Dear District 6630, Rotarians, and Friends:
 
One significant responsibility of the District Governor is to help deliver the message of the Rotary International President. That is a task I am happy to undertake.
 
As many of you know, Rotary International President Mark Maloney’s primary goal is to both develop membership and new clubs. Thinking about that now is appropriate as August is Membership and New Club Development Month.
 
I would like to focus on the idea of developing membership in existing clubs. Even this process has at least two parts: attracting new members and retaining existing members. Let us further divide the topic and look at attracting new members this month.
 
A key point to attracting new members is to recognize that, in many respects, this is a club-specific task. It is incumbent upon all members of every club and the club membership chair and committee in particular to carefully consider this topic.
 
In that process it is important the club build a consensus on its approach to new membership. It is also important that the club focus its effort so as not to dissipate the limited resources available.
 
One question that each club can ask is do we have a cohesive and active structure in place to grow the club? Is there a membership chair and/or a committee working on this? Is there adequate communication about what is to be done and how it is to be done?
 
Rotary International and the District can and do provide significant support. For instance, the District actively participates in the Rotary Leads program where information submitted to the District electronically by Rotary International regarding prospective members is promptly forwarded to the most appropriate club. Special thanks to Lance Chima of the Akron Club for his diligence in performing this task. In the 2014-2015, 2015-2016, and 2018-2019 Rotary years, Lance placed every lead received by the District from Rotary International with a club or clubs to pursue. Nearly a dozen leads have been received since July 1, 2019.
 
In the 2018-2019 Rotary year, considerable work was undertaken by PDG Beverly and her team to develop membership. We are attempting to expand upon those actions this year. Please note that the second annual Tri-District Membership Summit will take place on October 26, 2019 at the Stanton Middle School in Kent. Special thanks to DGN Larry Lohman for arranging the site and for all the work that PDG Jim McKee, PDG Steve Zabor, and involved members of our neighboring districts are undertaking to design a challenging and useful curriculum. Details will follow but please save the date. Club Presidents, Membership Committee Chairs, and those on the Membership Committee, in particular, should attend.
 
I also highly recommend reviewing Rotary International’s Membership Resource Guide. Rotary International has a large number of publications and Learning Center online courses that provide extremely valuable information. You can locate many of these materials online at https://my.rotary.org/en/learning-reference/learn-topic/membership.
 
 
Perhaps less well-known is this year’s Presidential Theme and Rotary Citation. The 2019-2020 Rotary Citation actually functions as a “mini strategic plan” to help build a club’s membership. The Rotary Citation contains a list of potential goals and action items that virtually any and every club can use. Further, there are goals and actions specifically designed for Rotaract and Interact clubs.
 
This document was provided to every club president and is available online at https://my.rotary.org/en/news-media/office-president/presidential-theme.
 
To borrow the words of Rotary International President Mark Maloney:
 
“While the club remains the core of the Rotary experience, we are now far more creative and flexible in deciding what a club can be, how it can meet, and even what can be considered a Rotary meeting. We need to be organized, strategic, and innovative in how we approach membership, forging wider and deeper connections to our communities and forming new club models to attack and engage more—and more diverse—members.”
 
I challenge each and every member together with each and every club to look at the question of how to grow your club and thereby increase its reach, impact, and vibrancy.
 
Sincerely,
 
John Reyes
Rotary District 6630 Governor 2019-2020

Tel: 330.258.6469
Email: jreyes@bdblaw.com