Posted on: July 4, 2017

Membership - A wake Up Call

Dear fellow Rotarians

The year has gone by very fast and I would like to thank IPDG Michael Yee
for all his support, guidance and direction in coming up with ideas to
develop our District membership. Also a very big thank you to my
Membership Committee for their support in conducting the 6 Regional
Membership Seminars and in implementing a variety of new initiatives,
namely:….. .

- Developing a standardised Induction Program for new members so that this
ceremony could be undertaken in a dignified, professional and consistent
- Designing a Membership Satisfaction Survey Questionnaire, for Presidents
to gather member feedback on the working of their club and take corrective
action, where necessary
- Setting up a “Member Bring Member” Program to recognise Rotarians for
bringing in new members.

Unfortunatey, i feel very dissapointed, that these efforts have not
translated into growth in membership numbers. As of June 30 our final
membership count for the District is 1979 as against a starting number of
2008, as of July 1, 2016. This reflects a negative growth of 29. We were
able to attract 218 members but failed to retain 247 members. In the last
3 days the clubs reported 64 terminations. A very poor letdown. However,
to put it in perspective, over the past 10 years we had 4 years of negative
growth. …in 2013/14 we were down net 104 members. Last year, over 50 %
our our clubs had negative growth. 18 clubs lost 5 or more members while 6
lost over 10……the top 3 clubs lost 18,15 and 13 members each. Some of
the bigger losses came from not just the newly chartered clubs but also
those clubs that have or had Satellite Clubs.

On a positive note, we had 21 Clubs with positive growth while 12 clubs
were flat to previous year. 2 clubs were able to bring in more than 10
members and 12 clubs did not loose a single member…Bravo! !

The above statistics highlight the lack of focus in our District on member
retention. To me, this is a WAKE UP CALL for all of us. This issue of
retention has been haunting the District for years. WE have lost over 1000
members over the past 6 years. The previous year, which was a pheonominal
year for membership, we had lost 232 members. As such, I was kind of
expecting this. That is why I was very keen on conducting Member
Satisfaction Surveys so that the Presidents could get a better
understanding of the issues within the club and take corrective action
before members start departing. Unfortunately less that 10 clubs have
completed the survey …….rather frustrating! !!.

However, the reality is that we shall always be loosing members, so we need
to make extra effort to bring in new members. It is the responsibility of
each one of us to make an effort to bring in atleast one member. All you
need to do is ASK!!!

As District Membership Attraction and Engagement Chair, I take full
responsibility for this “debacle” . However, I am sure that the progarams
that we have introduced have set foundation for a bigger growth in the
coming years. We will also be incorporating some addtional initiatives.
However, no District Committe nor the District Governor can build our
membership numbers. It is upto each club and each member to try and bring
in new members. If we collectively make this effort we could see excellent
results by the end of this year.

I am counting on your support…REFER A MEMBER!!!

Khushroo Dastur
District Membership Attraction and Engagement Chair

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