What is the Secret to Membership Recruitment?
Good question. We have all asked it. Simple question – complex answer.
There are many aspects to successfully recruiting new members. Who do we ask? How do you ask? What can you offer? How can you keep them?
Let’s stand back for a minute and look at the fundamentals. It starts with the club and the existing members – you! You and your club need to have your act together before you will get results. When we build a house, we start with the foundation and the house will only be as good (or as salable) as the foundation. This is also true for recruiting new members to a Rotary club.
The foundation includes interesting meetings, a robust brand in the community, challenging projects and comradery. Meetings should be well organized with an engaging program well executed. It needs to be professionally conducted and enjoyable to all. When people leave to go back to work, they should feel refreshed and with an impression that the time has been worthwhile. This requires leadership from the president or convenor for the day. It is not easy – it is hard for most Rotarians. But it clearly is fundamentally important to club members and any prospects that are attending.
Your community brand is not about the Rotary logo or any public relations symbol. It is about what people in the community think about the club. Successful companies like Tim Hortons, Apple or Nike spend extensive investments in developing their brand. So too should Rotary clubs. If you don’t, they will form their own opinions of you. That may be good, or it may be bad – so we cannot leave it to chance. When we are out in the community, we should be recognizable as Rotarians. When we are conducting fundraisers or providing community service, we should be clearly visible as Rotarians. Wearing the pin whenever we can is easy and adds to our reputation as club members. Whenever there is an identified need in the community, we need to be there to help out to exemplify our motto – Service Above Self.
Whether it is a trail, splashpad, blood donor clinic, student award, charitable fundraiser or community event, Rotary clubs leave a mark on the community. These marks attract people to Rotary. Projects that challenge Rotarians and tap into their skills and abilities are what Rotary is all about. Important projects attract people who want to make a difference in their communities and beyond. Clubs that demonstrate their capability to execute successful projects have a better chance of attracting new members.
Finally, club meetings and projects must be fun for members and friends. There needs to be a common respect for each other. For club members to work together as an effective team, comradery between people is necessary. Does everyone make a contribution? We do not have the same skills, training or experiences, but we can all contribute to club activities in one way or another. Is your club successful in getting members to volunteer for projects? Comradery is the bond that keeps the team together and helps to make the club attractive and rewarding to new members.
So this is the foundation of membership recruitment. Get the pieces of the foundation in place and your recruitment programs are bound to be successful.
To contact your District Membership Committees  
For more resource information visit My Rotary - Membership Materials or the documents posted on the left side of the page.