Declining membership continues to be an issue for most clubs in D7080. With that in mind, the district PR and Membership Committees have developed a new communication program aimed at reversing the trend. GRO = Grow Rotary Online. The program aims to leverage the power of targeted digital communications to attract new members to clubs across the district.
“ ‘Each one, bring one’ is an effective tactic to grow Rotary”, says Brian Bennett, Director of D7080’s Membership Committee. “That said, we need a range of tactics if we hope to reverse our long-term declines. GRO is a new tactic that will compliment the other initiatives clubs have in place to grow membership.”
In a nutshell, GRO will leverage online platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Linked-In and Google to deliver ads that are targeted at people with an interest in what Rotary has to offer. The following 4 areas will be highlighted over the next year:  
  • Community Service and Volunteering
  • Protecting the Environment
  • International Development Projects
  • Youth Leadership
These areas of interest will likely be sub-segmented into more defined topics as the program evolves. Other areas may also be added after the program delivers its initial goals.
“What we are planning isn’t revolutionary. We’re simply leveraging the tools that most businesses use today to attract customers.  Facebook, Instagram, Linked-In and Google easily allow advertisers to match a product with people that have an interest in that product.” Says Dan Dubreuil, Director of PR for D7080.  “What’s new for our district is that that we’ll be spending money to communicate what Rotary is all about.  We also plan to leverage our Google Grant to place ads for free within Google’s search pages. The program will cover all cities within D7080.”
All ads will be linked to customized landing pages that share information about Rotary; they will encourage people to contact us for more information.  All leads will ultimately be passed on to our AGs who will direct them to the appropriate club. (This is similar to how online leads from Rotary International are handled.)
The PR and Membership teams have planned a launch presentation on May 20th at 7:00PM. All incoming PR Chairs, Membership Chairs and Presidents are encouraged to attend. Of course, anybody with an interest in growing their club is also welcome to register.
Initial results of the GRO program will be presented later this Fall.  If GRO is successful at generating a high number of strong leads, Clusters will be given the opportunity to supplement funding for the program to increase the reach of ads targeted at people living in their geographic area.