from Membership Chair Jamie Haeuser
Membership – both retaining members and attracting new ones – is the most critical challenge for Rotary during the current pandemic.  Your district Membership Team has been working hard to figure out ways to help.  What we are now recommending is – KEEP IT SIMPLE.
We are recommending three things that all clubs can do:
  1. Make Hybrid Meetings Work!  The hybrid meeting model – some members meeting in person while some join in via Zoom – seems to be the best way to keep members engaged.  The challenge of effective Zoom meetings – making sure that people joining can see and hear what’s going on – requires some work but are not complicated.  CLICK HERE for a really good 8-minute tutorial on YouTube
Several clubs have identified one or two people – not the club president – responsible for the meeting set-up and running the Zoom portion, and that seems to work really well.
  1. Schedule One or More Outdoor/Safe Service Projects!  Many Rotarians report that service projects are their favorite part of Rotary.  It’s a wonderful time of the year, and this year, the need is great.  All food programs such as Second Harvest or your local food bank are desperate for volunteers right now, and all have good safety systems in place.  Or what about a Holiday gifting program for children?  Get as many members as you can involved – and bring along a friend who might make a good Rotarian.  Seeing Rotarians at work is seeing Rotary at its best!  After that, an invitation to a meeting is easy and natural.  Most of all, it will allow us all to get together in a safe way for fellowship and to reignite the ROTARY SPARK!
  1. “Just Ask” Recruitment Program!  Can you think of three (3) friends who might make good Rotarians?  What would be in your “Elevator Speech” to invite them to join you in Rotary?  This kind of program has proven to be successful in many clubs, in part because it’s so simple and doesn’t require a committee!  We’ll be sending out more information shortly, but it would be great for you to go ahead!
Talk to your club leaders and members about these THREE SIMPLE THINGS!  Your District Membership Committee, the G-line and others are anxious to be of help.  Please reach out to me or to anyone at the District level and we will find resources for you.  Call or text me at 225-266-3979, and if I can’t help, I’ll find someone who can.
There is light at the end of the COVID tunnel.  Communities need Rotarians and Rotary more than ever to help us rebuild and restore.  Let’s get ready to be of service as only Rotarians can be.
As this year comes to an end, I want to CELEBRATE the Rotary Clubs of Pass Christian, Mid City New Orleans, and Belle Chasse.  Three very different clubs that have seen incredible membership growth in 2020-2021.  We'll be hearing from them at Mid Year Check Up on Feb 6 so you can apply their strategies in your club, too.  One of the things I give thanks for just about every day are the many Rotarians around the world who make a difference.  Let’s get ahead of the issues that have caused our membership to dwindle.  Start with these three KEEP IT SIMPLE steps and see what we can make happen.
Yours in Rotary Service,
Jamie Haeuser
District 6940 Membership Chair
PS – If you are interested in one of the other membership initiatives such as Satellite Clubs, let me know and I’ll get resources to you.