If you are over 40 then you might remember a 1980’s commercial for the product Krazy Glue. In the commercial a construction worker holds onto his hard hat and is suspended from a steel beam by only the power of one tiny dot of Krazy Glue. Wouldn’t it be nice if that’s all it took for member retention? Unfortunately, it takes a bit more that a drop of Rotary to keep new members, but with the right amount of inspiration and involvement any club can build the bonds that last for many years.
1. Get new members involved immediately.
Most new Rotarians will make a decision about whether to stay in Rotary within the first few months of becoming a member. Make sure that they are engaged weekly and that they have a mentor. The mentors should introduce the new member to other members at weekly meetings and also invite them to attend club events or projects. Another great way to keep them involved is through the 12 Rotary Letters system.
2. Take time on a regular basis to inform your membership about where your club is heading and how they can be a part of it.
Rotarians need to buy into your club and it’s projects. It has been proven that if individuals feel that they are part of the decision and are educated, they are more willing to participate and productivity is higher. Make sure to talk about club accomplishments and upcoming projects at weekly meetings and recognize Rotarians for participation and outstanding effort.
3. Have more social events that give your membership the ability to make friends.
Have BBQ’s or other social gatherings at members homes and invite all Rotarians that have been members for two years or less. Insist that they attend and bring their partner. Make sure that you make a personal phone call and explain the object of the event. Focus on creating better friendships and less on Rotary education or indoctrination.
4. Do smaller service projects more often.
One of the best ways to build that Rotary bond is through club service projects. The feeling a new member gets by “Doing Good” is an addictive one. By having more smaller projects you keep your members involved and keep those good feelings flowing on a regular basis.
5. Make your meetings a valuable use of a members time.
Programs must be scrutinized carefully, planned in advance, and advertised to the membership ahead of time. Speakers solicited at the last minute generally result in a poor program that is boring. This leaves Rotarians feeling that they have wasted their time, gives them a negative feeling about Rotary, and makes them not want to attend future meetings. Make sure to vary the style and topics of your meetings, very meeting venue if necessary, and treat every meeting like the celebration it should be.
If you follow these 5 tips your club will be well on it’s way to creating some “Krazy” Rotary bonds that just might last a life time.