August is our Membership and New Club Development Month. Unlike a manufacturing plant which has machinery, equipment and inventories as its key assets, our core asset is actually our members. We need members to drive the causes of Rotary in its quest to build a better world.
The Rotary movement is now at a crossroad. We are facing an aging membership structure while the rest of the world is rapidly being transformed by technological and other changes. Such changes have produced a new generation whose values differ from us in several ways. In our drive to recruit new members we should welcome the younger generation to our fold. Without net membership growth and a younger membership profile to succeed the older ones, our role as an established and active service organisation will diminish and we will soon fade away.
I encourage all clubs to start their membership drive early in the year. We need time to search for potential members, to assess them, to provide them with Rotary information, to make them fill comfortable with our club and to get them committed. You can approach District Officers for advice and support.
There are several ways to attract members and I will leave it to each club to pursue what is best for them. I can only suggest some and these include the invitation of business and community leaders to club meeting, invitation to event being planned such as Rotary Day, tapping on Rotarian’s network of friends and business partners, current and past Rotaractors (some of them could be ready), and working with trade/business associations.
While we are recruiting new members we must also pay attention to our existing members. Keep them engaged through regular fellowship events. Involve the spouses too. I noted that those clubs with strong fellowship tend to retain their members better. Fellowship helps to bond members closely together so that they feel comfortable and motivated to undertake service projects. At the District level I am encouraging joint-fellowship events to bring clubs together.
In a world of disruptive technologies be open to new ideas and new ways of doing Rotary activities. Make use of social media regularly to engage the younger members. Avoid undertaking projects that will impose a heavy burden on your members. You can explore Global Grants and joint-projects to lessen your financial burdens.
Our current membership statistics for District 3310 show that we have 71 Rotary Clubs with a total of 2,041 members. My aim is to increase the number of clubs to 75 with an overall membership of 2,450 by 30 June 2019. The targets are achievable if we start early. Of course, we have to aim higher because there will be attrition. If all of us put our heart and mind together to work as one united team, we will be able to score well.
I wish you all the best in your membership drive.
D3310 District Governor RY2018-19