By Bill Wittich, past president of the Rotary Club of Laguna Sunrise, Elk Grove, California, USA
Those who know me call me the Starbucks Guy! That is because I spend way too much time and money in my local Starbucks. But the truth is Starbucks is my best location for attracting new Rotary members.
Let me give you an example of a recent Sunday. My wife, Ann, and I are both Rotarians and we enjoy our tall Skinny Mochas. So sitting there we watched a young woman arrive with her computer and she was dressed for business. Both of us asked the question, “Is she a possibility for Rotary?”
Well, she looked like a Rotarian. You know what that means. She was a young business woman and seemed friendly at that. I asked my wife which of us should talk to her about Rotary and she said that she found the last one, so it was my turn.
I simply approached her and asked “why are you not a Rotarian?” She smiled and said that she had heard of Rotary but really did not know exactly what they did or were. I gave her a copy of our club flyer and invited her to be our guest for breakfast at the country club next week. I asked her for her e-mail address and told her she would be receiving our club newsletter later that day.
Basically, we were starting to build a slow, but friendly, relationship with her and simply invited her to breakfast. The next Wednesday morning, guess who showed up at our Rotary club meeting?
All we did was to be aware of who was enjoying our morning Starbucks with us and we just offered them an opportunity to network with the movers and shakers in our town. At the meeting, she heard about all those service projects that our club is doing, and her eyes lit up. Well the following week, we had a new excited Rotarian who told us that prior to our visit at Starbucks, she had never understood what Rotary was or did.
I guess the key to membership is to ask.
Check out the membership resources on Rotary.org
thanks for the great work u always do.
i really like to join you rootrians
am in uganda kampala part of africa hope to be part of you in all your activities
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I speak at Rotary meetings and “Thank” them for all they are doing to eradicate polio. I am not a Rotarian yet. But I sure do think about it a lot. I am a polio survivor and they are helping so many in so many ways. Keep up the great work. And of course another “Thanks”.
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Often it is as simple as asking but I have found that educating them a bit on what Rotary does helps to warm them up because the generation we are wanting to attract will join “your cause”, long before they will join Rotary. So we need to ensure our meetings are welcoming and informative with hands-on action opportunities for service. These young professional want to do more than just come to dinner meetings.
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We are having joint clubs meetin Monday 14th. I invited six (6) friends: 3 business colleagues, joutnaliste, LAS magazine editor(League of Arab States), managing director of industrial chemical company. Meeting: Iftar(breakfast in Islamic month of fasting) joint rotary clubs meeting in cairo Egypt. They’ll see for themselves what we do why we meet the fellowship we enjoy together and ; more importantly ask to come again in our projects’ launch, August 2014. I know for sure that three if them are ‘ripe’ enough for a next meeting.
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