2019 MEMBERSHIP TRAINING SEMINAR A SUCCESS
January 5, 2019 – Over 60 Rotarians, representing 28 clubs from two West Virginia districts gathered at the Fairmont State University Gaston Caperton Center in Clarksburg, WV on January 5, 2019 to discuss options for district membership growth.
District Membership Chair and organizer, Rebecca Hunn, noted that the seminar was the first event to bring together leadership and Rotarians from two West Virginia Rotary districts that will consolidate into one district on July 1, 2019.
“We are stepping into the future with this seminar,” she said. “District 7530 and 7550 will merge into one statewide district, D7545. We are preparing to move ahead, to work as one District to bring awareness to the good Rotary does in the world and in our communities.”
Presentations included innovations in recruitment, alternative membership plans, alternative meeting schedules, public image, and ramping up the fun and excitement in Rotary club meetings.
Jordan Feathers, president of the Rotary Club of Cheat Lake, and Lindsay Williams, current Membership Chair and incoming 2019-20 president, spoke to the group explaining how clubs can become a ‘vibrant club’ and offered ways to entice younger members.
Sharon Welsch of the Rotary Club of Moundsville offered suggestions on how to increase corporate members. Corporate members make up over 25% of the Moundsville club.
The afternoon session concluded with panel discussions and a Q&A audience participation session.
CHEAT LAKE ROTARY HAS ADDED 9 NEW MEMBERS SINCE JULY 1
By Rebecca Hunn, District Membership Chair
September 1, 2018 – Amazing! I just had a very interesting phone conversation with Jordan Feathers, their president, and I got some good insights as to why they’ve been so successful.
Jordan said that quite some time ago, the old guard looked around and said, “We need some younger members!” So they actively recruited them, and here’s what happened.
They got a couple, and those couple started talking to others their age and bringing them in. And, Jordan pointed out that many of them were women. Women talk more to each other (Jordan’s words, but I think he’s right) and so they started getting even more women.
And, with younger members, the energy and enthusiasm in the meetings went up. For example, they now play music at the beginning of the meeting (not too loud, or intrusive) and Jordan says when he rings the bell to start the meeting he has to ring it loudly and repeatedly to get everyone in their seats and quiet. They’re having fun!!!
I’m relating all this because I think the energy in our meetings is absolutely essential to bringing in new members, and I’m saying that from experience. My club, Morgantown North, has seen the energy level in our meetings increase dramatically over the past few months. And yes, we did bring in some younger members. It DEFINITELY made a difference. All of our members (think retention) are having more fun, and guests have actually commented on the energy level. More importantly, the guests are joining!
We’ve brought in two new members since July 1 and it appears that two more are coming in this month. For a small club, that’s a good increase.
The point is, analyze your meetings. The Rotary Club Health Check is a good place to start. (Just Google the title and download the pdf.) Look at new membership plans that might be more appealing to younger people. And remember, Rotary International has done everything they can to give us maximum flexibility. We simply have to embrace change to make it all work.
The purpose of the call between Jordan and I was really to talk about two membership options our clubs can take advantage of. I’ll relate those later, because other clubs may be able to take advantage of them as well.
Bottom line, there are some exciting membership plans afoot in 7530. Help make them happen!