We are now in the fourth quarter of this Rotary Year. Fourth quarters matter. Every Falcons fan knows this. February 5, 2017. End of the third quarter. Patriots down by 18 points. Probability of a Patriot win then under 2%. Fourth quarters matter.
So as we finish the fourth quarter of this Rotary Year, I ask each of you to focus on three things:
Number 1. Membership. New members are the life blood of Rotary. They are the source of fresh energy, fresh ideas and new leaders. And they don’t wander into Rotary like you wander into Kroger. People join Rotary because they are asked. Take the time this quarter to reach out into your community, identify people of action and ask them to join your club. Worst that happens is they say no.
It is true that two years from now between a quarter and a half of the new members you bring in will have left. Rotary didn’t work out for them. But between half and three quarters will still be in Rotary. And once they make it to the two year mark, new members stick.
Number 2. Foundation Giving. The foundation is our primary force multiplier, the primary tool we have to amplify our individual contributions to make our communities and the world a better place to live and work. Foundation giving this year is down, as it was last year. At the end of this third quarter we have 12 clubs that have not made a donation to the Annual Fund and 28 who have not donated to Polio Plus. Is this the way we want to end this game?
The economy is strong, markets are up, but people don’t give unless they are asked. So in this fourth quarter be sure that your membership is asked by someone personally to support our foundation.
Number 3. The Rotary Citation. In past years we’ve sort of called the game at the end of the third quarter and handed out awards at District Conference based on third quarter results. But this year we are playing out the whole game. You have right up until June 30 to achieve as many of the 25 goals in this year’s citation as you can.
Like the Patriots, I say, don’t give up. Don’t let up. Work on membership. Ask your membership to support our foundation again this year. And stay focused on your goals.
A lot can happen in the fourth quarter.
I look forward to seeing many of you again at our new year end celebration at the National Infantry Museum in Columbus on June 30 and handing out many, many Rotary Citations, some silvers, some golds and even a few platinums.