December 2, 2013

Everyone is working to increase membership and there are some bright spots - most notably the Rotary Club of Worcester, incredibly up to 35 new members in the last five months.  What is working and what is not working?  What should we do and how should we do it? 
From a mechanistic point of view, we all know what to do.  We go through a classification study of our club, we look to fill certain vocations, we make a list of all the possible candidates, we contact them, we recite an elevator speech, we hold Rotary informational meetings, we convince some of the contacts to join Rotary, we may or may not mentor or get the new members engaged in our clubs or retain our new members and then we repeat the process.  But are we treading water or making progress?
What is missing?  We are working hard to sell Rotary but are we marketing Rotary?  Are we focussing our community service projects towards high profile community needs projects?  Are we concentrating our limited resources of money and member time towards those programs that leverage Rotary in the most effective manner?  If we focus our efforts on projects that become beacons of good will in our communities, people will come to us.  I had the wonderful experience of attending the annual joint meeting of the Acton-Boxborough & Westford clubs last week where they honored the captains of the high school football teams and the principals and coaches prior to the Thanksgiving Day game.  Think about the number of people in those towns who are aware of this event.  Similarly the Acton-Boxborough Club conducted their first ever Veterans Day breakfast for veterans last week.  They had over 200 veterans, including some spouses, served by 100 high school students.  Wow!!!  These are some examples of high profile community efforts.  This is marketing the Rotary ideal.  These clubs will have a much easier time of explaining who and what Rotary is all about.  They will be able to attract members who want to be a part of this wonderful organization.  What will your club do to market Rotary?
Tom Sturiale - Membership Chair District 7910