The following report is from the Rotary Club of Springfield Oregon (D511) who had a spectacular year of bringing in new memers in 2009-2010 and seems well on their way to having another great year.  Read on . . .
Rotary Club of Springfield, 2009/2010
Membership Co-Chairs: Jim Eckman and Ronda Schleicher

In reviewing the success of our club’s membership growth for the year, there are two factors that have contributed to our achievement. First, our club moved our meeting place to a very attractive facility in Springfield. Our members feel good about bringing prospective members to our new location, The Holiday Inn. Second, our Membership Committee and Co-Chairs are actively engaged and membership is always in front of the club. We worked diligently at forming an active membership committee that is diversified – from past presidents to those just completing the red badge process. We formed our committee at the beginning of the last Rotary year and the following are highlights of what we implemented during the year:

1.  Membership Committee meets regularly – once a month!

2.  The club is aware of our membership goals. This year our goal is to end the year at 115 ACTIVE members. (Note: the club increased membership by 13% and is looking for another 10% growth this year.)

3.  To support and defray the costs associated with bringing in a new member, our club adopted a version of another club's “Free Lunch Program”. The club buys breakfast for the proposed member and the sponsor at the New Member Orientation breakfast. Also, when the new member is inducted into the club, the club buys lunch for both the sponsor and new member that day.

4.  We made a minor change to our New Member Orientation. Our orientation was informational and relevant, but we now purposely wait one week before inducting a new member into the club. The purpose of this is to give the proposed new member time to really think about the commitments and obligations that come with Rotary and discuss this with significant others.

5.  To help with membership retention and addressing the issue of members facing hardship in the midst of a recession we created a scholarship program. We created an “off budget” pool of funds, which are donated from members of the club at their discretion. The purpose of the funds are to help with annual membership dues and if necessary meals. We named this fund in honor of a member that passed away unexpectedly last year. Members of the club that are facing hardship have the opportunity to discuss their situation discretely with a select panel of Rotarians in the club. The fund is being used!

6.  We always have membership in front of our club! Here are some examples:
      a. Weekly membership moments in our bulletin
      b. Recognize members with 90%+ attendance
      c. Membership vocational minute – opportunity for members to share with the club exactly what they do in their classification
      d. We formed a red badge committee to actively mentor all red badge members to see they complete their requirements in the allotted time.
      e. Attendance – we have used different methods to reach out to members with attendance below 50% to encourage them to improve – letter from club President, post card from club Secretary and calls from past Presidents.

Do these ideas sound simple? Like Basic Rotary? YEP! But just proof that consistency in some of our basic skills will pay off great rewards - in this case, a club that is reaping the benefits of new Rotarians and new friends with whom to share Rotary service and camaraderie!