General Information

Red Text bears a link to reference Rotatorials.

Retention Central is monitored occasionally by its creator, Jim Henry, who may be contacted by email at

Saturday, October 19, 2013

What is the Code to Unlocking Rotary's Membership Stagnation?

(In this Rotatorial, members means club members and foundation donors.)
Engaged Rotary advocates attract and propose an average of 5.4 more new members than the average club member, and recommend infinitely more than do members who walk out because of having unmet expectations and/or having been misled.

     Effective Rotary clubs know that retaining members starts with the initial contact, continues until the relationship ends, and is directly related to: 
  • The way the organization engages and communicates with its members, and 
  • The reputation the organization creates with its target audience.
     Recognizing the value of members puts them at the center of any organization's engagement strategy.  Engaging members is more than involving them in programs and activities.  Informed members expect this.  Engaging members is about exceeding their expectations to the point where they become advocates.  Creating advocacy is a key differentiator in today's competitive environment and makes retaining and attracting members the strategic focal point of all successful organizations.
     The Rotary network has almost twenty years experience, epitomized by the 2001 - 2002 membership push, that proves, when the goal is to sustain membership growth, recruiting does not work. ENGAGING does work!  Is ENGAGING members and creating advocates the center of:

  • Your club's strategy?  
  • Your District's strategy?  
  • Your Zone's strategy?  
  • Rotary International's strategy?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Rotary International, Whole Foods Market, Starbucks - Grow or Shrink?

Rotary International has a charitable foundation - The Rotary Foundation; most financial support comes from its parent organization's customers.

Whole Foods Market has a charitable foundation - Whole Planet Foundation; most financial support comes from its parent organization's customers.

Starbucks has a charitable foundation - Starbucks Foundation; most financial support comes from its parent organization's customers.

Whole Foods and Starbucks are customer-centered organizations that, through their charitable foundations, perform humanitarian services throughout the world.  Whole Foods' and Starbucks' top priority is satisfying the wants and needs of their support base, customers.

Rotary International does not know if it is a service-centered or member-centered organization that, through its charitable foundation, performs humanitarian services throughout the world.  Rotary International's top priority is not satisfying the wants and needs of its support base, customers - present and future Rotarians.   

Wonder why?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Rotary International - Provoke or Promote Service to Improve Membership?

Successful organizations today are not defined by past activities.  They are defined by how they connect and engage with their target audiences day in and day out.  This is why properly deserved recognition of Rotary International's (R.I.) role in provoking worldwide engagement to eliminate polio twenty-five years ago will do little to attract or retain members today.  It is history, particularly in countries where polio has, for all practical purposes, been eliminated for over fifty years.
     R.I.'s core objective is to advance the Object of Rotary.  If one critically examines the Object, they will find that it is member-centered and provokes Rotarians into:
· adopting high ethical standards in their businesses and professions and
·  applying service in their personal, business, and community life. 
     But, in North America, this differentiation is rapidly disappearing because R.I. and many of its clubs no longer provoke community or international service, they promote it.  In North America, this change eliminated the differentiation R.I. and its member clubs enjoyed for almost a century. To put it in very simple terms; to promote or perform community or international service, people do not have to volunteer their time, treasure, or talent in service-centered Rotary clubs.
     Rotary in North America still has a chance to reverse its membership fortunes. To do so, R.I. and its member clubs must:
If R.I. and its member clubs do not take this or similar approaches, North American membership will continue to decline.

References:   Zone 30's M&Ms and Membership Thoughts From Around the World. 
 Red text has links to previous Rotatorials.