From President Elect Mina Ward:
Thanks to Mark Huddleston who made the trek from Morphett Vale to talk to us this morning about Club Membership and public relations. Mark has been District Committee Chair for this committee for two years and has been making grounds on getting clubs to focus not only on recruiting new members but also retaining current members. When we look at Rotary membership numbers in D9520 we can see that over the last 5 years there has been a gross loss of 25 members per year, with the current membership numbers standing at 1,366. There has actually been a slight increase in the numbers in this Rotary year, but this is only the ‘tip of the iceberg’ says Mark. How can it be that we have had over 60 inductions since July 2014 but we are still not increasing our gross membership numbers?
If you look at the net gains and losses of members worldwide, in Rotary, there is a definite shift from developed world to developing world, with the top five countries gaining numbers being Brazil, Germany, India, Taiwan, South Korea and Africa.
The key is retention. Think of a bucket continually being filled with water. Instead of the level of water rising, the water seeps out through holes in the bucket; hence the level remains the same.
On general, D9520 is great at gaining new members, but struggles to retain members. Mark highlighted that this can be due to a number of different factors: controllables and uncontrollables. There is little we can do about the uncontrollables, but we can address the controllables. People may leave clubs because of the lack of involvement/engagement/inclusion. Another key factor is conflict within a club. As a club, Magill Sunrise has little conflict within it, but it is something as a club we need to be aware of and prepared to resolve if it does ever happen. I do feel however, that keeping members engaged is key to strengthening our club. What keeps you engaged in the club? What would you like to be more involved with? How can you be more included in club activities?
Finally a note on recruitment. Rotary has some outstanding programs which Magill Sunrise promotes and sponsors well each year. This involves engaging members of the public, and in particular a lot of young people in our community. We have a ripple effect, in the puddle which is our local area. The thing we don’t do so well, is keeping in touch with the ripples. We need to make more effort at keeping in touch with our program alumni and people we have helped over the years. We will start emailing our bulletin to alumni members, and look at organising a catch up for alumni members. Do you have any ideas on how we can maintain the ripple effect?
Membership is something that should be on each club members’ radar, and will be one of the key focuses for the next Rotary year……let’s continue to build on the great foundations of our club.