As we are 5 months into this Rotary year, I wanted to give everyone a snapshot of where we are in Growing Rotary this year.  As we have always said, Growing Rotary is more than increasing numbers.
It is Growing Rotarians by bringing in new qualified members who will become Rotarians and retaining our current Rotarians.
As of November 1, we have a net gain of 54 in our district.  We have lost 51 Rotarians for various reasons and have gained 105 new members.  Of our 57 clubs, 55 have a net increase, are staying the same or only lost one member.  These numbers are great for now, but we have a long way to go to end the year on a positive note.
We have a District Membership Committee and your club has a Membership Chair and many clubs have membership committees which do a great job in helping your club Grow Rotarians.  However, the most important person in Growing Rotary is you, the individual Rotarian.  It takes everyone in a club to help your club grow, not just your membership chair or committee.
Rotary International says: “Membership is the means to accomplish Rotary’s mission and goal. Every Rotarian has the privilege and obligation to seek other qualified Rotarians…”  Knowing the difference between inviting someone to be “a member” and inviting someone to be “a Rotarian” is essential.  Your club can be effective only with effective members.
Past Rotary International President Barry Rassin has said  “We are a membership organization first. And if we want to be able to serve, if we want to succeed in our goals — we have to take care of our members first.”
So we are doing good now but we can’t afford to rest on our laurels.  We must do everything we can to sustain our organization beyond today and tomorrow.  I want to challenge all of us to take the obligation of Growing Rotarians seriously, as I know you do, and make this one of the most successful years in membership growth and retention we have had in a long time.
I want to thank all of you for what you do for Rotary and your club and hope all of you have a wonderful, blessed and safe Holiday Season.
Jim Henry
District 5870 Membership Chair