Sunday, October 5, 2008

Membership Ground Zero - The Club

Business, professional, and community leaders know that accountability for adhering to common fundamentals is necessary for success.  They also know that lack of accountability generally leads to failure.  At Membership Ground Zero – the Club – EFFECTIVE Rotary clubs generally do not have Membership Development problems because they practice fundamentals and set expectations as their form of accountability.

Fundamentals are used because they have proven to be dependable.  For over one-hundred years, effective Rotary clubs have successfully applied fundamentals to strengthen Membership.  But what fundamentals?

  •  The reason Rotary clubs exist is to advance the Object of Rotary.
  • The First Object of Rotary is to Develop Acquaintance as an Opportunity for Service (Membership Development.)
  • Rotary is an organization of business, professional, and community leaders, active or retired, who have discretionary use of their time.
  • Business, professional, and community leaders are not accustomed to mediocrity, associating with anyone who accepts mediocrity, or being involved with mediocre organizations.
  • People join Rotary for their reasons, not the club’s or the invitee’s.
  • People join Rotary to get to know, or get to be known by, like minded individuals – to network.
  • Members stay in Rotary because they are satisfied.

Membership Ground Zero – the club.  In preparing or refining Membership Strategic Plans, consider instituting ways and means of inspiring, encouraging, and equipping members to be accountable for practicing fundamentals.  Imagine what could happen if membership committees had in their membership toolbox information that came from these, or similar, fundamental questions:

  1. How many Rotary information meetings (fireside chats) for non-Rotarians did the clubs hold the previous month?
  2. How many potential member business, professional, or community leaders who have discretionary use of their time were at the information meetings?
  3. What was the club’s average attendance percentage last month?
  4. How many members resigned last month?
  5. How many of the members that resigned had been in Rotary less than three years?
  6. Why did they resign?
  7. How many new members were inducted into the club last month?

Imagine this chain of events: The club membership chair gathers this information each month and reports it to the club’s Board of Directors.  The Board of Directors discusses the information and takes action as necessary.  At the next weekly membership meeting, the club president gives a brief report and recognizes the Membership Committee for a job well done.

This simple accountability system would be a way to keep Membership Development fundamentals in the minds of all at Membership Ground Zero and would lay the foundation for improving the club’s ability to satisfy their customer – the club member.  And we all know that satisfied customers attract others.

 (For more information, or setting up sample Excel spreadsheets, contact Jim at

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