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

Friday, December 5, 2014

101 - Marketing Rotary for Non-Professionals - Series Introduction

If Rotary wishes to establish and maintain a steady membership growth rate, Rotary Leaders, which change frequently, should continually review business fundamentals, of which one is Marketing.

Please download and read Rotary's Messaging Guidelines, available by clicking on this link.
  On page 9 the Guidelines suggest for simplification that public information refer to the enterprise of Rotary International (RI) and The Rotary Foundation (TRF) as Rotary.  This series will follow this convention.  
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Successful organizations continually 'go to market' by producing and making available attributes that those who furnish their financial support value.  Organizations must define themselves, not by the attributes they create, but by the benefits the attributes provide to those who support the organizations.  Supporters, not organizations, determine the value of the benefits.  In return for creating and delivering benefits supporters value, the organizations capture value, which allows the organizations to continue pursuing their objectives.
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Rotary is a respected, worldwide network.  Its effort to sustain membership must always begin with Rotarians, their demographic,  psychographic, and behavioral realities, their needs, their values.  Rotary must continually ask itself why would any group of people with enterprising minds want to become a Rotary club? Why would anyone want to become a Rotarian? Why would anyone want to support The Rotary Foundation?  Rotary's objective has been and still is to advance the Object of Rotary locally but scaled globally.  It cannot do that without clubs and Rotarians, so the central role of Marketing Rotary is to produce and make available attributes that clubs and Rotarians consider beneficial.
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     RI, an association of Rotary clubs, has a worldwide reputation that many have come to respect.  Local groups of responsible leaders with enterprising minds sometimes choose to apply to RI for membership because they perceive that the name Rotary carries with it benefits the groups cannot get elsewhere.  RI, in return, is entitled to capture value for the benefit the name Rotary delivers, which happens when groups apply for membership.  The exchanges are culminated when RI approves the applications and clubs receive their charters.  The clubs, to retain their charter, are obligated to continually advance the Object of Rotary and pay RI dues based on the number of members they have.  RI, in return, is obligated to sustain over time producing and making available attributes that clubs perceive to be beneficial.
     Rotary clubs, to attract people with enterprising minds from within their local social fabrics, should produce benefits members cannot get elsewhere.  Clubs that do so are entitled to capture something of value in return, which happens when people agree to become members.  When the exchanges are culminated, the clubs must over time sustain the process of producing and making available attributes members perceive to be beneficial.
       Rotary must continually produce and make available benefits clubs and Rotarians value.  To do so, Rotary must understand the competitive forces clubs and Rotarians face, and how demographics, needs, realities, and values change over time and in different locations.  Meaningful statistics can help determine whether or not all parties are satisfied and can help determine the expense Rotary should invest in producing and delivering attributes that clubs, Rotarians, and donors consider useful.
   On December 20 Retention Central will continue the series by discussing each element mentioned in more detail, beginning with Marketing Rotary for Non-Professionals 102A - 'THEM' - The Supporters. 

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