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.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Rotary Cannot Exist Without

Rotarians, pure and simple.  
  This is why membership committees/departments should be the most important and prestigious in Rotary clubs, Rotary districts, Rotary zones, and Rotary International (RI).  But are they? 
     Rotary's approach to membership development should come of age and set the worldwide standard for marketing membership.  Verbiage such as ". . your club's members should talk to business and community leaders, young professionals, recent retirees, and women . . . "[1] reflects a Jurassic-age membership development - public relations mentality, as does having membership and public relations in different silos.  Public relations (only one element of marketing) initiatives directly affect membership retention and attraction and should be an integral part of membership development.
     Past RI President Chris Dochterman's theme, "Real Happiness is Helping Others" is true.  Happiness benefits those who help others.  But the benefit of experiencing real happiness helping others can be enjoyed by anyone, anywhere without paying dues to any organization.  Rotary's marketing task is to help Rotarians emotionally feel the benefit of being called, and referred to, as Rotarians. Referring to Rotarians as "our members" doesn't penetrate to the personal or emotional level. Marketing must continually communicate verbally, non-verbally, and subliminally why Rotarians are Rotarians; why Rotarians are members of Rotary clubs.  This would be membership development at its finest.
     Rotary has made significant headway prioritizing membership, and will continue to do so.  It is important that Rotary continues to break down mental and organization silos, including, but not limited to, selecting leaders. Clubs, districts, and zones must select leaders who understand and are committed to retaining, attracting, and developing Rotarians and clubs.  Every Rotary leader must demonstrate in words and deeds that creating Rotarians is their highest priority; that membership is their most important committee. That will take a continuous, monumental, coordinated, and professional internal education initiative.  Is that in RI's strategic plan, or will RI continue to reflect a Jurassic-age membership development and public relations mentality?


WHY am I a Rotarian?  Because, with the ideal of service embedded in our personal, business, and community lives,  we





[1] Rotary Manual 226b, Leading Your Club Membership Committee 2016-2019 Edition, page 5, "Attracting New Members"