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Welcoming members when you cannot meet in person

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to support the Rotary Clubs of District 5630 in their efforts to engage and onboard new members. Many clubs have recently welcomed members to their club and some have potential members signing on during virtual meetings. But, how can you engage new or future members when you can’t meet them? Use this guide to adapt your practices. Have a great strategy that’s working for you? Send your ideas to ​District Membership C0-Chairs Jerry Milner or Lorena Beckius​ so it may be shared with others.


❏  Review your new member or orientation guide with a critical eye to determine which sections are relevant while you’re not meeting in person.

❏  Follow the 2:1 rule. For every 2 “official” points you share, be sure to include at least one “unofficial” point. This will help the new member learn how Rotary works, but also learn how your club works. For example:

❏ During a phone call with the new member, review dues payment procedures and your club portal. Those are “official” points, so also include your favorite service projects or your favorite fellowship event.


❏ Ask a longer-term member to “onboard” the newer member to provide an informal look at your Rotary Club.

❏ Make sure the new member knows how to login to My Rotary.

❏ Encourage the new member to check out the ​Learning & Reference Center​ on My Rotary. 

❏ Share your favorite Rotary Foundation video with the new member. 


❏  Appoint longer-term members to host “virtual coffee clubs” which include at least one newer member.

❏  Encourage committee chairs who are hosting committee meetings via phone or the web to personally invite a new member to join their meetings.

❏  Introduce and personally welcome the new member during a virtual meeting.

❏  Host a “pre-meeting” and ask club leaders to sign on to virtual meetings 15 minutes early to welcome the new members in a smaller virtual group setting, before the larger meeting begins.


❏  Ask the new member to assist with an existing service project and highlight their contribution to social media. Examples include:

❏ Inform the new member about your favorite club project and ask them to make a commitment to participate the next time, and maybe get a contribution to get their initial “buy-in” now

❏  Let the new member inspire your club. Ask them to educate the club about their favorite charity and encourage members to support their featured organization.

❏  Tag the new member in comments on your club’s social media posts to encourage them to engage online. For example:

❏ Comment under a “Virtual Happy Buck” post that you are happy the new member joined.

❏  Listen to the new member about their areas of expertise and interests. Make intentional and authentic introductions to others within your club so that new members can make an impact.