President-Elect Ana spoke on behalf of the Membership Committee this morning.  Like other clubs, we have more members leaving than coming in. This is a club issue, not just a Membership Committee issue.  We need to speak to people about our work in Rotary to inspire them to join. We have a nice new home, and need more members to do projects and give us the energy a vital club needs.  And of course we learn from others when they become new members (and keep learning from them).
We have many unfilled areas teachers, lawyers (yes more lawyers) and many other classifications.  How do we recruit effectively?  We have a new invitation letter, which will be shared with club members. It is personalized and we can discuss the classes of Rotary Membership when a guest shows interest.
Several questions and suggestions from the membership followed;
  • Should the letter be a "cold call"?  Maybe contact first the person first then use the letter as a follow-up a follow-up? (Heather Nogrady)
  • Bill Egnatoff – who should we contact?  Can you give us suggestions?
  • Greg Mumford – personalize the letters so it doesn’t look like a form letter – agreed, it will be from the member personally.
  • Anita- why are we losing members?  Health issues, relocation, long time members retire from Rotary – life has changed, and we do have the conversations (exit interview).  There is usually a huge reason outside of not liking the club.
  • Ana - Friends of Rotary add a huge value to our club.  Committee chairs can use their talents.  We are already seeing that!
  • Greg Mumford – what could the club do to not have someone leave?  How can we make Rotary higher priority in a busy world?
  • Ana - the situation was discussed at the District Assembly – we could give people choices?  What club to belong to.  Membership Committees from all clubs might meet to help with this.
  • President Rick – the next few years are going to be really exciting!  National projects, Rotary 2021, local grants, International grants, Pathways project.  We do so much as a club, and we’re reluctant to give something up.  Could we go without Nut Drive and cash calendars?  10 Nut Drive meetings for Rick.  We don’t get much from them.
  • Sitting at 29 members, 4 friends, 12 Honourary Members.  3 don’t attend at all.  Maybe transition them to Friend of Rotary?
  • 1 applicant for membership at present.  Still need 24 paying each week to break even.
  • Bernie – wear your Rotary pin.  We’re not known so much in Kingston.
  • John Gale – meetings are nice but we need to identify what motivates people.  That’s what keeps members. 
  • Ana – learning about Rotary takes a long time!
  • Greta – use Foundation Walks contacts to talk about our club? We would need permission first
  • Heather – mailing list of donors to send updates?  Again, we need permission first.
  • Anita – we need to insist on promotion when grants are given through the recipients' networks.
  • Patty – ask them to please use our stickers/logo on website, plaques, naming things
  • Ana – let us know when you send out letters
All agreed the letter was a good start for recruiting.