By David Higgs, president, Rotary Club of Henderson, Texas, USA
When I was asked to serve as president of our local Rotary club, I knew I needed to focus on recruiting new members during my term. Our club was down to about 20 members and far too often we would have less than a dozen at our weekly meeting. So, I took some of the ideas I learned at Presidents Elect Training Seminars and molded an approach to enlisting new members.
By Dominica Pradere, past president, Rotary Club of Montego Bay, Jamaica
When Jamaica’s borders closed in March 2020 from the COVID-19 pandemic, I was packed and ready for a trip to Trinidad and Tobago, where I planned to connect with other Rotary members, as I normally do when I travel. Naturally I was sad and disappointed at having to cancel my plans. Lockdowns and curfews, as well as government restrictions limiting the movements of citizens, further isolated many retirees like myself as we tried to “stay safe.”
My club began meeting online immediately. I became aware that many clubs around the world were doing likewise, and my life was transformed when I received a spreadsheet created by the Rotary Club of Mount Lawley, Western Australia, Australia, showing details of clubs that had started to meet virtually.
What can you do when a global pandemic shuts down international and regional travel, the ability to visit your favorite restaurants, or even the ability to attend your regular Rotary club meeting?
Two members of our club came up with an ingenious answer that has engaged our members and captured the attention of new members. Matt Wideman, immediate past president, and Jamie Culver, president-elect, felt that profiling long-time members with a video interview would be the perfect solution to keep members connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Jeremy Opperman, Rotary Club of Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa
I had just finished keying in my pin number on the card reader at the supermarket checkout counter recently when the cashier turned to my friend and asked, “how does he know which buttons to press.”
Being completely inured to this sort of thing, I watched with interest to see how my friend would react. It is peculiar that when encountering a person with a disability, many people very often address the person accompanying them rather than addressing us directly.
By Tom Gump, immediate past governor of District 5950 and a member and past president of the Rotary Club of Edina / Morningside, Minnesota, USA
Rotary’s recently launched Membership Society for New Member Sponsors has created a high level of enthusiasm for bringing new members into our organization and forming new and innovative Rotary and Rotaract clubs. How do you attract new members into your club? Or form a core of people interested in launching a new Rotary club? As someone who has brought in more than 50 new members (Membership Society Gold Level), I want to share a few thoughts.
Editor’s Note: In September 2020, Rotary formed a task force charged with assessing the current status of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in Rotary and shaping a comprehensive action plan to help us further value and live those principles throughout the organization. This is the fourth in a series of blog posts from DEI Task Force members reflecting on their work on the committee and why it is critical for the organization.
Jeremy Opperman joined the Rotary Club of Newlands in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2020. He was born with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a deteriorating eye condition which results in total blindness. He speaks, writes, and consults widely on topics including achieving disability confidence in organizations; making a business case for universal access; and taking a strategic approach to disability inclusion. Read his full bio.
By Fernando Pinto Nercelles, member of the Rotary Club of Pehuén de Las Condes, Chile; District Alumni Committee Chair; and District Peace Fellowships Subcommittee Chair.
The last couple of years have been especially challenging for Rotary members, particularly for those of us in leadership positions in our clubs or districts.
My district’s Alumni Committee that I have led for some years has approached involving our alumni from a traditional perspective: through one-on-one and case-by-case contact. Interesting but insufficient.
By Maris Brenner, Rotary Club of Sandusky, Ohio, USA
As a career Sales/Marketing professional, it was always easier to “close the sale” when our potential client had familiarity with our product. And, in many cases, already liked it. In sales, we call this the “low hanging fruit.”
Most Rotary clubs already have potential members close by.
Editor’s Note: In September 2020, Rotary formed a task force charged with assessing the current status of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in Rotary and shaping a comprehensive action plan to help us further value and live those principles throughout the organization. This is the third in a series of blog posts from DEI Task Force members reflecting on their work on the committee and why it is critical for the organization.
Dr. “Bowtie” Todd Jenkins serves as a Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leader at a Fortune 100 company in Corporate America and as an Executive Inclusion Trainer, Strategist, and Speaker with Bowtie Leadership, Inc. Todd is a member of the Rotary Club of Fayetteville, Arkansas; and has served as a Rotaract Advisor, Interact Sponsor, RYLA presenter, and Youth Services Chair. He is currently one of the youngest Youth Exchange District chairs in Rotary. Rotary. Read his full bio.