Attracting Members to Rotary
One of the most common goals amongst Rotary clubs around the world have been related to increasing membership, attracting younger members and promoting the Rotary brand to members of the community.
No doubt this is a difficult task. How do we promote Rotary to the younger generation and get them interested in the work our club does when in fact, the majority of our younger generation is not even slightly aware of what Rotary is. While a lot has to do with publicity, the fact of the matter is that there a lot of changes that clubs can implement to develop interest levels among the youth.
Partner with a local Rotaract Club
For the best ideas on recruiting qualified members, why not go to the source itself? Attend Rotaract meetings and interview its members to find out what younger prospective members are looking for, what peaks their interest, how to reach them and communicate with them, etc. Members of a Rotaract club are your best resource to understand your target group. With the information you obtain, you and your club members can brainstorm methods to define your recruiting processes. Don’t have a Rotaract club in your town? Sponsor one with the help of your District and the nearby Rotaract club.
Cater to your Target Market
In order to attract new and qualified members, you have to be able to cater to their needs. How does your club meet the needs of its potential members? Do you meet at a central location, which is convenient for the majority of your members? Do you offer the option of meeting online? Is your club involved in a lot of diverse community activities? What time of the day do you meet? Is it a convenient time (i.e: morning, afternoon, after work, or evening) for most members? Even though it may not seem significant, these small details have a huge impact on whether or not your club is able to recruit new members. The time of the day for example is important as it sets the tone for the meeting and tends to target a certain type of member. If your club is not as active when it comes to partaking in community service projects, your potential members may not see the value of joining. As such, it is always a good idea to brainstorm what potential members are looking for and then try to meet those needs. A good exercise is to interview new members and ask them what they hope to do as a member. This gives you an idea of what members are looking for, in an unbiased way.
Web Presence 
In a technology driven world like ours, establishing a strong web presence is the best way to stay accessible and engage your target audience. If potential members are not able to connect with you easily, you will have a difficult time attracting new qualified members, especially younger members. Most people today look online for information when they are interested in something and receive the latest updates via social media channels. In order to attract younger members, you have to be where your audience is and that is online.
Establish social media channels such as a facebook page or a twitter feed and share interesting facts about your club and its latest achievements. Invite the public to join you at your next event and create a conversation to engage your potential members. Utilizing social media channels and your website together is a great way to connect with the community. Don’t confuse a facebook page with an official website; they are very different. Your website is the official source of club information, activities, and stories. Use facebook and twitter to spread the word on accomplishments, events and new members and promote organic discussion, but the official website must remain a concrete, up-to-date, and reliable source of unbiased information.
Just as businesses rely on word-of-mouth advertising to boost sales, your club has to look into word-of-mouth marketing to reach a wider audience. Stay connected with all the speakers that talk at your club meetings, visitors as well as all ex-members. They are a valuable resource as they can connect you with their family and friends when your club is looking to recruit new and qualified members. After all, the best way to generate a strong interest about something in an individuals’ mind is to have someone they trust endorse it. 
Add these speakers and visitors to your friends list and keep them in the loop with your club by sending them your club newsletter every quarter. Add them to facebook and follow their twitter feed so that they follow yours. You’d be surprised how many contacts your club actually accumulates over the years, and being able to reach out to these people easily is a powerful tool the next time your club needs to publicize an event or project. While there are numerous campaigns you can run in an attempt to attract new members, sometimes making small changes to the way we administer our club today can have a huge impact on the future development of the club. How does your club attract members? Share tips and ideas on our facebook page.
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