Rotary's participation in the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), sponsored by the Clinton Foundation, has stimulated comments from Rotarians on Facebook and Twitter, rumors, some misguided cartoons, and a few interesting emails in my inbox. Well, probably a surprise to many Retention Central followers, the Hopeful Rotarian supports Rotary's participation in the CGI. The reason is simply: if Rotary doesn't pursue its primary purpose - creating Rotarians - it will lose credibility and cease being a key influencer on the world stage.
You can bet that the 2013 and 2014 CGI Meetings' featured attendees (Senior officers representing organizations like Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold; Ooredoo Group; General Motors; IBM, Farmers Insurance; Alibaba; Eileen Fischer, Inc; The Travelers Companies; Tupperware Brands Corporation; The Paulson Institute; Lego Foundation; Hess Corporation; The Coco-Cola Company; Avon Products; Guardian Life; Johnson Controls; Marriott International, Inc.) are well aware that their participation on the world stage depends upon their ability to continually retain and attract customers. Maybe this basic business fundamental will rub off on Rotary leaders who attend and network with such people. Perhaps Rotary leaders will ponder the question, "How much influence could Rotary yield in this group if they realized that, for twenty years, Rotary's top priority has not been retaining and attracting those who support Rotary?"
Rotary is putting more emphases on creating Rotarians at the Director and Coordinator level, but that initiative is simply not getting through Rotary's administrative districts to Rotary's supporters - Clubs and Rotarians. If Rotary does not prioritize and create a unified, continuous Marketing initiative that penetrates its administrative districts' leaders and gets to Clubs and Rotarians, its future position on the world stage will be jeopardized!