Membership Growth and Development

Imagine if your club were to lose 10 percent of its members. How would that affect your service program? What projects might not get finished? Which ones might never have been started?

Now consider what your club could accomplish with 10 percent or 5 percent or even 2 percent more members. Think about the professional expertise you could add to your club’s overall profile simply by making sure your classification system incorporated all business and professional interests within your community and that all open classifications were filled. Think about the new ideas and new club service projects that could be initiated. Think about the additional people to take on leadership and committee roles.

Every new Rotarian brings a range of personal and professional resources and knowledge that can greatly strengthen your club’s ability to serve throughout the community and the world. The continuation of Rotary International and its local clubs depends on continued membership growth and development efforts. Membership provides continued support for the many programs of The Rotary Foundation. Membership is our primary resource and what builds and maintains strong and healthy clubs.

What comprises membership growth and development?

The three elements of membership growth are:

The retention of existing members

The proposal of new members

The organization of new clubs

These three elements are equally important, as illustrated by this simple membership equation:

    Retaining Members

+ Proposing New Members

+ Organizing New Clubs

= Membership Growth

Each element is essential to overall membership efforts and needs to be emphasized at both the club and district level.

Considerations for Retention

How informative and lively are your club’s weekly programs?

Are your weekly club meetings held in a comfortable and attractive venue?

How relevant is your club to its members’ interests and the community?

How relevant and effective are your club service projects to the community?

Does your club respect its members’ time and keep to its meeting schedule?

Does your club personally contact members who miss meetings?

Is your community aware of your club and its accomplishments?

How connected are your members to the club and to one another?

Do your members have adequate opportunities to get to know one another?

Are your members aware of their responsibilities to the club and to Rotary International?

How active are your members on service projects, committees, and club operations?

How informed are your members of Rotary’s work at the community, district, and international levels?

How effectively and frequently do you communicate to your club members?

Are you aware of why members are leaving your club?

Do your members make efforts to include new members in all activities?

Does your club have ongoing new-member orientation and continuing education programs?

Considerations for Proposing New Members

Are the business and professional interests of your community adequately represented in your club?

Do you conduct a classification survey annually?

Is your community aware of your club and its accomplishments?

Do your members appreciate the importance of membership for supporting the goals of

The Rotary Foundation?

Is your community aware of opportunities for global friendships and service through RI and Foundation programs?

Are your members communicating the efforts of your club to their friends and business associates?

Do your members feel comfortable about bringing guests to club meetings?

Are your weekly club meetings held in a comfortable and attractive venue?

Are your members open to bringing in new members?

Does your club have an ongoing and effective new-member induction program and ceremony?

How effectively do you communicate your club’s programs and projects to prospective members?

How attractive and effective are the materials and tools you distribute to prospective members?

If you were a prospective member, would you be interested in joining your club?

Does your club adequately represent the diversity of the population?

Considerations for Organizing New Clubs

Is there a community that could support a Rotary club that is not represented by Rotary?

Are there enough clubs in the community to represent the total population?

Are there clubs in a community to accommodate varying schedules?

Do you have strong support for a new club and enough charter members?

Do you have a strong sponsoring club for a new club?

Is there adequate financial and administrative support for a new club?

Will the charter members have the ability and capacity to effectively operate a new club?


The process of organizing new clubs is the sole responsibility of the district governor. Appropriate guides, forms, and organizing materials can be obtained through RI World Headquarters and the Web site (

These are just a few suggestions and ideas to consider in reviewing and planning for your club or district membership growth and development program during the year. Please access the many materials and tools that are listed in the Catalog and available to you through RI World Headquarters and the Web site (