Membership Boost - The North Star Project


Rotary International has set its sights on a bold new initiative to combat declining membership rates in key regions. The North Star Project, approved by Rotary International, will pilot in Rotary Great Britain and Ireland, as well as Australia and New Zealand, where a significant drop in membership has been observed.

With Rotary Great Britain and Ireland (RGBI) alone shedding over 40,000 members since 2010 and facing an aging demographic, the urgency to revitalise the organisation is clear. The North Star Project aims to breathe new life into Rotary by implementing innovative strategies to boost membership, with a target of increasing numbers to 60,000 by 2028.

To kickstart this transformative endeavour, an impressive budget of $800,000 has been allocated over the next three years for the two pilot regions. This funding will fuel initiatives focused on adapting Rotary to modern demands and making it more appealing and accessible to a diverse range of individuals.

Central to the North Star Project is the recognition of the need for Rotary to evolve while retaining its core values of fellowship and service. This evolution includes embracing technological advancements, such as the introduction of Rotary View software to replace outdated systems, ensuring a seamless and user-friendly experience for members.

Moreover, the initiative emphasises inclusivity, with a commitment to welcoming individuals from all backgrounds, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or ability. Efforts to achieve gender parity within Rotary are highlighted, along with initiatives to attract younger members and promote diversity and inclusion at all levels.

Innovative membership models are also being explored, catering to the varied needs and preferences of potential members. These include traditional club memberships, direct memberships via the virtual platform known as the 'Hub', and corporate and enterprise memberships designed to engage businesses and their employees in Rotary's mission.

Under the enterprise membership model, larger firms have the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility by enrolling over 100 to 1000 employees as Rotary members. In exchange, Rotary facilitates impactful community initiatives, aligning with the corporate social responsibility goals of participating businesses.

The success of the North Star Project hinges on its ability to reverse the decline in membership and achieve ambitious growth targets by 2028. Through a strategic blend of traditional values, technological innovation, and inclusive membership models, Rotary International aims to steer its organisation towards a vibrant and sustainable future.