Businesses go on recruiting trips to college campuses; college coaches go on recruiting trips to high schools and community colleges. Both have one common interest: target and attract people who will help make their organization become more effective. Recruiting works for them because they target their audience.
For the past twenty years, membership in
has declined; for thirteen years international membership has languished. During this time, most district governors have
received citations for meeting net gain targets set by Rotary International
(R.I.) presidents. Why continue this net
gain at an interim cutoff date (including
June 30) charade; an obviously ineffective practice that diverts energies
from important issues and encourages random recruiting; a Death Dance that has
districts and clubs waltzing to R.I.’s desire for numbers instead of the needs
local clubs have to attract and retain local business, professional, and
community leaders; people who can get things done; people who would help clubs
become more effective at advancing the Object of Rotary?
This recruiting mindset is no more apparent than when it comes to leadership positions, be they in or beyond the club. Nominating committees find themselves in the ‘recruiting’ mode for leadership positions simply because all too often such positions are not considered attractive. Presidents-elect have to recruit committee chairs. This leads to continued recruiting to get them to attend seminars, assemblies, and conferences; time they would otherwise spend with their families and professions.
Business leaders and college coaches know that, to get the people they are targeting, they must offer attributes and opportunities that attract them. If EVERYTHING the Rotary world did helped member clubs attract local targeted audiences, retaining and attracting members would be much easier. We are in the seminar and assembly season; training club and district leaders for the next Rotary year. Answer these questions honestly – are your Presidents-Elect Training Seminars (PETS) designed to attract president-elects by helping them lead their clubs to become more effective at attracting and retaining members from their local social fabrics; on the importance of conducting weekly and board meetings that attract attendance and participation? Are club officers and committee chairs attracted to your assemblies? Would they attend if they were not ‘required’ to do so?
Of course, if these events are promoted as helping local clubs become more effective, do they deliver that promoted promise? Do they help clubs engage and attract local business, professional, and community leaders – people who can get things done? After all, regardless of the number of projects and programs clubs and districts have or the amount of contributions made to TRF, the only true measure of an effective club is its ability to attract and retain members.