Why Organization's Fail

Organization failure begins at the top. Rotary did not stop growing because people were not interested in joining local Rotary clubs. The number of people joining Rotary clubs proves that. It stopped growing because its leaders assumed it was in the business of supplying humanitarian services rather than in the business of creating Rotarians; they were product oriented instead of member oriented.

Red Text Note

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Friday, July 17, 2015

Is Rotary International a Member-Dependent Business?

Rotary International (RI), an association of almost 35,000 member clubs, gets virtually all of its income from the clubs' dues-paying members (Rotarians) so the answer is obviously a big YES - RI is a member-dependent business.  That makes creating Rotarians RI's only purpose - its priority!   It does that by creating and supporting its member clubs.  The most accurate measure of its success is the number of Rotarians that renew their membership.  The second most accurate measure is the number of potential Rotarians its member clubs attract.
   Using Past RI President Ray Klinginsmith's Cowboy Logic, if member clubs are satisfying the reasons Rotarians joined, they will renew their membership (membership retention, RI's most important factor).   Retained Rotarians are usually satisfied Rotarians.  Generally, they, by word of mouth, attract new Rotarians (RI's growth factor) Combine the two and you have lassoed Rotary's Retention Growth Index (RGI), a meaningful metric easily tracked using elementary arithmetic.
   The RGI, to be solid information, must be based on INVOICED membership numbers.  Basing membership information or recognition on any other membership numbers is like naming marathon winners before any participants cross the finish line.  It would also be delivering to Rotary's leaders misleading false positive information.  Recognizing achievement and making business decisions based on false positive information is simply bad business and delivers the wrong perception about membership's importance.  Rotary International and its only customers - its member clubs - are not-for-profit businesses and deserve to receive sound, meaningful information.
   Here is an example, a photo of a readily available Excel spreadsheet, of what a meaningful Semi-Annual RI Membership Report could look like:

   Here is an example of what an Annual RI Membership Report could look like: 



RI receives all information necessary to calculate, publish, and track RGIs, a service it should be providing for itself and its customers; a service that would give all Rotary leaders solid information to use when formulating and implementing membership development plans.  And measure their effectiveness! 

Note:  The Excel spreadsheet pictured, with the necessary arithmetic relationships embedded, is available upon request.  Email Jim Henry at jrhjr@jimhenrybooks.com.  Put in the subject line RGI Spread Sheet or your email may not make it through my spam filter.  Should anyone have any questions about this method, please ask.