Membership Growth and Retention web page


Membership Growth and Retention Support for Clubs


One of the three strategic priorities of Rotary International’s Strategic Plan seeks to support and strengthen clubs, which includes the goal of improving recruitment and retention of qualified, enthusiastic members. Your club and your district are partners in membership development, and RI supports your membership growth and retention efforts through its online membership program. Introduced in 2001, the program helps clubs and districts identify prospective members, connect returning members with former or new clubs, and connect relocating Rotarians with clubs in their new area.




This online program has proven a successful method for introducing prospective members and former Rotarians to Rotary clubs. Since 2002, use of the online program and interest from prospective and relocating members has increased 270 percent. A study of the conversion rate from inquiry to membership shows that at least 60 percent of prospective and former Rotarians who completed forms online joined a club between 2004 and 2008. Club and district leaders who have followed up on inquiries report successful results in recruiting qualified new members.

They refer to this membership growth in quantity as well as quality.



Recruitment with Prospective Member Form


Prospective members, who are qualified non- Rotarians or alumni of Rotary Foundation or RI programs, can contact clubs directly or fill out the Prospective Member Form on the RI website. This online form provides guidance on the membership process, explains membership criteria, and asks for contact and professional information.


Membership Growth and Retention through Referrals and Relocations


In June 2009, the RI Board of Directors adopted the membership slogan “Each Rotarian: Reach One,

Keep One.” The slogan emphasizes both primary goals of increasing and sustaining Rotary club membership. Every Rotarian can directly support Rotary’s membership growth and retention by using the membership referral and Rotarian relocation forms.

The Membership Referral Form is designed for Rotarians wishing to recommend a potential candidate for membership in a Rotary club other than their own. Qualified candidates may be

• Friends or business associates

• Engaging guest speakers who are unable to join your club

• RI or Rotary Foundation program alumni who would contribute their expertise and experience to a local Rotary club but who live outside of your town, district, or country

• Relocating Rotarians who haven’t established contact with another club

• Family members living outside your club area who are familiar with Rotary’s Service Above Self ideal


The Rotarian Relocation Form is designed for

• Rotarians who are moving or have moved and cannot remain in their current club

• Former Rotarians who wish to return to a local club

• Rotarians who have not moved but need to change clubs because of conflicting obligations or an interest in another club’s activities

Rotarians whose membership has been terminated due to relocation but have not joined a new club yet are directed to the relocation form through relocation postcards or e-mails from RI.


How can I help?


• Place a banner ad linking to the online form on your club’s website or blog.

• Include the print ad in your newsletters to direct Rotarians to the appropriate form on

• Encourage prospective members to visit, view membership videos, and complete a prospective member form.

• Encourage your club members to become familiar with Rotary’s membership program by distributing copies of this brochure and of the downloadable referral and relocation forms during a club discussion of membership activities.


Responding to the Candidate’s Interest


As club president, you’re encouraged to assess each candidate inquiry forwarded by the district and contact prospective members directly if you’re interested. As always, invitations for membership are at the discretion of your club. Consider creating a club brochure or elevator speech to provide an overview of your Rotary club. If you develop a standard welcome e-mail to initiate correspondence with prospective members, be certain to provide the following information:

• Welcome and thank-you to candidate for his/her interest in Rotary

• Overview of the club with a brief outline of the organization’s mission and humanitarian goals, a recent club/district service project, and typical club/district activities

• Club meeting information, including the name, meeting time, and location

• Additional resources, including links to club/district websites or Rotary publications

• Follow-up information on the club’s next steps in the process