Thursday, January 17, 2008

Speakers Stress Membership to Governor-Elects During Int'l Assembly

During the third plenary session at the International Assembly today, Past RI President Cliff Dochterman emphasized the need for incoming district governors to make membership growth a focal point in the upcoming year. “Membership in your district will not grow or blossom unless some very necessary steps are taken,” he said. “Rotary’s very survival depends upon it.”

Dochterman outlined three areas in which clubs can expand membership:

  • Seek new members for clubs

  • Retain current members

  • Sponsor new clubs in the community

Seek new members. New members are everywhere, Dochterman said. Potential members include Ambassadorial Scholars, Rotaractors, and Group Study Exchange team members. He also recommended that clubs set specific membership goals, such as one new member per month.

Retain current members. Keeping current club members is just as important as bringing in new ones, Dochterman said. A willingness to adapt is key. “The truth is, many of us in the older generations must be willing to change some of our thinking, provide a little more freedom in our regulations, and give a lot more consideration to the demands and expectations that business and professional executives face today,” he said.

Sponsor new clubs. Dochterman encouraged the incoming district leaders to consider new types of Rotary clubs. “How about clubs with professionals under the age of 40? How about a new club in an ethnic or minority section of your community?” he asked. “Or a new club in a shopping mall, an airport, a high rise, or a large university campus?”

“Membership development is up to you,” Dochterman concluded. “The bigger question: Are each of you up to the task? I think you are, so go for it!”

Leadership plan helps Rotary stay relevant. Earlier in the session, Leigh Higinbotham, past governor of District 5040 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, spoke about the importance for each club to build its own identity. The Club Leadership Plan is an essential tool for this, he said.

It is vital to the stability, growth, and success of our organization,” said Higinbotham. “It provides clubs with leadership techniques and an administrative structure to guide their activities.”

The Club Leadership Plan steps are critical for effective Rotary clubs, he added. “A club may address these functions in any way it chooses. This flexibility allows the Club Leadership Plan to be implemented throughout the Rotary world.”

The RI theme for President-elect Dong Kurn Lee’s year, Make Dreams Real, will need strong clubs, Higinbotham said. “As district leaders, it is your role to effectively lead your clubs during the upcoming year. One sure way to support D.K. Lee’s theme is to encourage the clubs in your district to implement this plan.”

Reprinted from Rotary International News at

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Zone 34 Membership Seminar Scheduled for Evanston

Please encourage your District Membership Chairs/co-chairs and District Governors for the next three years to attend the Zone 34 Membership Seminar in Evanston, Illinois June 4-5, 2008. This follows the Zone 34 Rotary Foundation Seminar (June 2-3) with a joint dinner schedule for June 3.

The Membership Seminar emphasis will be on Developing District Membership Strategic Plans. More information will be arriving in the near future.

"Expenditures approximate Priorities - Does your district have a budget to "help the individual Rotary club advance the Object of Rotary" through membership development."

Jim Henry
Zone 34 RRIMC 2008-09

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Survey says PR an important tool for membership

Public relations efforts help increase membership recruitment, according to about 70 percent of Rotary clubs that responded to a recent RI survey. About half the respondents said that PR also helps with retention, and 87 percent credited their club’s public relations work with raising community awareness of Rotary.

According to survey results, 80 percent of the responding clubs include PR in their annual planning, and 77 percent launch PR efforts to coincide with specific events or projects. Of the responding clubs, 57 percent have a Web site, most of which provide club information directed to the general public. Almost all respondents reported obtaining newspaper coverage, but less than 50 percent had secured coverage on television, radio, Internet, or billboards.

The most significant barriers to public relations efforts cited were lack of interest from the media and lack of funding. When asked about resources provided by RI, respondents ranked Rotary Basics (595-EN), What’s Rotary? (419-EN), This Is Rotary (001-EN), and Humanity in Motion PSAs as the most useful. Many respondents also reported using The Rotarian, or their regional magazine, and the RI Web site in their PR efforts.

The results of the survey, conducted by RI’s Membership Development and Public Relations divisions, are based on 756 responses from a random sampling of 3,269 Rotary clubs worldwide. Go to for the complete survey report and to order RI resources designed to help you spread the news about your club’s good work.

Reprinted from Rotary World, January 2008

Wow, Rotary's on You Tube!

Rotary is rolling out its new series of Ads - its Humanity in Motion IV campaign. The 30 second spots are excellent, and Rotarians should make efforts to get these fine PSAs run on their local TV stations.

The videos are on You Tube , the cutting edge destination for video content among youth. The videos can be previewed in the video sidebar on the right side of this Blog. An article in the Rotarian about the ad campaign and videos can be accessed at

The RI You Tube site is

Friday, January 11, 2008

Jim Henry Named as Zone 34 RRIMC

Past District Governor Jim Henry of Sarasota, FL USA has been named the new Zone 34 Regional Rotary International Membership Coordinator (RRIMC) for a term beginning July 1, 2008. Jim succeeds PDG Lona Pope in this capacity.

Serving as Governor in 2003-04, Jim has been Rotary International Membership Zone Coordinator for the past year and is Chair of the Sunshine Division of the Rotary Leadership Institute.

We welcome Jim into this new level of commitment for Rotary's Membership efforts.

Jim can be reached at

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

District Membership Chairs 2007-08

All District Membership Chairs are encourage to use this BLOG! Here is a list of the 2007-08 District Membership Chairs:

Zone 33:
  • 7530, Jody Light, Buckhannon, WV
  • 7550, Sara Chapman, Huntington, WV
  • 7570, Ron Napier, Front Royal, VA
  • 7600, Cindy Pecht, Lawrenceville, VA
  • 7610, Stephen Cook, Burke, VA
  • 7670, Ann Sperry, Conover, NC
  • 7690, Kelly Harrill, Greensboro, NC
  • 7710, Bill McLaurin, Apex, NC
  • 7720, Bill Rogister, Woodland, NC
  • 7730, John Robertson, Red Springs, NC
  • 7750, Bruce Baker, Greer, SC
  • 7770, Mack Branham, Irmo, SC

Zone 34

  • 6890, Gerald McGinty, Tampa, FL
  • 6900, Steven Stroud, Roswell, GA
  • 6910, John Barrett, Sandy Springs, GA
  • 6930, Frances Owen, Delray Beach, FL
  • 6940, John Tice, Pensacola, FL
  • 6950, Roger Lacy, Tarpon Springs, FL
  • 6960, Jim Henry, Sarasota, FL
  • 6970, James Culp, Jacksonville, FL
  • 6980, Carlos Giraldo, Altamonte Springs, FL
  • 6990, Jair De Almeida, Doral, FL
  • 7020, Patrick Strachan, Nassau, N.P. Bahamas
  • 7030, Rupert Cheekes, Petit Valley, Trinidad
  • 7000, Edwin Durán-González, San Juan, PR

5 Year Membership History by District

A valuable resource for District Membership Chairs and Rotarians supporting their efforts is the 5 Year Membership History by District compiled by Rotary International.

It is hard to know where you are going unless you know where you have been! This is an invaluable tool for analyzing trends and setting benchmarks for Rotarians.

The link:

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Why a BLOG for Membership?

No, I cannot take credit for the idea of a Rotary Membership Blog! (a/k/a "web log")

My 13 year old daughter has been asking me why Rotary doesn't have Blogs for several years. She and all of her friends have been sharing in this manner daily for years.

Then, amazingly, someone in the Rotary world did listen to their teenage daughter (or son), and the results are at least two existing Zone-level membership Blogs.

Here's the article that alerted me - from the January 2008 Membership Coordinator Newsletter:

WHO IS BLOGGING? The August 2007-08 issue of the Membership Coordinator Newsletter talked about using an online blog as a creative alternative to an electronic newsletter or an emailed PDF. Congratulations to 2007-08 RI Membership Development & Retention Committee member Nico de Boer, zone 13 in The Netherlands, and RRIMC Jose Adolfo Herrera, zone 21 in the Dominican Republic, who have had recent success with their blogs!
Also, please remember to visit the membership coordinator monthly newsletters posted on the RI Web. They continue to be a valuable resource for solutions to common membership challenges .You can visit membership coordinator blogs at the following links:Zone 21 Zone 13

So, If it works on three other continents, I am sure it can be of some benefit here in North America!

Getting the Blog Off of the Ground!

It is fitting that the first BLOG entry to the Zone 33-34 Membership BLOG is one of thanks.

Many years of dedicated work in the membership area have occurred in Zones 33 and 34. Being that my experience has mostly been within Zone 33, I recognize current Regional Rotary Membership Coordinator (RRIMC) 2006-08 Joe Ferguson who has been a tireless worker in the area of membership, and has trained no less that three RIMZC (Zone Coordinators) and over 25 District Membership Chairs. He is the originator of our Zone 33 Membership Training held jointly with Zone Rotary Foundation and District Trainer events in June of each year in Greensboro, North Carolina. He has advanced this training in a professional, organized, and efficient manner. Likewise, past RIMZC Ron Ferrill of Martinsville, VA and my current compatriot RIMZC Sue Poss of Greer, SC are each superior Rotarians who are dedicated to Rotary's ongoing membership mission and its importance to our clubs. Ron and Sue both served as Zone Membership Newsletter Editors during their tenures.

I also acknowledge Zone 34 RRIMC Lona Pope of Gainesville, Georgia USA, and RIMZCs Jim Henry and Fran Milberg. Both Lona and Joe Ferguson have cooperatively put together tremendous membership plenary sessions during the last several Zone Institutes. All of these individuals work closely with their assigned districts as motivational and idea resources.

Thanks to these committed Rotarians, and others before them, we are able to walk upon the bridges they built to reach ever further toward our goal of positive and significant membership growth for our organization. Organizations are either growing or dying. The service that Rotary provides those less fortunate around the world demands that we grow! And, we thank these committed Rotarians for their service, and hope to continue to draw on their expertise in the future.