Thoughts of Rotary Leaders: John F. Germ
Trustee, The Rotary Foundation, 2008–2012
Membership is the Life Blood of Rotary. Rotary has unique membership criteria in that the proposed individual must be sponsored by a current Rotarian and meet the classification requirements. While these are unique to Rotary, they do not impose any concerns about recruitment. Each member certainly knows other business and communities leaders who should be members of a Rotary club, but due to a fear of rejection may not propose that individual. Someone gave us the opportunity to become a Rotarian. I think we have an obligation to extend that favour to others. Take the opportunity to ask a colleague, associate or a friend to a meeting. Service is our calling and we need others to strengthen our ability to serve our community and our world. Reach out and touch someone and they will never forget you for giving them the gift of Rotary. We must Ask, Ask, Ask.
While recruitment has not been the major concern, retention has been. We tend to lose too many members within the first two–three years of their joining a Rotary Club. This is due to a lack of an adequate orientation, mentoring and involvement. As the sponsor of a new member, we should insure that we encourage participation in club activities by our participation and inviting the new member to join with us in the activity. If we have relevant club meetings, individual involvement and great fellowship, we will retain those members and build a stronger club, a better community and a more peaceful world.