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It seems these days are busier than ever. You may have noticed your club engagement is dipping and find you are tirelessly searching for new ways to attract and keep members. Corporate membership may not be recognized by Rotary International as a separate member type, but some districts are actively pursuing ways to use corporate membership to their advantage.  

Ever thought about corporate membership? It could be a way to gain members that previously thought perhaps they didn’t have the time for Rotary!

As of 2016, RI recognizes two types of members: Active and Honorary. Other membership types are not acknowledged by RI: Active-LOA, Active-R85 or even Active-Corporate. Members listed on DACdb as Active or other hyphenated variation of Active are members of RI. A non-Active member type would not have an RI member number and would be listed under the Other tab of the club’s membership roster. For example, Friend of Rotary member type would not be members of the club, and the club does not pay dues to RI for such a non-Active individual.

One of the first steps to starting a corporate membership is to define the attendance requirements. Your club would first need to change their by-laws to allow for corporate members to be a part of the club. Click here to review The Guide to Corporate Membership, published by RI.

A Club must decide if their entire membership will be full members of RI, or will they permit variations with different benefits and privileges. Some clubs define everyone from the same company on equal footing as Active-Corporate members—require attendance and pay dues the same as any other Active member.

Others define a primary Active-Corporate membership for whom attendance is required and dues paid to RI along with a secondary Active-Associate membership which does not have a minimum attendance requirement but does pay dues to RI. The President/CEO/Owner could take on either Active-Corporate or Active-Associate.

However, these details are defined in the bylaws will determine how the membership is involved and how the attendance is captured. Active member types can hold office, vote on issues or maintain any other function in the club.  A Corporate-Associate member type  is usually defined within a district as a non-active member type that does not have to maintain minimum attendance or pay dues to RI; and therefore, would not have the same benefits as a Rotarian.

Member type variations are first setup by the District, and then clubs can utilize those membership types, as needed. Any member type that starts with Active will be considered a full member of RI and the club will be billed for RI and District dues. It is up to the club to determine how they manage their dues and RI does not have a role in how this is done.

Many Districts have created member types such as Corporate-Associate, leaving off the word Active.  This member type would not roll up to RI nor would they pay RI or District dues. 

Regarding Attendance, it is entirely up to the club on how they want to track Attendance. In most cases, the Corporate-Associate member type would not count in the attendance calculation. Attendance is usually only counted for the Active-Corporate and/or Active-Associate member status. 

Clubs can keep track of corporate member attendance by including those members that are categorized as Corporate-Associate if they select that member type when they setup Attendance or Engagement.

Clubs have the ability to determine their own dues structure and how Corporate members are billed.

Corporate Membership and DACdb

DACdb allows for more than just the active and honorary member type to accommodate for districts wanting to include a corporate membership.

Under Member Profile, there is a drop-down list for member types:

When you Add Meeting under the DACdb Attendance module, make sure you select the member type Active-Corporate:

To include Corporate Membership type using the DACdb Engagement module, go to Admin Functions and click on Setup. Select the Attendance tab and select the Member Types you want to track.  All future meetings will then track what you initially selected.

With some thought and advance planning on the requirements of corporate membership, clubs may find the flexibility afford an Active-Corporate, Active-Associate or Corporate-Active membership appeals to business leaders who previously assumed they did not have the time to participate in Rotary.