By Jessie Harman, 2021-23 Rotary International Director
The results of the 2022 Rotary International All-Member Survey are clear – the number one driver of member satisfaction is club experience. Just over 78,000 members responded to the online survey conducted by RI’s Research and Evaluation team.
A recently published report on the survey also spelled out the aspects of club experience that mattered most to members – “meeting enjoyment” and “confidence in club leadership,” followed closely by “satisfaction with club service,” “satisfaction with finding friends,” and “comfort with other club members.”
The findings confirm the obvious – members with higher satisfaction levels are more likely to stay in Rotary. Perhaps less obvious, those satisfied members also attract more new members to our clubs.
Club experience is directly linked to the reasons why people have considered terminating their membership in the past 12 months. Members who are dissatisfied report two main reasons for that feeling – “the club’s lack of community engagement” and the belief that “the club does not represent my values.” “Conflict with other members” is also significant.
The survey also yielded important reasons why members join and stay in Rotary. New members join for a multitude of reasons – community service, friendship, international service, and professional connections. However, they stay for two main reasons – community service and friendship. And while most new members reported a positive on-boarding and induction process, a sizeable group (20%) indicated that they received only “a little” information about the time and financial commitments associated with Rotary, suggesting they may not be adequately prepared.
At a practical level, these findings underscore the importance of improving the club experience for members. It suggests the following strategies could be effective:
- Taking time to understand individual members’ needs and expectations and delivering an experience that meets those needs.
- Ensuring members are actively involved and engaged in service, making friends and, where appropriate, professional connections.
- Improving the meeting experience through more effective time management, better speakers, and more interesting opportunities for club members to learn.
- Creating a club culture that is welcoming and inclusive.
- Addressing conflicts between members proactively and quickly.
- In the end delivering an exceptional club experience is the key to engaging and retaining members and attracting new members into our organization. It is also the key to creating great brand ambassadors for Rotary.
I encourage everyone to make member satisfaction and improving the member experience a priority in our clubs. Using Rotary’s Membership Assessment Tools would be a great place to start.
Repurposed with permission from the March 2023 Rotary Down Under
Jessie Harman will lead a breakout session, Driving Membership Growth with Evidence, Wednesday, 31 May, during the 2023 Rotary International Convention in Melbourne, Australia.