By MaryJane Shackelford, District Governor (Rotary Club of Zanesville Daybreak, Ohio, USA); Jenny Stotts, District Membership Chair (Rotary Club of Athens Sunrise, Ohio); and Matt Wideman, Each One, Bring One Coordinator (Rotary Club of Lancaster, Ohio)
Why are you a member of Rotary? For a lot of people, the answer is you want to help others or build friendships. But why is this important to you? That’s largely a personal question, and every person’s story is unique. That is why we have found the best membership efforts have to start with the personal.
When Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta challenged Rotary members with his appeal of Each One, Bring One, we knew we had to get personal and inspire our members to share their Rotary experiences with others.
Our Each One, Bring One challenge had to include three things:
- A personal touch
- Customizable tools to set club leaders up for success
- Friendly competition
In our district, our membership effort begins with an exercise to inspire members to consider why Rotary matters to them. From there, members are asked to share their Rotary experiences with others and invite them to join a club meeting, a service project, or a social event. That member is then entered into our monthly drawing. Each month, a winner is selected and our district makes a cash donation to their favorite charity.
Over the first seven months, 461 guests have been invited by 309 Rotarians across 33 clubs. Of those guests, 249 have become members of Rotary.
There are a few notable themes across clubs that have enjoyed success.
- First, they focus on “who.” Successful clubs are intentional about inviting individuals whose values align with Rotary.
- They connect with community members already engaged in service but haven’t joined Rotary yet. Successful clubs have gotten into the habit of asking “who is missing here” to promote diversity and growth.
- They recognize and celebrate members who invite guests.
- And finally, they consider the value-proposition to the guest and ensure that the meeting or event adds value to the guest’s day. Those same clubs know that follow-up is a key ingredient to welcoming new members into Rotary.
Using our Each One, Bring One tool kit, clubs are encouraged to develop a strong and reliable process to build relationships with guests as they transition to membership. Strong clubs educate and involve their entire membership in welcoming new guests and new members.
Each One, Bring One is a great reminder that the responsibility to grow Rotary belongs with every member, every day. We grow Rotary because it expands our capacity to do good in the world. When we engage all members and all clubs in this effort, we create organizational habits. These habits empower members to share their personal Rotary experiences with the people around them… and all of Rotary and all of the world is better because of it.
We are happy to share our customizable Each One, Bring One Tool Kit, available for download
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