Written by PDG Terry Weaver, D7750, Zone 33, Assistant Rotary Coordinator.
The only thing worse than not having a pipeline of potential Rotarians is squandering those that you have. It’s one of the most common failings of not only businesses but also Rotary clubs.
Here’s some handy tools that will encourage membership in your Rotary Club!
What do I mean by “squandering”? I mean not having a central, institutional place where we record at least the names, mobile phone numbers and email addresses of people who may have an interest in Rotary. People who may be Rotarians, but just haven’t realized it yet. Absent an institutional prospect management platform (one that everyone in the organization uses) people cook up their own, using things ranging from Google sheets to personal spreadsheets to notebook paper, cocktail napkins and (the worst) human memory.
How could you create such a tool? By using something you’re already familiar with – the District and Club Database (DACdb). While originally intended to track active members, DACdb also has several non-member categories, such as Guest, Potential Member and Proposed Member.
How would you use those?
- Ask guests at your meetings to give you, at a minimum, their:
- Email Address
- Mobile Phone Number
- Ask also (a check box on your sign-in sheet or guest registration card):
“Would you have an interest in more information about Rotary?”
- Enter those who don’t in DACdb (add a member) using the Guest member type. You can later upgrade them to a Potential Member if they express more interest.
- Enter those who do in DACdb (add a member) using the Potential Member type.
- Enter anyone who a member registers for an upcoming Membership Event as a Potential Member.
- Send a reminder PMail from DACdb a couple of days before your Membership Event to those registered.
- Drip Marketing: This is a free way to put your club’s “brand” in front of these prospects on a regular basis (once or twice a month). Pmail your club newsletter or Bulletin to at least the Potential Members and Proposed Members (upgraded from Potential Members when a signed membership proposal is received).
- Volunteer & Event Invitations — When your club has a project that needs either volunteer manpower or non-member attendance or participation, send that message (similar to the one you’re sending your members) to all those member types.
- Regular follow-up — Guests and Potential Members appear on the “Other Members” tab in the My Club view of DACdb. That gives potential sponsors, club leaders and the Membership Committee a quick and easy means of checking in with prospects by phone or email to see where they are in their decision-making timeline.
Implementation is easy — just notify club leaders, the club Secretary and Membership Committee that your club is now getting serious about intentional membership growth strategies and that tracking and nurturing prospects is one of those intentional strategies.
Then start using the Guest and Potential Member types immediately, including sweeping up and entering those that members have been tracking with schemes of their own.
One caution: Be sure to first change the Member Type (when Add a New Member) to one of these non-member types. It defaults to Active, which, if saved, will result in sending a New Member add to Rotary International. Using any of the non-member types, such as Guest, Potential or Proposed sends nothing to RI until you switch them to Active.