Rotary District governor visits BrundidgePublished 11:00pm Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Ten years ago, Rotary Clubs worldwide had 1.2 million members. Today, Rotary Clubs worldwide have 1.2 million members.
Those are the numbers that were made available to the director of Rotary International five years ago when he asked, “How are we doing?”
Rotary District Governor Jim Golson was the guest speaker at the Brundidge Rotary Club Wednesday. He told the Rotarians that those numbers made Rotary International aware of the need for a strategic plan that would build the membership of Rotary Clubs around the world.
The plan was simple and included the enhancement of public awareness of Rotary and the good works that it does.
“In times back, Rotary Clubs didn’t like to publicize their good works,” Golson said. “They thought that their good works should speak for themselves. But many people don’t know about Rotary and what it does. The belief now is that Rotary Clubs should let people know of the good they do so that others will want to be a part of Rotary.”
Golson said one way to grow Rotary is to reduce attrition.
“We must keep the members that we have and attract new members,” he said. “We can do that by achieving diversity in the membership. The membership of a Rotary Club should be representative of its community.”
The challenge for Rotary Clubs is to attract more women and younger people into membership.
Golson said only about 16 percent of Rotary membership is female and only 2 percent of its membership is ages 30 and under.
Golson is a member of the Auburn Rotary Club and currently serves as District Governor Elect for District 6880.
He has worked with PolioPlus, Rotary’s worldwide polio eradication project. He participated in National Immunization Days in Egypt and in Ghana. In recognition for his work with polio, Golson received a special Humanitarian Services award from District 6880.
“We are ‘this’ close to eradicating polio worldwide but close is not good enough when there are still outbreaks of polio,” he said. “There is an outbreak of polio in northern Nigeria and two other countries with cases. Just when we think we have it under control, we realize that we don’t. We still have work to do.”