Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What is a Good Annual Retention Plus Growth Rate?

What is a good annual retention plus growth rate?  My response to that question is anything above 93.4%.  

Why?  Rotary International’s Strategic Plan calls for an 80% three year retention rate, which calculates out to be a 93.4% annual retention rate.  Anything over that percentage would be achieving the strategic plan objective.  

But it is possible to achieve or better that rate and not grow.  That’s not all bad, but it does not represent growth.  As a reminder, Districts 7020 and 7030, for the years 2005-2009, achieved retention plus growth rates of 102.38% and 95.3% respectively, the highest in Zone 34.

RC Jim Henry, Zone 34

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Problem with Net Gain Membership Awards...a Further Explanation

RC Jim Henry: Master of
Rotary Retention Statistics
In a previous email, I introduced a potential problem with net gain membership awards. In light of some questions raised, this is a more detailed explanation. You will be Governor next year. At the bottom are some questions you might consider discussing with your District leadership team.

In this example, all rates are annual and based on semi annual reports, not interim reports.
  • Club A, which has seventy members, brings in twenty new members but loses seventeen (net gain of three.) Their annual retention rate of 75.7%.Club A has a retention rate of 75.7%. Its growth rate of (3/70)*100 = 4.3%. Its retention plus growth rate is 75.7% + 4.3% = 80%.
  • Club B has twenty members. They bring in five new members but lose four. Their retention rate is 80%. The growth rate is 5%. Club B has a retention plus growth rate of 80% + 5% = 85%.
  • Club C has twenty members. It brings in one new member and loses one member. It has an annual retention rate of 95%. Club C has a retention plus growth rate of 95% + 0% = 95%.
Assume all three clubs are in your district. Consider discussing with your leadership team the following:
  1. Which club(s) do you believe should receive the highest recognition? Why?
  2. What types of recognition would you consider giving, if any? Why?
  3. Which do you believe is the healthiest club(s)? Why?
  4. Which do you believe to be the most problematic club(s)? Why?

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Whirlpool Paradox

The Whirlpool Paradox for Rotary Club Members: Clubs become so intent on recruiting new members that they neglect membership qualifications and the purposes for having members causing existing members to leave and clubs to continue to recruit new members until the pool of qualified members runs dry.

The Whirlpool Paradox for Clubs: Districts become so intent on starting new clubs that they neglect helping all clubs advance the Object of Rotary which causes existing clubs to get older and smaller while new clubs struggle to recruit and keep new members until the pool of qualified members runs dry.

“Never forget the huge value of your current customers. Companies that continually target new consumers, while neglecting existing customers are sometimes referred to as having a “Death-Wish [ne' Whirlpool] Paradox.” They wish they had more sales, so they target new customers and spend a lot to try to get those new customers, but it only leads to financial “death.” Diversifying marketing efforts between past customers, current clients and new potentials will encourage buyers to return and can expand your customer base, while spending much less. You’ll have a bigger return on your investment.” March 3, 2009 White Paper
Questions: (1) How can districts or clubs recognize that they may be caught in a Whirlpool Paradox? (2) If either is caught in a Whirlpool Paradox, what do they have to do to escape?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thoughts on Membership Awards

A problem with a net gain membership award is that it could be recognizing a club for a job well done even though that club is in trouble.

How could that be? Read more from the mind of RC Jim Henry.  

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Anarchy & Misalignment

Want to avoid anarchy and mayhem in your club, district and our big Rotary organization, then you better pay attention to your alignment!

Brand alignment is more than designing and synchronizing the Rotary logos, annual themes, mottos, and creeds. Brand alignment means harmonizing the organization’s core essence with its brand promise (the thoughts, feelings, and images the organization’s brand delivers to its target audience.) This alignment is vital in ALL interconnecting relationships, but especially when interconnecting with target audiences...

Read more from the latest installment from the mind of Rotary Membership Guru, Jim Henry.   

Friday, December 10, 2010

SC Rotarian Leads off Rotary Retention Article

Diana Wood Howard, president of the Rotary Club of Spring Valley (Columbia), South Carolina, is featured in a recent Rotary News article about membership retention.

Click here to see Pres. Diana's comments, other Rotarians' ideas, or add your own.

From Rotary News.

Monday, November 8, 2010

2010 Membership Start Figures Here

Rotary International has published the official 2010 District & Club Start figures. The figures are contained along with the 5 year membership history for each district and club.

You can access them here.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Branding Seminar Summary

Assistant Governor John Scibal from District 7730 was a "SIG", significant invited guest" at this year's Rotary Institute for Zones 33 & 34 in Naples Florida. He was specifically invited to serve as a participant in a novel "Branding Seminar" conducted by leaders in the corporate branding world.

Focus Group Sheds Light on Recruitment Issues

Old. Male. Inflexible. Elitist. Exclusive. Secretive.

Open participation. Visibility. Flexible. Creative Service Projects. Meet Local Needs. 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Successful PAM Membership Program Shared

The only +5% membership increase per year district in Zones 33-34 is the Northern Caribbean District 7020, led this year by Governor Diana White. At our urging she has shared the district's multi-year PAM Program.  

There is a DG Award for various levels of accomplishment. Clubs, AG’s and District Chairs have the ability to earn “Bonus Points” throughout the year which can boost their score in the DG Award. They also employ a "Club of the Month" award.

The “Passport to Success” is given to all PETS attendees. Each year, all District Chairs are available with informational material and there are a couple of hour-long sessions where all the club Presidents and Secretaries can wander through the tables and ask questions – rather like a “Trade Show” for Rotary Information. This year, they gave the participants a “Passport” which they had signed by the tables they visited and these provide bonus points.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

7 Relationship Types Effecting Retention

In yet another way to look at the retention dynamic in our Rotary clubs, Paul Kiser defines seven types of benchmark relationships and show they might impact membership retention in a Rotary club.

As you read this, think about how this influences, expands and challenges both a club's ability to provide for the needs of its members, and the opportunities available for vocational service, networking, professional development, and building acquaintance.  

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Step 1 of Helping Clubs Attract the Members They Want: Understand the Situation

How can your Rotary Clubs position themselves to attract the Rotarians they want? Zone 33 District Governors in training for 2012-13 grappled with this issue during their training in Naples, Florida with Rotary Coordinator Bevin Wall leading the exchange. In this article, Step 1 of 3.

First Step: Know the Membership Situation and the Key Issues Highlighted in the RI Strategic Plan. 

The Regional Numbers. Zones 33-34 comprise approximately 70,000 Rotarians in the southeast United States, Caribbean Basin and northern rim of South America. During the past 10 years, with the exception of 1 recruitment spike, the Zones together have lost approximately 800-1,200 Rotarians per year, net.

Retention is Key. Of those being lost, most are the "under 5 years in Rotary" category. (See Jan 2010 Zone 33-34 Membership Survey) Retention is poor. From 2005-2009 Zone 33 (SC north to Maryland) Lost 23,372 members and inducted 21,625 members for a 12.02% annual loss. At a 10% retention loss there would be modest growth.

RI's Membership Approach History. In 2001-02 a recruitment campaign occurred in Rotary, leading to a one year increase in members, although all the gains were lost the next year. Since then, the focus has been on retention, but only net loss/gain membership totals have been available from RI. Having the regional retention data for the first time gives us a clearer picture of where the membership battle is being won and lost.

New Emphasis. However, while a good measurement tool for progress, the new RI Strategic Plan shifts the emphasis from counting net Rotarians, to concentrating on strengthening Rotary clubs, focusing service and enhancing RI's public image. It is believed that an emphasis on quality will positively effect retention rates, and stabilize or increase membership numbers. The RI Strategic Plan uses a regional approach to deploy people, structural and materials resources for Governors to help them help their clubs.

Next Article: Step 2 of Helping Clubs Attract the Members They Want: The Key Issue.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Australians Recruit Women

In the face of declining Rotary Membership numbers in Australia, their solution is... to recruit more women! The myth to be dispelled is that Rotary still doesn't accept women. A national movement to reverse this myth and trend is in the works.

Read more about Australia's novel plan. Article supplied by PDG Rick Garner, the RI Zone 8 Public Image Resource Group Coordinator, to Rotary on the Move.  

Rotary's Challenge: Draw a Younger Crowd

A great article in the mainstream media highlighting Rotary's membership challenges.

David Hanson, a fourth-generation Rotarian, is president of the Rotary Club in Chesapeake. The key to Rotary’s future, Hanson said, “is to bring in high-quality young members.”
See this article in the Virginian Pilot's Online resource: PilotOnline.com

Thanks to 
Bill Pollard for this submission.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Club in a Pub?

How important is location and fun? The Rotarians of the Bricktown Rotary club would like you to know.

Read the Rotary News article here. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Zone 33 & 34 make Membership Advances

The 2009-2010 Rotary Membership numbers are in. For the first time since 2001-02, Zone 33 Rotary clubs (States of DE,MD,NC,SC,TN,VA,WV) showed a positive membership growth of net +47, a growth rate of one tenth of one percent. Zone 34 saw an improvement, but still lost a net 85 Rotarians, despite having District 7020 post a record 120 Rotarian gain.

In Zone 33, this breaks a significant downward trend line over the past 5 years that reflected an average loss of 436 Rotarians per year, or about 1.2% per year. Zone 34 has sustained similar losses over the same time period.

Zone 33 Rotary Coordinator Bevin Wall attributes the gain to hard work by District Governors and Club Presidents, who are emphasizing the importance of strengthening clubs at the local level. Weak economic trends have been cited as a factor in Rotarian losses, but are being largely offset by new club development. Of continuing concern is the average club size, which continues to fall, while the number of clubs steadily increase. Retaining existing members, recognizing the importance of keeping those members, and instituting programs to strengthen the overall club program and activities are all keys to turning the numbers around.

Click here for the Final Comparison to Start Figures Membership Report for 2009-10.    

Friday, August 27, 2010

Tips for Membership Retention

See Tips for Membership Retention compiled during the "Closing the Back Door" :Membership Retention Plenary Session at the Montreal Rotary Convention, June 2010.

See also a Rotary.org News article on the session.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Latest Haiti Relief Update

Click here for the latest Haiti Earthquake Relief Update.

"Club of the Month", Membership Newsletter Innovations in 7020

A district continuing to experience membership increases in our region is District 7020 in the Caribbean. This growth happens because they innovate, keep fresh and fun ideas in front of their Rotarians, and they work their plan.

DG Diana White has again, this year, kept the momentum going with another innovative program.

See District 7020's "Club of the Month" concept overview. See also their promotion of the first month's criteria in their dedicated newsletter "PAM".  

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Club Brochure Templates Available

Download the new club brochure templates from the RI website. 

These customizable templates are available in three formats, for clubs with varying levels of technical expertise and software.

Top Ten Membership Tips

There are almost as many ideas for recruiting club members as there are Rotarians, which is not surprising considering Rotary’s diversity. While some universal strategies come up again and again, others capitalize on new technologies or aim to expand Rotary’s demographic reach.

Read the top 10 tips for increasing club membership on the RI website, and submit your ideas in the comments section.

Membership Minute

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Membership Ideas- Tried & True

See a description of the 5 for 1 Membership Plan outlined by Pres. Ray Klingensmith for Membership Development.

See a description of the STAR Program.

Both courtesy of zones25-26membership blog

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cliff Dochterman Speeches Available

Cliff Dochterman

From one of the most dynamic and insightful speakers in Rotary today, and the author of "The ABCs of Rotary", come the speeches of Past RI President Cliff Dochterman,  available now on DVD. The speeches include:  
  • Vocational Service, Rotary's Original Idea
  • TRF Window to the World
  • If I Could be President Again
  • The Friendly Fire of Rotary
  • The Unwritten History of Rotary
  • Conversations with Paul Harris
The cost is $15.00 per DVD speech. The cost is $75 for all 6. Make check payable to "The Americas Foundation" and send it to:

Karl Stucki
1401 Grand Ave.
Piedmont, CA 94610

For more information contact Karl Stucki

Sunday, August 15, 2010

New "No. Sponsored" Field on DaCdb Database

The District and Club Database has added a new "No. Sponsored" field. The new field will require manual entry from Rotarians or Club Secretaries using the Four Way Test of the total number of new Rotarians sponsored by the member.

The field is located between the "Sponsor" field and the "Languages Spoken" field.

Sign in here with your user name and password to see.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Our Membership Motto!

As we enter into August, which is specifically devoted to Membership & Extension, this is a wonderful opportunity to remember the concept or phrase the RI Board adopted a few years ago in support of membership: Each Rotarian: Reach One, Keep One. 

This phrase emphasizes the importance of every Rotarian assuming responsibility for sponsoring new members as well as stressing the importance of retaining members.

Under the RI Strategic Plan ‘Improve member recruitment and retention’ is one of the underlying elements of the priority ‘Support and Strengthen Clubs’. Membership is a compilation, or final result, of a variety of different factors: prospective member outreach, stimulating and engaging weekly club programs, vibrant and relevant service projects and club sponsored programs, communication, effective and comprehensive training and information, fellowship, club assessment and planning, public relations, public awareness and public image. All of these factors work together in supporting member recruitment and maintaining retention. Strong, relevant, and vibrant Rotary clubs are more inclined to attract as well as retain members.

RI provides a number of resources for clubs to access and use depending on their need. An overview of resources available throughout the organization that can be used to support membership related activities is referenced in the catalog:
Empower Your Rotary Club with RI Resources for Membership Development

A variety of information related to statistics, trends, research and survey data can also be found at 

Exerpted from an article by Donna McDonald, Manager, Membership Development & Research Division

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Basics...work!

From time to time, I find an excellent "best practices" idea. Following is a report from the Rotary Club of Springfield, Oregon (D511)) who had a spectacular year of bringing in new members in 2009-2010 and seems well on their w

Monday, July 26, 2010

King to Headline Maryland Membership Event

The four Frederick County MD, District 7620, Rotary clubs have announced that Richard King, Past Rotary International President, will be the keynote speaker at a major Rotary membership kick-off, Monday evening, August 23, 2010. The address will be on the topic of the role of service based organizations in the global economy. King is known for his motivational speeches and uplifting commentary on community and international service.

Limited seating is available. Advance registration is required. On-line registration will be available soon at www.rotary7620.org For additional information contact 
PDG Paul Frey

The Statistics- Why Rotarians Say They Leave Rotary

Click here for the report summarizing the statistical reasons given on Semi-Annual Report Forms and Termination forms by Clubs as to why Rotarians leave Rotary.

Please note that "Death" is only 5 Percent of the total. And, of course, we all recognize that the statistics are only as good as the data, and that often, Rotarians do not give "real answers" to the questions, to keep from hurting feelings or burning bridges on the way out.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rotary Coordinator: Strategic Planning & Creating Dynamic Clubs

Link to article on Zones 25-26 Rotary Coordinator Site. The article lists some of the Rotary Coordinator priorities and encourages the exchange of club best practices on the topic of strategic planning and creating dynamic clubs.  

Share your best practices with us at rcBevin@gmail.com

Do you want a simple, practical, common sense approach to analyzing your Rotary club's membership? 

Click here to see one fantastic approach from Paul Kiser.

Club Builder Award

At the January board meeting the Board approved the Club Builder Award. This new award honors those Rotarians who have made a significant impact in supporting and strengthening their Rotary Clubs, and fits in well with the goal of creating Bigger, Better, Bolder clubs.

District Governors may nominate one candidate from their districts each year. To be eligible a Rotarian must have be active and in good standing, with at least 10 years of membership, they must have served as a club president, and have been a member of a Rotary club with at least 30 members in the 3 years immediately preceding nomination.

The specific criteria for the award are as follows:
  1. Personally recruited at least five members who are active Rotarians at the time of nomination
  2. Participated in Rotary training in their club
  3. Participated in at least one meaningful club-level vocational service project
  4. Attended at least two district meetings in the three years immediately preceding nomination
Eligible candidates must be recommended by three past club presidents of their own club (or of a past club if they are members of a new club). District governors should form a selection committee of three past governors to select the district nominee. The district governor may endorse one candidate and must submit a nomination to Rotary International by 1 November.

Information regarding the Club Builder Award has been sent to the district governors, and the nomination form is available online at www.rotary.org/awards

Thanks to Amanda Runge, Program Coordinator, RC Program Support

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Clubs and District Top Changes for 2010

Access two quick handouts digesting the recent COL (Council on Legislation) Changes. These are a MUST READ for Club Presidents, Club Secretaries, and District Governors:

Changes Affecting Rotary Districts

Click here for a previous article detailing the top 50 COL Changes: Rotary Changes at COL.

Membership, Your Club & The RI Strategic Plan

The revised RI Strategic Plan focuses on strengthening Rotary at the club level and provides the framework for clubs and districts to craft a successful future. This back-to-basics plan, with its revised vision and three targeted priorities, affirms that Rotary’s future lies in strong, focused clubs that are well known for their accomplishments.

So why is the RI Strategic Plan important to your club’s membership? Click here to find out!.

Thanks to RI Membership Minute. 

A Graphic: The Interconnecting Relationships of Rotary

During the Zone 34 Membership Event in Evanston IL earlier this month, the Zone 34 Membership Team, with the guidance of RRIMC Jim Henry worked on the question of "Who is Rotary's customer?"

From that search they developed a graphic representation of the Interconnecting Relationships of Rotary. It is quite interesting and, I am sure, will be the start point for much more conversation!

Districts- GROW Your Club Membership!

District 7620 Governor, Paul Frey shares the following information about the GROW Membership Program used successfully in his district, District 7620.

"The GROW membership training booklet was developed by Darrell Nevin, Membership Chair for District 7620, for use in training club membership committee members and Rotarians in general. His analysis and techniques have proven successful when adopted by clubs of all sizes. He has conducted dozens of entertaining half-day training seminars in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia utilizing the concepts outlined in this GROW booklet. He also has run seminars for smaller, struggling Rotary clubs entitled “Extreme Makeover – Small Club Edition."

Download the GROW Program booklet here.

Click here for more information about implementing the GROW program in your club or district.

Rotary Happy New Year!

As the "new" Rotary year begins, some great thoughts by Paul Kiser on our culture of "new year talk" versus real change in a Rotary club!

Click here to read Paul's article.

Photo courtesy Mark du toit. 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

New Club Brochure Template is Available from RI

Does your club need a brochure? Sure it does!
Don't have time to make on from scratch? I know you don't!

Now, you don't have to do it yourself. See the announcement for the new kit and links to download it at this Rotary News article!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Is The Rotarian magazine doomed to fall in the Social Media Onslaught?

Traditional media sources, newspaper and magazines included, are reeling from the changes in the marketplace caused by internet social media. 

As action at the recent Council on Legislation shows, Rotary's magazine, The Rotarian, while a "required circulation" magazine for members, is not immune from this pressure.

Read more here from Paul Kiser's Blog on how these changes may effect you!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Legal Thriller Author Has His Distinctive Voice! Do Rotarians have one?

Author John Grisham, master of best-selling legal thrillers, told an estimated 5,630 newest graduates at Commencement at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that writing is like life and that it’s important for each person to find his or her voice in order to be heard. “Each of you has a distinctive voice. When you find it, your story will be told. You will be heard. The size of your audience doesn’t matter. What is important is that your audience is listening.” For links to Grisham's speech, a YouTube video, a slideshow and more, see uncnews.unc.edu.

, there is a lesson in that for Rotary and Rotary Clubs as well. Rotary has a distinct voice and place in the market of civic advancement. We need to celebrate that voice and those who are qualified and impassioned by it will come!    

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day Requiem: Our First Examples of Leadership

We knew it deep down all along... what Mothers can teach us about leadership!

1. A leader never loses sight of their vision
2. A leader demonstrates patience in waiting for the desired outcome
3. A leader encourages their team to be self-sufficient
4. A leader knows how to inspire others

Thanks to Tanveer Naseer's Blog.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Rotary Changes at the COL!

Rotary's legislative body, the 2010 Rotary International Council on Legislation, recently completed its week long deliberations in Chicago, IL USA. As usual there are a number of surprising actions, including the approval of e-clubs, adding a Fifth Avenue of Service, and more... 

Bevin Wall, COL Representative for District 7730 in Southeast North Carolina was a delegate and submits the following synopsis: The Top Fifty 2010 COL Actions.  

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Membership Awards Time!

Click here for Membership Awards Info. Due May 15.

Remember, hard working Rotarians get "paid" with recognitions!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day - Yes, Rotary Supports That!

Rotary has had "environment" as one of it's key areas of support for many years. Lots of Rotary clubs have a "green-thumb" and it especially shows up around Earth Day. 

Story courtesy of RI News. By Arnold R. Grahl, Rotary International News -- 21 April 2010  

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Newly Revised RI Membership Strategy Released

Hot off the presses from Rotary International. Click here for the newly released RI Membership Strategy.

Is Your Rotary Club Accessible?

Where is your Rotary Club the other 166.5 hours per week? Answering this key question may determine whether your club's public image needs help.

Click here for the full story that includes a reflection on the public image of the automakers, the vantage point of the viewer, the impact of one-on-one Rotary education, the social media generation, and the one (very basic) tool that Rotary clubs are overlooking in public imaging!

Another great blog post from Paul Kiser's Blog.    

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Recognition of Membership Development Initiatives

Governors can nominate up to 3 clubs for Recognition of Membership Development Initiatives. May 15 deadline.

See the links in the below email or on the RI Website at http://www.rotary.org/en/members/generalinformation/awards/Pages/Awardsforclubs.aspx scroll down midway for MDI. 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Innovation Made Easy?

To innovate is to introduce something new or make changes in anything established. Innovation is key to ensuring that your club remains strong for years to come. Is it time for your Rotary club to be innovative? Here are a few ideas to get started:
  • Survey all your club’s members to see what they like and don’t like about the club, and what suggestions they have for changes.
  • Ask your club board members to attend at least one other local club meeting this month as a guest and discuss what they observed.
  • Participate in LinkedIn or other social networking forums (see article above) to get ideas from Rotary club members around the world.
Thanks to Rotary Training Talk