How can you retain members in your Rotary Club? Why not compare your club to a business. Ask yourself, “why do people continue to shop or go to a particular store?” Do you have good merchandise, reasonable prices, and friendly sales people?
Compare your club to a restaurant. Do you serve what the customers want? Is the atmosphere appropriate? Is the menu variable, or do they serve the same thing all the time? Do you feel comfortable with the other customers? Does the management listen to your concerns? Would you go back there to eat?
Those of you in business realize that a satisfied customer is better advertisement than any radio, TV, or printed ad. Should not the same ideas pertain to your Rotary Club?
Now think about your club with the same questions?
Is your ‘menu’ or agenda, the same at every meeting, or do you add other items to serve a wide audience? Do members leave the meeting satisfied with what they were served in your agenda? Do they leave the meeting knowing something they didn’t know when they came? Do they appear inspired or bored during the meeting?
You might ask members why they stay in the club? Why would they leave? Have your members visited another club? What did they Enjoy? What did they not like? Don't asked them to name the club, just tell the club about ideas that your club might use. When I was AG in my former district in the USA, I gave an award to each club that sent a car of four members to visit the other nine clubs in our cluster. Their sharing what they learned upon returning proved ‘beneficial to all.’
Hopefully this sharing may help you retain your members. Just consider them ‘customers’ and remember they are volunteers, not employees. Your members can either continue to ‘shop’ at your club or take their business elsewhere.
Business people realize that retention of customers is easier and cheaper than developing new customers. In a similar manner, Rotary Clubs need to place as much emphasis on retaining members as they do on recruiting new members. It is the retention of experienced Rotarians that allow your club to better serve the needs of your community.