Corporate Memberships In Rotary

By Tom Sturiale
In our renewed zeal to broaden our membership, we are approaching large corporations and businesses to join our organization. In days past, corporations used to encourage their employees to join charitable and community organizations but times have changed and it is more difficult to continue those practices. In the past few years, we have been evolving a methodology to encourage businesses to join our effort. 
Corporate membership allows the owners and their designates the opportunity to belong to an elite international association with strong local presence. It provides the opportunity to network with many local citizens, to give back to the community in a personal way, to become better leaders and to gain the honor and prestige to be known as a Rotarian. It has become difficult for many businesses to afford the time to attend outside meetings and to participate in the many Rotary events of Clubs. Corporate membership allows the owner or CEO or president to join Rotary but then to share the time requirements with a few associates. It is beneficial for Rotary to have as members strong contributors to the local economy and provides us leverage to access great numbers of influential people.
What we offer is to allow the local top executive to join as a regular member of Rotary and to name two or three other employees to join as “associate members.”  The executive will have to go through the normal application process, approval and induction as a full member of Rotary. He or she will simply submit the names of employees to be admitted as “associates” without much vetting. The “associates” are not to be counted as regular members of the club. They will share in meeting attendance and participation in local Club events. Of course, they are all welcome to attend and assist as much as they desire. 
The Club will present the “associates” with pins, badges and present them with subscriptions to the Rotarian magazine. While the full member will retain voting and officer rights, the “associates” will not. Of course, at any time the “associates” become very interested in achieving full membership status, they are welcome to submit an application for approval. The additional administration costs for the “associates” will be added to the annual dues structure of the Club.  If, for example, the club charges $200 per quarter for dues, fees and meals to their members, then they may add $20 to 30 per quarter for the two or three additional “associates” to cover additional costs. This is up to the Club. We simply want to cover the small additional costs. So if any one of the “corporate members” attends a meeting, their meal would be covered. If two attend, then one would pay for the meal. If three attend, then two would pay for the meal. 
Some Clubs have been very active in this effort and have seen considerable success. There are hundreds of large businesses and corporations in our area and we should act to gain their support and participation in our Rotary efforts.
Tom Sturiale, chair of District 7910's Visioning Committee and vice chair of its Membership Committee, may be reached at
For more information on Rotary memberships:
July 2016 'Membership Corner' 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.