This article will explain the procedures required to propose a new member to our club. In the past, the process has become confused, and this article should set the procedure straight.

Click here to download the complete New Member Package with information and forms.

Every Rotarian shares the privilege and obligation of proposing new club members. Rotary is unusual in that someone cannot simply join the organization, they must be proposed by a current member.

There are several key things to keep in mind when proposing a new member:

1. The prospective member must work or live in the club's community, or one of the adjoining communities.

2. The prospect must be an adult of good character and good business or professional reputation. The person must hold or have held (if retired) an executive position with discretionary authority in any worthy and recognized business or profession.

The first step is to bring the prospective member to lunch on several occasions so that he/she has an opportunity to learn about the club and Rotary. Since they are your guest, you need only pay for their lunch twice, and each subsequent lunch will be at the cost of the club, provided you intend to propose him/her for membership.

The second step in proposing a member is to obtain one of the proposal forms. The club secretary has these available at every meeting. When you propose a member, fill out the card and turn it in to the club secretary. Please be sure to include your name on the card as the proposer.

The secretary will then forward the card to the board, where the person is reviewed for classification eligibility, membership requirements, and board approval. The board meets once every two weeks. While we try to process everyone promptly, there may be delays on occasion. Also, should the prospect not be approved (this could happen for various reasons), it saves considerable embarrassment all around.

Once the board has approved the prospect, the proposed member is to be informed of the privileges and responsibilities of being a Rotarian. This is done by having the prospective member attend a fireside meeting. At the conclusion of the fireside, the proposed member will be asked to complete the application card and an information├â'├é form and give written permission to have their name and proposed classification published for the club membership.

The board will announce the name of the proposed member to the club at a regular meeting and request that any objections be submitted in writing to the board within seven days.

If the board receives no objections within seven days following publication, that person (contingent upon payment of an admission fee) is considered a member. They shall be welcomed into the club with a brief swearing in ceremony by a past president at the earliest possible date. We also ask that the sponsor act as a "host" and introduce the new member to others in the club. We want them to feel welcome.

The classification principle is a unique feature of Rotary, and ensures that the members of a club comprise a cross section of their community's business and professional life. There are now two types of classifications, namely:

1. Active member, the person currently "loaned" the classification. This member has full rights to vote on club matters, hold office, and all other rights of a Rotarian.

2. Honorary member, granted to deserving individuals who have distinguished themselves by meritorious service in the furtherance of Rotary ideals, but are not able to maintain active membership in a club. Honorary members do not vote on club matters and cannot hold office.

Under changes to the Rotary Constitution in 2001, a minimum of five people may share the same classification. In larger clubs, 10% of active members can share a classification.

There is no "transfer" provision in Rotary, so a Rotarian who relocates is not automatically eligible for membership in another club. However, that person can be elected in the usual fashion, even if the classification is full, with the approval of the present classification holders.

Click here to download the complete New Member Package with information and forms.