Membership Corner - August 8, 2016

Membership Corner: Where will we find new members?
By Tom Sturiale
Your club has finally decided to address the membership gap between where you are and where you want to be. There is a consensus of the members to bring in and integrate a number of folks over the next three years, to double the club size. Everyone agrees this is a serious objective and well needed to spread the workload, increase the resources available to do more good in the community, develop future leadership, bring in new ideas and technology, create more fellowship and networking opportunities, develop more exciting agendas, and enhance and protect the long-term viability of Rotary and your club. 
You have developed a club brochure, a statement of your club objectives and future plans and a reasonable "value proposition" explaining the merits of Rotary membership at your club. Now, what do you do? Where will you find these prospective Rotarians? How will you approach them? Who will say what? Then what?
Let’s start at the beginning. One of the first things you completed was a member-classification review and a member-needs analysis. So you have an idea of the types of members your club needs – a doctor, a nurse, teachers, real-estate brokers, financial planners, sales people, computer geeks, social-media pros, school principal, police firemen, the town manager, newspapers folks, writers, hospital administrators, car dealers, plumbers, carpenters, builders, lawyers, CPAs, business owners, factory managers, corporate managers, you-name-it, etc. 
Now, your membership has to begin the hard job of searching through their Rolodexes, their memory of friends, neighbors, acquaintances, the Chamber of Commerce listings, the newspaper ads, and all other local sources of businesses and organizations to find the names of people matching your needs and/or wants of members.
Make a list and prioritize it.  Invite these folks, one at a time, to a meeting and/or club event. It doesn’t have to be done all at one time. But it does have to be pursued continually over a long period of time. It can be an iterative process. Every conversation with a person will or should lead to the identification of a couple more folks. Invite folks you are interested in, to come to your club as a speaker. Here is a great way to begin the vetting process. 
If the membership objective is identified as a club priority and all the members buy into it, then putting it on the front burner as a club action plan will yield the results you have all been looking for.
Tom Sturiale, vice chair of District 7910's Membership Committee, may be reached at
July 2016 articles:
"A Rotary Membership Guide" is a collection of "Membership Corner" articles written for this weekly newsletter during the 2015-2016 Rotary year, which began last July 1. It is intended to offer an idea or thought each week aimed at stimulating discussions, questions and actions to effectively increase membership at all our clubs. Click here, to download this 52-page "Guide," in Word format.
For more information on Rotary memberships: