From Rotary World

August 2006

When it comes to finding new members to join Rotary, start by looking in the obvious places, says Rosemary Barker Aragon, a member of the Rotary Club of University District of Seattle, Washington, USA. As a regional RI membership coordinator, or RRIMC, Aragon is always on the lookout for potential Rotarians who are just waiting for an invitation.

"I look for people who are 'already Rotarians,'" she says. "They're active in the community, they volunteer, they might be part of another organization that you might be involved in." Parent-teacher associations, neighborhood groups, and volunteer events draw involved, community-minded individuals who might be just right for Rotary but never thought to join.

Children and grandchildren of Rotarians are also good potential members, according to Aragon, because they understand the nature of Rotary. "Rotary is a commitment organization, and they know that," she says. "You need to find out what people are passionate about and then show them how they can get involved through Rotary."

At the same time, it's very important to make sure that prospective members receive proper information about Rotary's membership expectations. RRIMC Tony Lico, of the Rotary Club of Roma Sud Est, Italy, looks for new members mainly among business and personal acquaintances. He says prospective members come to several meetings and speak to the club before their membership is approved.

Lico adds, "It is important to demonstrate to the new member what Rotary is and what Rotary does, because it happens many times that people join Rotary and they say after a few months, 'I had no idea.'" Once it's clear that prospective members are a good fit, they receive their Rotary pins. Then, he says, "We cross our fingers."

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