Monday, March 24, 2008

Red Should be the Color!

Should be the Official Color of Membership Committees!

is the color of passion.
Passion is the heart of all Rotary membership committees.
No passion. No members.

is the color of love.
Membership committee members and clubs should love advancing the Object of Rotary;
otherwise clubs will have difficulty being effective at keeping and recruiting members.


is the brightest color.
Membership committee members, working with club and district leaders, must see that the clubs brilliantly demonstrate the 4-Way Test in order to attract the brightest business, professional, and community leaders,

is the most visible color.
To have prestige, membership committees, working with other committees, must see that club and
Rotary International service activities are visible to club members and the public.

is fire.
If membership committees and clubs are not on fire,
members who are will flame out.


is the color of power.
Influence, the most effective and lasting form of power, is gained
by membership committees and clubs who are dedicated to Rotary’s motto
Service above Self.

Inspired by and adapted with permission from Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Red Book of Selling.
For more information, visit

Posted by Jim Henry, RRIMZ 2008-09 Zone 34

For a handout of this message click:

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What can we learn from Our "Industry Leaders"?

This thought was exerpted from an email by Mary Chapman, Rotary Club of Peachtree City, GA, and shared with her permission:

In attempting to reach President D. K. Lee's goal of 10% growth for our district next year, I have begun to look at the clubs in our district seriously. We have 13 clubs that are over 100 members. These 13 out of 71 clubs account for 47% of our district membership. We do not need to look at all clubs equally.

Every big club at one time was a little club. There is a point at which large clubs quit growing if they do not put systems in place to retain members. We know that the group of very large clubs, (+350), have systems in place that allow people to delegate many of the club administration functions so that they can devote more time to projects and meaningful programs. This is just to let you know that I have begun to contact some of the executive directors of some of the large clubs for ideas that can be put in place by clubs hovering around 100+. I am already gaining some positive ideas which I will share when I get them into written format.

In a sales force, you can generally assume that about 10% of the force will sell 90% of the product. Our product is Rotary Membership and an opportunity for service. We need to offer these large clubs additional support, encouragement, and respect. They are our "industry leaders.". We need to let our membership know what they do so that smaller clubs can gain ideas. I have every reason to believe that these successful clubs will be more than happy to share their secrets so that other clubs can grow. We can be like them, we are just not there yet.

Mary Chapman

Monday, March 17, 2008

TRF & Club Strategic Planning hits The Rotarian!

The March 2008 edition of The Rotarian hit the mailbox with a smiling picture of Dolly Parton and an interesting Q&A with Rotarian Steve Brown, a member of the TRF Future Vision Committee that addresses (among other things) Strategic Planning for clubs!

Q. How do you feel Rotary as an organization, both at the international and local levels, can be successful in long-term planning, and what would success look like?

A. I think Rotary, at all levels, understands the need for strategic planning. The RI Board charged a committee to recommend a strategic plan, and there’s talk now about assisting the clubs and districts in strategic planning. So I think it’s recognized that, given the magnitude of our organization and the success we’re enjoying, we need to continue to build on that success and we can do that best through strategic planning.

There will be different ways to measure success. One way will be the level of contributions to The Rotary Foundation, not only from Rotarians but from third parties as well. Another example we all point to right now is polio. We’re on the verge of eradicating polio. We are recognized by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a major partner in the success of that effort. And I believe that as we have other major programs – and not only corporate programs – we will be recognized as a premier foundation based on the outcomes that we’re able to provide through our new plan.

Q. Have you seen how clubs are addressing the need for long-range planning?

A. I can only speak with respect to my club. We have a member who used to work for IBM in long-range planning. She held several sessions with our club to go through a long-range planning process. But it never ends. You reach objectives and you have to test how you’re doing, you go back, you modify. But we’re definitely doing that, and it’s a new experience.

Q. Do you think there’s been enough focus on strategic planning at the club level?

A. In our club’s case, I’d say yes. I guess the beauty of Rotary is that one size does not fit all. So for one club, it could be a tremendous advantage; other clubs may not be able to put it to good use. But I think every club, regardless of size or location, should try to do some planning – perhaps not the way strategic planning is done in the United States, but some planning that goes beyond the one-year cycle.

Q. How do we work with the clubs to make sure they are aligning their strategic plans with both the Future Vision Plan and the RI Strategic Plan 2007-10?

A. It needs to be done through communication. As these plans are rolled out, there will be an education piece that helps clubs understand how they fit in with the plans that are being set forth.

Credit: The Rotarian, March 2008, Pages 43-45 or link to

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Register Now for the Zone 33-34 Membership Seminar in Evanston

Registration materials and additional information are now available for the June 3-5, 2008 Joint Zones 33-34 Membership Seminar with the focus on District Membership Strategic Planning to be held at One Rotary Center, Evanston, Illinois.

Zone 34- Read an email from RRIMC Jim Henry

Zone 33- Read an email from RRIMC Bevin Wall

Click here for the Registration Form

Access Important Membership Info at the Zone 33-34 Membership Resources Index

Documents of Membership interest will now be posted on a resource page. The link is accessible as the first item under "Membership Must Links" on this Blog.

For example, registration materials and information for the upcoming Zone 33-34 Membership Seminar in Evanston, IL has just been posted.

For direct access now click

Sunday, March 2, 2008

"We have always done it that way"

Rotary is rich with stories of impact, fun, and dramatic change. Our biggest block to future success is our inability to see things differently, to challenge conventional wisdom. What would happen if we turned conventional wisdom on its head? How would a new perspective create new success?

For example:
  • "We must have high retention." What if we approached the community relations department of a large company seeking executives to guide an important 2-year project in our club or district? If they stay after that, terrific. If they choose to move on, we thank them for their skills, leadership and impact and wish them well. Most clubs would consider that as a loss of an active, contributing member. The people we serve see that as a shining example of success. The executive walks away with a terrific experience and a fond love for Rotary, even as a non-member. How could we view this as a success?

  • "You have to work your way up the leadership chain." What about Generation X? Folks in this age group are less interested in moving up than they are in moving across - developing broad experience. That's good news for clubs who need leaders with broad perspective. What are your assumptions for membership development and succession and how does it relate to members' interests? How can you appeal to a variety of interests?

  • "Prospective members need to attend 3 meetings." Have you ever asked a new member about their experience during those 3 weeks? What were their goals and expectations versus actual experience? What were the things that they tolerated, that blocked their ability to meet their objectives? Effective clubs do a great job of creating a consistent approach for new member introduction and induction.

  • "Don't survey the members. Asking questions will only emphasize our weaknesses" Who are your "soon-to-be non members" and what blocks them from having a great experience? It is far better to find out in a member survey than an exit survey. Even better than that, interview former members and non-members to find out why they are not in Rotary? If you want to learn something, really listen, don't sell.

  • "Change is hard." What if change was fun? What if you helped make change simpler to understand, more meaningful to the members and simpler to do? If you want to launch a new project, what would be some early wins? No one needs more work. But they might want more fun, more intensity, more connection or even some fun competition. How would you like your change to be?

At your next board meeting or your next project team meeting, notice the conventional wisdom, the rules that worked in the past. And then ask,what if we assumed the opposite? What if we saw it from a non-member point of view? Your club is doing great things for your members and the community. Keep your club strong and relevant by challenging conventional wisdom.

Reprinted from

RI President Posts Membership Letter

RI President Wilf Wilkinson has posted a membership letter to Club Presidents as a follow-up to the North American Presidential Conferences. The letter can be viewed here:

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Zone 33 RRIMC Letter Posted

The Zone 33 Regional RI Membership Coordinator Letter has been posted.

  • Membership Top Priority for 2008-09
  • Regional Rotary Membership Training (Details about Evanston IL Training)
  • Brush off that District Manual of Procedure or Leadership Plan
  • Regional Membership Team
  • Zone Resources
  • Club Level Support
It can be accessed at

President-Elect Lee Challenges Rotarians to Bring in More Members

Increasing membership, especially among younger generations, was the focus of the Regional Rotary International Membership Coordinators Training Seminar, held earlier this month in Skokie, Illinois, USA. The annual RRIMC event trains Rotarians to help clubs and districts achieve membership growth.

RI President-elect Dong Kurn Lee called on the RRIMCs to get every Rotary club to bring in at least one new member in 2008-09. During his term, he will challenge each district to achieve a 10 percent net increase in membership and to start two new clubs.

Lee stressed the importance of recruiting younger Rotarians: “If we don’t bring in younger members, we’ll miss out on a great deal of energy and expertise. The strongest Rotary club is one that is diverse. It has members of different ages, both men and women. It has members of many different vocations and professions. It has members with different skills and talents.”

He also spoke about Rotary’s youth programs and alumni. “Good Rotaract and Interact clubs create good future Rotarians,” he said. “Clubs should maintain contact with alumni, so when it’s time, they can be invited to join Rotary.”

“Most alumni aren’t asked to join Rotary, and that represents a tremendous investment of our capital that we are ignoring,” explained RI General Secretary Ed Futa. “They have to knock on our door and beg us to be a part of the Rotary family. If we aren’t going to invest in them, then let’s stop the programs.”

John Hockin, a member of RI’s Membership Development and Retention Committee, urged the RRIMCs to be role models for all Rotarians. “Our approach and attitude must be changing. Bring in members – not members your age, but two generations younger.” According to Hockin, if all clubs and districts meet Lee’s challenges, Rotary will welcome 100,000 new members next year.

The 10 clubs and districts with the highest percentage membership growth will be recognized during the 2009 RI Convention in Birmingham, England.

Reprinted from