Posted on Sep 20, 2019
Opinion article by Issa Shalhoub, of the Rotary Club of Milton-Ulladulla, NSW, for 37 years.
Our Club is an ageing Club, our average age today is 66.51, in July 1993 the average was 55.39 with 47 members and in 2001 it was 57.53 with 52 members.
We need to increase our membership and bring in new blood which in turn will supply the Club with new ideas and energy. Although our Club has a current membership of 53, a few current members are, attendance and service wise, ‘Missing In Action’! RI 2019-20 President Mark Maloney is asking every Rotarian to grow Rotary
We should not assume that the young members of our community cannot afford nor have the time to join.
It is up to every member to grow Rotary and not only the Club’s Membership Committee.
By the way, ten of our current members joined Rotary when they were in their thirties and I am sure that applies to a big percentage of Clubs. Research shows that Young community members want to do community-volunteering work, invite young community members and say: “come and see for yourself what we do”. No one knows what Rotary is nor what Rotarians do until they attend a meeting or two.
ASK, ASK, ASK, it is that simple, without the need to follow any particular procedure to attract new members or the need to reinvent the wheel. Let us invite community members to a meeting with an interesting speaker, show them ‘How Good Is Rotary’, explain what we do, let them feel the friendship, the fun we have, our love for Rotary and then ascertain their feelings about Rotary.
Rotary is no longer an attendance Club with weekly meetings, as long as we provide Service that is counted as an attendance,
Rotary is not a ‘knife and fork’ Club but a Service Club. If members enjoy
Rotary because of what we do and what we get back from Rotary, i.e. Service, Accomplishment, Fun, Fellowship, Friendship, Pride, Sense of Fulfilment and Networking, you need to share that enjoyment with your family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, acquaintances and members of the community.
EACH ROTARIAN: REACH ONE, KEEP ONE. Increasing membership is every Rotarian’s responsibility, every Rotarian needs to invite someone so they can see what we do and that will encourage them to join.
It is not just about increasing membership but just as important is keeping - retaining members, we have to mentor new members, help them to become active and keep them involved, happy members.
The number of Rotarians worldwide has been stuck on 1.2 million for a few decades and every ten years or so we induct one million, ‘go figure’! Members should ask themselves:  
“How did I join a Rotary Club?” Because someone invited me, more than likely will be the answer.
“When was the last time I invited someone to attend a meeting?”
“When was the last time I made the effort to sit next to a new or a recently inducted member and showed interest in what they do?