How can membership and volunteer-based organizations such as service clubs grow? This short book aims to answer this question by documenting the experience of the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill in Washington, DC (USA). Over a period of six months in the second half of 2016, the club succeeded in doubling its membership.
The experience of the club suggests that it is a good idea for membership and volunteer-based organizations to (1) Plan strategically; (2) Reduce meetings and increase their service work; (3) Improve service opportunities; (4) Reduce membership costs; (5) Partner with local nonprofits; (6) Invest in their public image; (7) Tap their members’ networks; (8) Apply for funding; (9) Set targets and monitor progress; and finally (10) Ensure leadership and enjoy their luck!
None of this is rocket science. Whether these simple lessons can work in practice depends on the dedication of an organization’s leadership and members. But hopefully, these simple lessons will be of interest to members of other Rotary and service clubs, as well as other membership-based organizations that rely on volunteers to improve lives in their communities.
The book is published as part of the Rotarian Economist Short Books series. The series provides rapid and practical introductions to topics related among others to volunteer work, service clubs, nonprofits, and the areas of focus of the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International (promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education, and growing local economies). The book series is associated with the Rotarian Economist blog.