October-November 2019 | Regulars

Tony Black – Rotary International Director’s Column

Tony Black – Rotary International Director’s Column

Latest column for October-November from Rotary International Director 2019-21 Tony Black.

This Rotary year we have been asked by President Mark Maloney to ‘Grow Rotary’. Many of you are now thinking: not another call on membership. We have heard or read it all before. I have also heard the same thoughts for many years, but let me ask you some questions:


Question 1: What is the biggest issue facing Rotary in the next decade?

That is a question asked over many years, and the answer is membership. Membership is not just about numbers. Growth is the momentum of our organisation.

It increases our human resources and develops leaders. Growth in membership is not just for show but what the increase in numbers can do in our communities and in the wider world.


Question 2: Why is it that only 23% of our membership is female?

The secret to membership growth is ask. Don’t be disheartened by a ‘no’. Do not wait for someone else to do the asking. Begin now, and with yourself. Today is the best time to introduce a friend to Rotary.

Retention is of prime importance and the best way to retain members is by engaging and involving them by focusing on their talents, not just their time.

Your Rotary Coordinators and District Membership teams are there to help and advise you.


Question 3: Where do you want Rotary to be in 10 years?

The answer is going to be very variable but also so similar. We all want to be doing more good in the world, whatever that might be.

I have never been worried about what Rotarians do for their communities, as long as they do something. There are many and varied enterprises/projects that Rotarians get involved with, and this will vary from club to club.

We all need to keep doing our bit but be willing and able to do that little bit more. Most of us know what 1.2 million Rotarians do in the world. Think of what 2 million Rotarians or more could do.


Rotarians are the future of Rotary – and that is in your hands. Let us begin the change today.

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