August is Membership Month on the Rotary Calendar. What does that mean?
This is a month to think about membership. Learn about our current members but also to think about bringing in new members. Of all the obligations a person accepts when joining a Rotary club the one in which most Rotarians fail is “sharing Rotary.” The policies of Rotary International clearly affirm that every individual Rotarian has an “obligation to share Rotary with others and to help extend Rotary through pro posing qualified persons for Rotary club membership.” It is estimated that less than 30 percent of the members of most Rotary clubs have ever made the effort to propose a new member. Thus, in every club, there are many Rotarians who readily accept the pleasures of being a Rotarian without ever sharing that privilege with another qualified individual.
The Rotary policy on club membership states: “In order for a Rotary club to be fully relevant to its community and responsive to the needs of those in the community, it is important and necessary that the club include in its membership all fully qualified prospective members located within its territory” One merely has to glance through the yellow pages of the local telephone directory to realize that most clubs have not invited qualified members of all businesses and professions into Rotary
Only a Rotarian may propose a customer, neighbor, client, supplier, executive, relative, business associate, professional or other qualified person to join a Rotary club. Have you accepted your obligation to share Rotary? The procedures are very simple, and everyone must know at least one person who should belong to Rotary.
The bylaws of Rotary outline the procedure for a prospective member to be proposed for Rotary club membership. The “proposer” is the key person in the growth and advancement of Rotary Without a sponsor, an individual will never have the opportunity to become a Rotarian.
The task of the proposer should not end merely by submitting a name to the club secretary or membership committee. Rotary has not established formal responsibilities for proposers or sponsors, however, by custom and tradition these procedures are recommended in many clubs. The sponsor should:
- Invite a prospective member to several meetings prior to proposing the individual for membership.
- Accompany the prospective new member to one or more orientation/informational meetings.
- Introduce the new member to other club members each week for the first month.
- Invite the new member to accompany the sponsor to neighboring clubs for the first make-up meeting to learn the process and observe the spirit of fellowship.
- Ask the new member and spouse to accompany the sponsor to the club’s social activities, dinners or other special occasions.
- Urge the new member and spouse to attend the district conference with the sponsor.
- Serve as a special friend to assure that the new member becomes an active Rotarian.
When the proposer follows these guidelines, Rotary becomes stronger with each new member. Think about these things and how we can strengthen our club membership during August (and the whole year).