We asked numerous clubs in our district what tactics they've used to make sure new members feel welcome and to ensure that current members are satisfied with their membership (i.e. so that they don't leave the club). We heard a few common themes, such as: 

  • Create a program or place setting for each weekly meeting, a bulletin that includes fun content like upcoming service opportunities to member birthdays to vocational updates.  
  • Give a new member a list of “requirements” he or she must complete before achieving full membership, and make sure the member's mentor helps achieve this list. For example, ask the new member to serve as greeter, give the meeting invocation and introduce a club speaker. 
  • Have a formal induction ceremony (less than 5 minutes) that includes presentation of club-related items like a pin, Four-Way Test plaque, certificate of membership, club history book, etc.
  • Give each new member a sponsor who takes an active role in getting the new member involved.
  • Hold quarterly 'pairings' of members--assign each member a "partner," whom they get to know a little bit more deeply than they have before. This way, members get to know each other on a personal level and everyone feels more connected to their club.  
  • Host monthly happy hours--casual opportunities for members to get to know one another in a less formal setting. Encourage Rotarians to bring their spouses, friends, etc. Image
  • Conduct regular attendance analyses and give a board member or committee the responsibility of personally reaching out to members who haven't been to a meeting in a while. Not only does this show members that the club truly cares about them, it may prevent them from quitting the club. 
  • Conduct an interests survey; ask all members to complete an online or paper survey about what they like and dislike about the club. Ask about things like which activities/projects people enjoy, what they most appreciate about membership, membership dues, quality of meeting speakers, etc.  Not only is this information helpful to the club board when planning the future, it makes members feel like their voices are being heard. Plus, you can use the information to match Rotarians (both new and old) with opportunities they might not have seen before. 
  • Require your club president or vice president to meet with each club member, one-on-one, to ask what they are looking for in Rotary membership. Personal connections and face-to-face conversations are strong ways to show members they matter. 
Thank you to the following clubs for their input: Minneapolis #9, Eden Prairie Noon, Eagan, Minneapolis City of Lakes, St. Cloud, and Bloomington.