If you were starting from scratch in the district to build a membership program, what would be the steps you would take in order to develop a strong and vibrant program to grow and retain members? Below are seven steps which will strengthen your membership efforts in your District. 



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  1. Create a District Membership Committee

The job is simply too big for any one person to accomplish. Establish a committee of dedicated Rotarians who will promote membership in the District.



  • Use the Assistant Governors as the Committee.
  • Create the District Committee from the 6 top performing clubs in the District
  • In some districts, all club membership chairs are part of the district committee.
  • In some districts, a committee member is recruited to serve groups of clubs, mirroring the groupings of clubs assigned to each Assistant Governor
  • Consider assigning one committee member to following up on the RI Membership Leads program – these leads represent low-hanging fruit and it is important that someone is dedicated to tracking and processing those leads.
  • Best practices can be found under the GROW YOUR CLUB tab at


  1. Establish a monthly meeting with the District Membership Committee


If membership in your District is going to increase year after year, the District membership committee can’t meet periodically and achieve success. Month in and month out the committee must meet to analyze club successes and club failures and then decide how to disseminate the information throughout the District.




  • Establish a date like the 2nd Tuesday of each month and then religiously adhere to that schedule. Continuity and consistency is your best friend when it comes to turning around membership in your District.
  • Consider using an electronic meeting to cut down travel and increase participation. (You have free access to utilize the zoom meeting or zoom webinar software license of the Rotary Coordinators in zones 21b & 27)


  1. Create a list of club membership chairs for the District Committee with each member of the committee assigned to clubs. Each committee member is responsible each month for contacting their assigned clubs and assisting these clubs in achieving their membership goals and reporting the status of each assigned club during the monthly membership meeting.



  • A list of club membership chairs as reported to RI can be requested from your Rotary Coordinators.
  • Work with the club to establish a realistic membership goal for the year.
  • Work with the club to build a club membership plan
  • Through frequent reoccurring contact, help the club work their plan until they have achieved their goal.
  • Best practice is to ensure that red clubs receive special assistance to help strengthen their club – include the Assistant Governor for those clubs in the loop so the work of the membership committee member and the AG support one another.


  1. Faithfully ensure that the membership committee gets the monthly membership historical charts into the hands of each club membership chair. The charts provide clubs with all the essential information for turning around their membership and maintaining consistent growth.


  • Train the District Membership Committee during your monthly calls how to use the historical charts to teach the clubs how to achieve maximum success. The historical data shows each club their growth pattern. In addition, the historical chart shows what clubs in the District have had success from one year to the next.
  • Clubs, especially those with sustained, consistent growth, should be encouraged to share what is working in their club to produce success.


  1. Schedule a monthly electronic meeting with all club membership chairs. If membership is going to increase, it’s the clubs who are going to do it. If your schedule does NOT permit you to hold a monthly club membership meeting in addition to a monthly District membership committee meeting, consider providing the Zone permission to invite club membership chairs to the monthly Zone Membership Matters Seminars.


In addition, schedule at least one face-to-face membership seminar (or summit, and/or Cadre-led training) in your district.



  • Frequent reoccurring contact with local clubs and sharing successes is the way to increase and retain membership. Holding a couple of membership training meetings won’t get the job done. Membership must be continually kept in front of the clubs so their focus and attention is applied to growing and retaining their members.
  • Research shows that face-to-face meetings are essential for building trust, cooperation, and generating new ideas.  In fact, groups that meet face-to-face have been shown to generate 30% more ideas than those that meet via phone or virtual chats. Harness the power of face-to-face whenever you can.



  1. Solicit the support of the Governor and have him/her on a frequent basis communicate with the Club Presidents the importance of membership.



  • Invite your District Governor to periodically join your monthly  membership meetings with the clubs to inspire and promote growth in membership. As the DG, s/he commands respect and can create momentum.
  • Provide your District Governor with clear, concise messaging that helps promote the action steps your committee has set in the district membership plan.
  • With your District Governor’s permission, join in his/her Assistant Governor meetings from time to time to share best practices and ideas that they can use as they support clubs.
  • And with your District Governor’s permission, provide a monthly article for the district newsletter sharing tips and ideas, as well as congratulations for clubs that are growing.

  1. Faithfully execute your plan month in and month out. Consistency will produce success. Be positive and supporting, yet firm. The world needs more Rotarians .. it is just that simple!

Contact Us Today!

Dian Edwards

RC Zone 29

Deborah G. High

RC Zones 25B & 29



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