Membership Recruitment/Retention Committee 2015

CLUB ASSEMBLY REPORT 2015/16 - 9th JUNE 2015

Proposed Way Forward


Kevin GROGAN District Membership Chairman and PDG Mark Stewart Clarke addressed the audience of Club Membership Chairs at the District Assembly. We were informed that like many Service/Voluntary organisations worldwide, membership has become an issue in recent years. Much work has been done in Rotary both at home and from Evanston. Mark made the analogy that if Karl BENZ walked into the production plant of the newest Mercedes he would not recognise it, and that if Alexander Graham BELL walked into any of the major telephone companies he would not recognise the products now available. He went on to say that if Paul Harris walked into any of the meetings of a Rotary Club in District 1040 he would immediately know that he was in a Rotary meeting. The point being that there has been little or no change in Rotary in the 110 years of its existence and hence its success has been limited unlike telephones and the Mercedes organisation. The point was further emphasised by strongly suggesting that the whole format of our club meetings be examined as to its suitability in the modern age and encouraged us to be ruthless when considering how costs may be reduced. One major conclusion from the work done is that with an average age of 71yrs unless changes are implemented the majority of the clubs in District 1040 will cease to exist within 14 years. The average age of members in our club is 72 years. 


Strategic planning and goal setting is what is required in various areas and we are encouraged to pursue this course of action in as many areas as possible to effect change and thereby boost the image of Rotary, attract and retain more members, reduce the average age, ensure that the club has a broader base of classifications, and to include female members.  A plan needs to be in place also for the leadership succession with appropriate action to ensure that members are aware of their responsibility and the requirements of leadership and that the club is able to elect the best possible persons to lead them.


1.    Set a plan that details exactly the procedure to be adopted for the swift and efficient entry to the club of a prospective member.

2.    Identify within the club who would be suitable to act as Mentor to any new member. The mentor should be someone who understands all aspects of Rotary but is open minded about the progress that is required. A mentor checklist should be used to ensure that a member is introduced to all necessary avenues thereby enabling the new member to see a sample of ALL of Rotary.

3.    Suitable literature such as ABC of Rotary and others should be made available to ensure the new member becomes conversant with commitment required, aims of Rotary and importantly cost.

4.    The facility on the RI website, Rotary Club Central, be examined and kept updated.

5.    The RI document Strengthening your Membership (417-EN 1114) should be utilised and followed to enable a full evaluation of Ripon Rotary Club and to then identify goals for the next twelve months, two years and three years.

6.    Similarly the Membership Development Plan (resulting from work done on the above) should be examined and customised for use by our club, once more setting one, two and three year goals.

7.    Future Leaders, including the senior officers of the club and committee chairs should be identified by an agreed plan and suitable assistance/training given to the selected member in each category. A succession plan should be established in each to ensure continuity and progression.

8.    It is envisaged the requested budget in the first year; will go towards stationery, computer ink and an initial free meal for each prospective member.


A copy of this report to be forwarded to each committee member for perusal with a view to coming together at a date in June at a time and venue to be agreed in order to formulate and agree the required plans. Having agreed the plans a method of ongoing evaluation and achievement to be decided. The completed plans to be presented at Club Assembly 9th June 2015.


Peter Smith


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