Recruiting new members
This was the subject of discussion at our last Zoom meeting.    We had 19 attendees and the discussion lasted the whole hour. I also received an email which was a  written record ot all that was said. This contained more than 9000 words and 20 pages . . The following is an abbreviated version on what these attendees said on the night . It contains headlines of most of their opinions and excellent suggestions for our recruiting plan
 In addition   I had  telephone discussions with  3 of our members, Gavin Thoms, Norm Draper and Joe Raimondo and each  offered to write a detailed opinion  on the plan of recruiting . I have included their plan in the paragraphs shown below
COMMENTS  from Gavin Thoms
1. The effectiveness of our club has peaked and is now undergoing a transformation. We wish to better direct and refocus the rate of change.
2. Can we do anything to refocus our transformation? Yes, we can. We must identify our new objectives and agree the action needed.
3. Are there enough members sufficiently interested to better control the club’s transformation? Yes, there is a core of members who are willing and able to identify a way ahead.
4. Having identified the way ahead we then need to seek agreement among our members.
Proposed Approach
For fifty years, Keilor Rotary has been effective in doing good in our local and global communities. We should establish our benchmark by first summarising our very substantial achievements. Subsequently, we should identify those objectives that we wish to retain, and those that are now essential to ongoing healthy social interaction among our members. A summary of our achievements would be a healthy benchmark that would serve to generate interest in our Club and motivate new initiatives.
Our achievements have been numerous and worthwhile. As we age, we might adapt our focus and rate of effort to better reflect our capabilities and our social needs. In particular, we need to continue most of our contributions to our communities and concurrently enhance the social interactions among our members. We need to strengthen our fellowship while assisting others outside our club to develop socially effective programs.
Our membership is ageing and is less able to contribute to physically demanding projects. We should reduce each member’s physical workload while keeping a useful fraction of the current projects in place.
First, we could decrease our rate of effort at the Bunnings Sausage Sizzle by half. We might do this by keeping alternate months and by inviting Rotoract to do the other months. This would ensure a reduced workload for our members. Simultaneously, we would develop closer ties with Rotaract, and we would keep faith with Bunnings as we would be seen to be maintaining our allocated schedule. In turn, by giving Rotoract one half of our total schedule we would be helping them to earn money. Subsequently, they could assist us when we need help with any of our larger projects that we might need to review.
This approach could take some strain off our members and it may in turn give us some breathing space. Such space may allow us to concentrate on looking for some new members. A similar approach might be applied to other major projects. We could adjust the details as we progress.
For your consideration.
Dr Gavin Thoms
Here is my 2 bobs worth on possible ideas to attract new members
1) Target business managers and owners in our catchment.
Business Proposition - Opportunity to get to know, socialise  and network with other fellow business owners and contribute to local community.
2) Invite local business owners to be guest speakers at our meetings to tell us about themselves and their business  ( similar to members Job talk). Use this as an opportunity to invite other business owners  to come to the meeting and learn about the guest speakers and their business.
In particular target any new business opening up in the area to come and tell us about themselves and promote their business.
Business Proposition - Opportunity to promote their business.
In particular seek businesses that can enlighten members and guest on new technologies  e.g Cloud computing
3) Once COVID Restrictions are lifted.    Beef up social activities and invite local Business owners and potential new members to attend - e.g.  Micro Brewery Tours, Wine tastings & winery tours,   dinner at  William Anglis  and vocational/industry  visits.
4) Review what businesses/professions are covered by existing members and what businesses are not.   Target missing businesses.
e.g. we have solicitor, doctor, pharmacist, mechanic & builder.   But we don’t have electrician, restaurateur, real-estate agent, chiropractor, investment advisers, masseur, Computer/IT  etc etc   
The points that I made last night (some previously) were:
It doesn’t matter what we change, unless we boost membership with at least 5 or 6 new members (ideally younger and more diverse) within the next two years, we will continue be at serious risk.
Anything we change should be changed as soon as COVID-19 permits and be directed at facilitating timely membership growth.
I agree that the focus for membership growth should be directed at:
  • community minded locals;
  • local business owners and operators; and
  • recent retirees (with a caveat around residents of older retirement villages).
We have strengths in that we (and Rotary more generally) can offer:
  • Social interaction & enjoyment
  • Opportunities to do do good things via projects and fundraising (the social benefit)
  • Added value to business owners and operators through expanding their networks and potential customer contacts, and by providing personal development, learning and leadership experiences via our members, our projects and through wider Rotary opportunities.
There are some fine tunings we should look at, eg: 
Meeting venue
Physical meeting frequency
How we "welcome"
Having energetic speakers who can excite.
But, above all else, we need those new members - and time is of the essence because the strengths that we can offer are deteriorating as our membership reduces and as we age.  Turning these two matters (membership size and age) around quickly will enhance longevity - a failure to do so will lead us closer to the grave.
The balance of the attendees which included the other 16 attendees  had a variety of ideas . and these are listed as follows.
1.We should increase our involvement in the community and  emphasise the moral purpose of Rotary such as  the 4 way test.
2. Successful Rotary Clubs seem to recruit migrants into their Club from countries such as South East Asia . They sometimes join Rotary while already supporting a charity and wish that Rotary will help their cause,
3.We should also aim for younger members and particularly female recruits. We should also reduce the cost of  joining our Club as well the cost of attending
4. When visitors attend our Club it is important to make them feel  welcome. They should be introduced to the President and we should give them the opportunity to explain their vocation and their contact details .
5. Networking is an important part of Rotary. We already use the services of each other at the Club . We should seek members with other vocations with the aim getting to know them better
6.Meeting on Zoom makes it easy for people to attend . This could be done 3 times per month and the remaining meeting could be a social event .. If we continue to meet face to face we ought to  consider varying the venue
7. Improving our performance will result in retention of members which should be  an important goal
8.Our visitors and contacts could be offered to become Friends of Rotary . This is a low key involvement with our Club and some of the friends could volunteer to assist us  with some of our projects
8 We need to seek a  link with local Council
9 Need to recruit members from the charities we support
10 Consider shifting the Club to Brimbank
11 Offer people opportunity to give back to the community
12 Link with the local schools