Thoughts of Rotary Leaders:Y.P. Das
Director, Rotary International 2011–2013
Membership development and retention has been the focus of the leadership of Rotary International for the past several years. It is essential since numbers translate into increased revenues from per capita contributions and more hands to carry on doing the good in this world.
Unfortunately our global figures for growth have remained stagnant over the past decade. But regional figures tell a different story. There are several regions that have been growing and others that have been declining in numbers. Statistic data shows that most of the growth is coming from Asia while North America is declining.
The earlier policy of one size fits all was obviously not able to address the declining or stagnant global membership issue. The most recent policy of the board to develop regional membership plans for development and growth will definitely yield results. Regions will need to develop plans within sub regions to address regional and sub-regional issues.
India leads in membership growth. Over the past five years membership has grown by leaps and bounds. In India we need to stress on the quality of members that are being inducted and lay greater emphasis on the orientation and induction process. Most of the membership decline is a result of the poor or nil orientation and lack of involvement for the newly inducted member.
Out of the 3,000 or more clubs in India, over 600 have a membership of below 20 and the percentage of female members is only 6 percent as compared to the global figure of 15 percent.
In summarising I would say regionalisation is the answer in addressing the issue of membership development as well as ensuring strong and healthy clubs.