Submitted by: Donald R. Cavalier, PDG, District Membership Chairperson  
Give your potential members a meaningful Rotary experience by offering the opportunities to make a positive difference and connect with others in our communities and throughout the world.  They’ll make valuable friendships and feel good about Rotary and the work we’re doing to make the world a better place.  Remember, you have to “ASK”! and Follow-Up.
  1. Make recruiting the top priority of your club. You can’t do everything as a club president, and knowing that will give you some freedom to focus on the most important thing.  Having new members – with new energy – will help you have more people to raise money for The Rotary Foundation, serve on your committees, and invite additional members/more smiling faces to your meetings and fun events. Let your members know this is the TOP priority so they can all help. Remember to appoint a Membership Chairperson for your club to help you be successful.
  2. Know your club’s strengths.  Friendship, Service Above Self, projects, Club Strategic Plan, inclusion, volunteerism, Personal Growth, Leadership Development, “fun”, Family Programs, Development of Ethics, Cultural Awareness, the opportunities to serve.   
  3. Use a Recruiting Strategy and keep a list of potential future Rotarians. Hold a club assembly meeting for membership recruiting and planning. Provide an opportunity for club members to brainstorm and make a list of potential people that they would like to recruit and sign as members.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a paper list or if it’s kept on a computer – it just makes you think about those people and others that may be a fit for your club. Post the list where it can be referred to by members to keep updated on who has been recruited for the club.  Refer to it continuously as membership recruitment should be the Club’s top priority.  You have to continue to  “ASK” and follow-up. 
  4. Create a Recruiting Folder that lists all the great things about your club. List your major projects, the advantages of the time and place where your club meets, how many members presently in the club, etc.  Make sure to include an email/letter that is welcoming and will meet the wants of any potential new member.
  5. List potential areas of responsibilities. Potential members will want to know how they can fit in and what opportunities there are for serving.
  6. Be persistent. There will be times that it takes literally a dozen requests to get someone to a meeting. Keep “ASKING”. They may come to a meeting, or tell you they can’t join now because they are too busy, or they aren’t interested in joining at the moment. These are all fine answers as long as you keep track of them and keep in touch. How many times did you have to be asked? (It was over a course of eight years for me)
  7. Talk about Rotary wherever you go. At church, temple, work, neighborhood gatherings, family gatherings, parties, etc. You’ll be amazed how easy it is after you practice for a while. Getting a lot of “no” answers built my confidence because it didn’t hurt as bad as I thought and most people were actually happy I asked, even if they responded negatively. It’s always a good time to recruit.  Make sure you have a Positive Public Relations Plan.
  8. Celebrate when you get a new member. This gets the club excited about getting more members. Our induction process is very professional and special.  Some clubs make a welcome poster after the new member has been voted in and they put it in the front of the room at next their meeting. Make the new member feel welcome!.
  9. Realize there is no finish-line. Even if you are at the size that your club wants to be, there are always reasons people leave. And new insights always benefit a club. You’re either growing or you’re dying.  Recruiting new members is a continuous process.
  10. Be vibrant. Wear your Rotary pins (it gets people talking to you), make outrageous centerpieces for your meeting tables (it gets people talking to each other), greet people as they arrive for the meetings and special events. (it lets people know you care).
Have a general assembly at least once per month or quarter.
These really work. Try them out.
Donald R. Cavalier, PDG,  District Membership Chairperson  3/2018