In the cold winter months of the year every club struggles with meeting attendance. And with lower meeting attendance comes a tendency to put member attraction and growth on the back burner til the warming suns of spring.
At this time of year I would encourage you not to be a groundhog afraid of your shadow. Put these five membership attraction tips into motion and your club should be a perennial powerhouse of membership activity.
Tip #1 – Schedule more one on one coffee meetings, club socials, and firesides. Though the weather outside is frightful, these types of meetings can be a delightful reprieve from your regular meeting activities. They are also great chances to invite potential members to a casual event for fun and conversation. Encouraging one on one coffee meetings between members is also a good way for club members to get to know each other better.
Tip #2 – Keep your Social Media efforts going and post on a regular basis. Sharing the projects and activities your club participates in online is a valuable way to introduce your club to prospective members in your community. Make sure to use engaging photos of your members working on projects, or use materials from Rotary Internationals – People of Action – campaign.
Tip #3 – Hold a membership program in your club and use Rotary’s – Finding New Club Members guide. During the meeting your can ask members to complete the Identifying Prospective Members Worksheet and then make an action plan on who will contact which potential members and what events you will invite them to.
Tip #4 – Start a Free Lunch Program in your club. Have visitors place their business cards in a container as they enter your meeting, and have members bring business cards of business people they know in your community. Each meeting give away a free lunch to the visitor or club member whose card is chosen. After the meeting empty the container and use those cards as a way to follow up with potential members to invite out to coffee or to a club social event.
Tip #5 – Reach out to past members and invite them to a meeting “for old times sake.” In the life of a Rotarian many things can change that will lead them away from your club. Take the time to reach out to friends you haven’t heard from in a few years and offer to buy them lunch. Many times the circumstances that lead them away from Rotary are no longer affecting their lives. A friendly invite to a club meeting might just be what they’re looking for.
Take the time this month to plant the seeds of change in your club and watch it grow. Remember the words of Paul Harris who once said – ”This is a changing world; we must be prepared to change with it. The story of Rotary will have to be written again and again.” — Paul Harris, This Rotarian Age, 1935.