Saturday, March 1, 2008

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

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