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

Friday, April 4, 2014


Its actually a good thing if some prospective members choose not to join your club.

Paraphrased in Rotary terms, "Your attributes may change, but the core needs of Rotarians will never change.  Everyone joins wanting a problem solved and everyone wants the experience to be positive, ultimately resulting in relationship-building opportunities."
The critical fundamental is that everyone joins an organization like a Rotary club to satisfy personal wants or needs, not to solve the organization's wants or needs.  That's the subtle but vital difference between attract and recruit thought processes.  Ms. Sladek's final comment brings out the joiner's ultimate goal: relationship-building opportunities.  With this in mind, two critical questions jump out:

1.   Are the members of your organization the type with whom your prospective member would want to build a relationship?
2. Is the prospective member someone with whom your organization's members would want to build a relationship?

     Answers to these questions should be filtered out prior to a person being invited to join your Rotary club, or any similar organization.  In Rotary, by far the best way to do this is to make sure prospective members are fully aware of the problem solving and opportunistic benefits your club offers.  And beware of the potentially fatal announcement, "My guest is a potential member."  Members often believe this to be a compliment to their guest.  Actually it frequently puts the guest in an awkward position and gives to them a negative impression.  Ms. Sladek was guest at an organization's luncheon and experienced a similar event.  Consider reading, on page 51, her thoughts and emotions.

A major step in solving attraction and retention problems is for all Rotary clubs to have in place a formal process for proposing members, including a pre-application Rotary Information meeting (orientations come after a person joins.)  Some of those proposed may, for a variety of reasons, not accept the invitation to join.  And that's actually a good thing.

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