Saturday, August 25, 2012

Need Ideas To Grow Your Club?

August is Membership and Extension Month, but growing club membership is tricky, especially in difficult economic times.  Still there are several Utah clubs which have been successful!   The most successful at attracting and retaining new members are doing 1 or all of the following three things:

1.      Constantly invite prospective members to hear a speaker, come to a social, help with a project. If it is club culture to do this, the club grows.

2.       Repeatedly employ the Penny Program: Set date of a Prospective Member Meeting with a GREAT SPEAKER (District has suggestions).   DG Jerry sends prospective members a letter inviting them to that meeting. Rotarians follow-up the letter with one on one personal invitations.  See DG Jerry's Invitation Letter (below).

 3.       The Membership Committee creates a list of “classifications” they would like to fill.  They take that list to a Club Assembly, and the club brainstorms together who will accept the responsibility to approach each of the potential members in those classifications.    Use a classifications list and your local Yellow Pages to come up with your list.

But here are some other good ideas and suggestions for growth from clubs throughout the state (in no particular order):

·         Strong leadership exemplified by Past Presidents and Board members.  Membership and guests are impressed by our leader’s obvious commitment to the Rotary mission.  Our leadership has been and remains energetic, charismatic and visionary and our actions speak louder than words.  A successful growing club must start with someone who embodies those characteristics. 

·         Engaging speakers or presentations. Do not schedule people out of obligation and avoid repetition.  Decline “salespeople” or blatant commercialism when they ask to make a presentation.

·         Recognize guests and make them feel welcome without appearing predatory.

·         Keep meetings focused and fast-paced!  Don’t put people to sleep.

·         Promote selflessness, make fun a priority and never take yourselves too seriously.

·         Never fail to trumpet your horn about you mission or presence in the community.

·         Stop to think about why you wanted to join.  Consider repeating that experience for someone new.

·         Find community involvement in fun events (i.e. July 4th BBQ fundraiser)

·         Regularly schedule hands-on service in fun projects and activities in which people want to get involved (such as Northern Wasatch Rotary Club's exceptional garden project pictured here)

·         Develop a membership composed of friendly, likable people with interesting and diverse backgrounds.

·         Make sure you have fun meetings everyone wants to attend.

·         Monitor your club image in the community.  Is your club well-respected with meaningful projects and influential membership.

·         We do not stress about attendance, but everyone wants to come because they want to be a part of what we have going on

·         Social Gatherings:  Our club has a social gathering at least once a quarter.  The purpose of these gatherings is to have fun and get to know our follow members.  No speeches, no fund raising, no business meeting, just fun.  Our examples of this are our Halloween Party, Christmas Cookie Exchange plus we have had St. Pat’s and Mardi Gras parties.  One of our best parties is our change of command party, (we do have a speech here).  We have had these parties catered and also pot luck and they have both been very successful.  Yes, drinking does go on.
·         Play together!  A club that plays together sticks together.  Needless to say our ski days, bike rides and bowling parties are always a great thing. Another very successful program we have is our annual Moab retreat.  Getting away for a weekend of fun and frolic is tremendous for building fellowship.  Plus we have had rafting trips to Jackson Hole and The Green River.

·         In our club we have never had a recruitment plan.  It is always suggested that if you know a person who would fit in is to ask that person to come to a meeting.  Usually after one meeting that person wants to join.  No pressure, just interest in that person.  Success breeds success.

Extension = forming new clubs.   Those forming a new club can choose to have the traditional weekly lunch meeting with a speaker, but  at least some of our clubs need to appeal to a new generation of Rotarian, people who can’t take 2 hours for lunch, people who want to be more involved in decision making from the get-go (versus waiting for a few years to be on a board), people who want to do service in less time at a lower cost.  Our experience is that “thinking outside the box” can frequently result in new members becoming passionate Rotarians.

Does your club have their plan to grow membership?


SAMPLE CLASSIFICATION LIST (right click to download your own copy)

Permit Us To "Ramble On" About Our Trail Project

The Park City Sunrise Rotary Club partnered with several organizations to assist the Mountain Trails Foundation in designing and construction a new beginner/intermediate single-track trail in the Park City Municipal managed Round Valley Open Space.  Called the “Ramble On Trail” this beautiful Rotary project is located near the new hospital, playing fields, Park City Ice Rink and the National Ability Center at Quinns Junction at the crossroads of Hwy. 450 and State Road 24. 

This trail connects the existing “Rusty Shovel” and the “Rambler Connector” trails on the Highway 40 side of Round Valley.  The scope of the project included the design, layout and construction of a 2-mile trail alignment ensuring sustainable trail-building techniques were incorporated throughout the process.  The trail is used by bikers and hikers during the summer months and those who love snowshoeing and cross country skiing in the wintertime.

Mountain Trails Foundation provided all of the equipment, crew and materials necessary to complete the project.  Park City Sunrise Rotary Club members and Interact students will be working on the trail this fall to finalize completion of the project.  Our club will be responsible for yearly maintenance of the trail and will be dedicated to our Rotary Club.

Funding for the project included:
District Park, Trails and Stream Grant funds          $2,500
Park City Municipal Corporation                              $5,000
Mountain Trails Foundation                                      $5,900
Park City Sunrise Rotary Club                                    $2,000
Rotary District Grants                                                  $  600
Total Project Funds:                                                    $16,000 
For more information on this outstanding project contact Park City Sunrise Rotary Club President Connie Nelson at 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Thanks, Rotary Leaders!

PDG Rick Cambra passes the "gavel" to DG Jerry Summerhays!

2011-12 was a memorable year in Rotary.  Many thanks to Rick Cambra, Past District Governor, to all those who served on the District level, and in every club, who helped make it another great Rotary year of service in Utah! 
Cherie and I look forward to working alongside DG Elect Steve Skinner and DGN Mike Wells in the year ahead and thank you all - from Logan to St. George, from Brigham City to Moab . . . and everywhere in between - for your support!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012



To help us plan accordingly, RSVP to Natalie Perry at                              

The Murray Rotary Club will provide barbequed hotdogs and hamburgers.  You bring the rest of your picnic and enjoy an evening in the park with your family, friends and neighbors!  There will be a DJ for entertainment.  There will be a "Picnic Basket" for you to make a monetary contribution to support the Murray Rotary Causes!