AG Mary introduced Jim Perri, member of the Dearborn Fairlane Club and Membership Chair for the District, who spoke to members about increasing membership in our club and across the district. Incidentally, Jim’s wife, Vicky, will be president of his club on July 1.
Don’t forget family members and friends when it comes to recruiting members, Jim said. "We take friendships for granted so usually don’t make the ask to join Rotary"! The same is true with spouses. “Corporate memberships” are being promoted across the district whereby the principal of the organization becomes the official club member and have, say, assistant managers or other staff who become “designees”. Companies are allowed up to 3 designees.
A “Satellite” club, on the other hand, should also be considered especially here in Adrian, Jim said. With a satellite club who would meet possibly in the evening, we could offer participation at breakfast, lunch and/or dinner depending upon the member’s availability. The club could track whose coming to one or the other of these meetings with a follow up phone call to see which meeting they will be attending that week. All of these meetings could be held at the same location and all could be scheduled on the same day, Jim said. When we call, Jim suggested, we shouldn’t invite anyone to a “meeting”. Rather, invite them to an “event” because people hate to attend meetings!
A Satellite club would help us test the waters. Jim said he thought it could be sponsored by both our club and the Adrian Morning Club. “We’re looking for people who have a heart for service and want to make a difference in their community and even the world”. Local members who have a passion for it participate in international programs.
There is a new Membership Form currently and one of the questions on it asks is “Why did you join Rotary?” This is great information to have, Jim said. "Engagement is the key to retention". What do individual members want to see accomplished? Once we know, he said, we plug them in. Jim commended us for the New Prospect Brochure we developed.
In closing, the new rules, Jim said, decided on by the Council on Legislation recently have dramatically reduced attendance requirements, Jim said. The focus now is on member participation in programs.