.) Tom Clark, Tulsa Sunrise
  8. The amount of time required to complete the New Member Process can well determine the recruit’s length of Rotary Tenure.  Remember the KISS principle – it may help keep things moving.  A well manicured, prioritized and well-publicized New Member Process procedure is critical to recruitment and retention.  (2 weeks to 1 month = more range, enough time to process people.) Tom Clark, Tulsa Sunrise
  9. The membership Chair needs to be one of your club’s BEST Rotarians, not just a good person. Tom Clark, Tulsa Sunrise
  10. Quality new Rotary members will always be more valuable than a quantity of uncommitted bodies. Tom Clark, Tulsa Sunrise
  11. Minority recruitment provides the diversity representation your club needs to best learn your community’s needs.  If possible, think in terms of 2 recruits in each package. The potential meeting bonding and mutual support critical to the retention of these members is worth the recruiters extra efforts. Tom Clark, Tulsa Sunrise
  12. Young people – possibly “out of range” of Rotary’s Interact/Rotaract programs – are healthy “targets” for Family of Rotary Projects and for potential feeders for scholarship and Rotary membership programs.  Invest in young people – particularly at ALL club service/social events.  Rotary membership efforts need to be nurtured from the very beginning. Tom Clark, Tulsa Sunrise
  13. The media can help to identify potential Rotarians.  Face it: virtually every positive piece of news focuses on a Make A Difference Person.  By letting that person know of Rotary’s appreciation/interest, particularly when that person lives in your community, may be the start of a “new Rotarian.”  (And . . the effort says a lot about Rotary’s support for community members/projects.) Tom Clark, Tulsa Sunrise
  14. Never knock another service club.  If possible be inclusive rather than exclusive in partnering for a project too big for either organization.  Be the Biggest thinkers, the most community conscience, and the best and most humble listener.  Don’t worry about “who” is going to get the credit!  The fact is that your sensitive, positive, neighborly attitude and leadership will tell your story for you . . . and potentially will “grease the skids” of your Rotary Membership Program. Tom Clark, Tulsa Sunrise

From Tom Ward, PP Rotary Club of Tulsa Sunrise:   (918-298-3800)

Our New Member Strategy is the following: 

  1. Recognition Program
  2. Proposer-Mentor Program
  3. Serious New Member Installation Program
  4. Detailed Training Program    (Participatory Yearly Function)
  5. Everyone Job Program     (Ask them what they want to do.)
  6. Good Meeting Facilities
  7. Great Speakers
  8. Great Food
  9. Everyone Club Projects
  10. Everyone Fun Events    (Ask them what they want to do.)
  11. Football Program to Obtain New Members
    1. Twice yearly game of one month
    2. Daily by members
    3. Weekly Presidents classifications
  12.  Membership Committee
  13.  Membership Development Committee
  14.  Membership Processing Committee
  15.  Club Member Identification Program
  16. Outstanding Club Newsletter-Weekly
    1. Club Events
    2. Programs Outline
    3. New Member Pictures and Identification
    4. Organizational Structure
    5. Rotary Information
    6. Other

 Tom Ward,  Tulsa Sunrise Rotary

FARMING & ROTARY MEMBERSHIP
Presented by Paul Wise- Fort Smith, AR

Prepare for the planting of seeds by gathering all the necessary materials that will be needed for a Successful planting.

  • SEVERAL PADS OF APPLICATIONS

  • INFO PAMPHLETS FROM Rotary International.

  • LIST OF REASONS TO BECOME A ROTARIAN. A year or so ago, the President of Rotary International published a list of what it means to be a Rotarian. It was a very good condensation of who we are and what we do. We need to get a copy of it and make it available to all members. If we didn't read it then, we all need to read it now before we begin recruiting. Many members are reluctant to approach a prospect because they are under-informed about Rotary and are uncomfortable about questions thrown at them about what does Rotary do (?), etc. Our Rotarians have to first know how, when, what, where and why to plant the seeds.

  • MAKE A BIG PROMOTION AT TWO OR THREE MEETINGS UNTIL EVERYONE GETS THE MESSAGE ON GREEN DOTS, GOLD DOTS, AND RED DOTS. (Green Dot on every Badge 2nd week in March, ’04, Red Dot when a guest prospect makes first club visit, and Gold Dot when new member is inducted.)

  • DEVELOP POSTERS AND BANNERS FOR DISPLAY IN THE CLUB MEETING ROOM TO PROMOTE AND EXCITE MEMBERSHIP ABOUT THE CONTEST.

Planting the seeds:

  • HAVE A SPECIAL MEETING WITH THE "LEAD COWS" (These are members of the club that have a proven track record of getting new members.) MAKE THEM CAPTAINS AND ASSIGN THEM A GROUP OF ROTARIANS TO "LEAD" TO THE BARN AND FITTED WITH HARNESS. (membership).

  • I'M GOING TO ADD A RED DOT FOR "I'VE PLANTED SEEDS. (I made the initial visit to a prospective Rotarian) YOU HAVE TO VISIT SOMEONE FIRST BEFORE YOU CAN HERD THEM TO THE BARN. YOU CAN'T JUST YELL INTO THE WOODS AND THEY'LL COME RUNNING.

  • THE PROSPECT NEEDS TO BE BROUGHT TO THE CLUB FOR A MEETING VISIT. I suggest this visit meeting is when you get a Red Dot placed on your Green Dot showing you have a real Prospective Member.

  • EACH CLUB SHOULD LOOK TO THEIR TREASURER FOR HOW MUCH "LUNCH MONEY" COULD BE AVAILABLE FOR FREE LUNCHES TO VISITING PROSPECTS. A lot of club members really can't afford to buy lunches for visitors or they are just to darn stingy.

Watering the seeds:

  • A SPECIAL PRESIDENT'S POST CARD SHOULD BE PRINTED, FOR THE PRESIDENT TO PERSONALLY HAND-WRITE A "GLAD TO HAVE YOU TODAY AS OUR GUEST" WITH SOME MEANINGFUL SHORT COMMENT TO THE PROSPECT.

  • FOLLOW UP VISIT TO THE PROSPECT (This is when you get a good read on the prospect’s reaction to the meeting visit, you present the application and info packet to the prospect. If the seed doesn't germinate at that meeting, leave them with a "take your time, and look over the info I've left you and I'll be back in touch in a few days.")

  • FOLLOW UP AND "ASK FOR THE ORDER." Not all seeds germinate. If the seed dies, replant and start with a new seed.

Harvesting the crop:

  • AFTER GETTING YOUR SEED GERMINATED, (a membership application filled out and a verbal commitment from the prospect) GET THE APPLICATION TO THE MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE, AND RIDE HERD ON IT.

  • INSIST ON A FAST TRACK, UNTIL ALL CLUB PROCEDURES ARE COMPLETED FOR YOU TO INVITE YOUR PROSPECT TO COME AND BE INDUCTED.

  • GOLD DOT TIME FOR THE ROTARIAN. PRESIDENT SHOULD MAKE A BIG DEAL EACH MEETING FOR THE PLACING OF GOLD DOTS ON WORKERS (MEMBERS) BADGES.

Utilizing the harvest:

  • THE CLUB PRESIDENT SHOULD IMMEDIATELY UTILIZE THE HARVEST AND ASSIGN EVERY NEW MEMBER TO DO “SOMETHING”. Put them to work, because everyone on the farm has to work. Every committee needs help doing fun things, and useful things in the club or community.

  • DON’T SOW, WATER AND HARVEST ONLY TO PUT THE FRUITS OF YOUR LABOR IN THE CORNER OF THE BARN TO “ROT”. “If I'm important enough to be made a member of your club, then am I not important enough to be made a part of whatever it is the club is doing?” Who wants to be a part of something dull or dead?

  • A GOOD PROBLEM WOULD BE TOO MANY NEW MEMBERS AND NOT ENOUGH THINGS TO ASSIGN THEM TO DO. Every president should have that problem.

PAUL WISE, Rotary Club of Fort Smith, AR

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