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