As we celebrate the membership month, today I decided to review the membership requirements from Rotary International (RI). As per the current Council on Legislation, the qualification for membership is “A person of good character who has a good reputation in their business or community and is willing to serve the community”. The Council on Legislation further provides for flexibility in terms of membership, when to meet and membership types. The RI Bylaws and Standard Rotary Club Constitution provide for two types of membership: active and honorary. In fact by amending our bylaws, Namugongo Rotary Club may offer additional membership types that are desired in the community, such as associate, corporate, family membership or others. However, when we introduce new categories:-
- Rotary International will continue to record, and grant all of the benefits of membership to, active members only who pay RI dues
- Clubs that offer additional membership categories should report these members to Rotary International as active and are responsible for paying said members’ RI dues
- Clubs and districts set their own policies about these members’ other financial obligations (club and district dues, meal costs, etc.), attendance requirements, and service expectations and reflect these policies in their bylaws
- Clubs determine how they accept former or transferring members, including whether they allow current Rotaractors to join
The other aspect to reflect on is the aspect of dual membership for Rotaractors; The Council amended the Rotary International Bylaws to permit Rotaractors who meet the qualifications of membership to join a Rotary club while remaining Rotaract members. I want to conclude by asking Rotarians to take bold steps to attract and retain quality members. Special thanks to all Rotarians that have been able to attract a new member in the last five years.