Posted by Gary Bennett, Past President of the Rotary Club of Kelowna and current member of the Sunrise Rotary Club of Kelowna

No matter your role, every Rotarian plays an important part in creating a welcoming club environment and growing Rotary. When new members feel like they belong, they stay. What can you do to create a positive member experience? Learn how The Four-Way Test and the Rotary Code of Conduct can help you “treat people fairly, build better friendships, and create goodwill.” 

Here are some of Gary's suggestions:

Healthy membership is the life blood of any organization and Rotary is no exception. Because we all benefit from a thriving membership, all of us share a responsibility to help grow Rotary and bring in new members.

When you think about why people stay or go, it really isn’t that complicated. People have many competing commitments in life. No one is required to be a Rotarian; it is voluntary.

People will seriously consider joining if they perceive the net benefits they receive exceed the costs. Members will stay if that experience proves true.And a person will not join if they think the net experience will not be positive, and they will leave if the experience has not been beneficial.

Fortunately, The Four-Way Test and the Rotary Code of Conduct, can help us in building that positive experience. They are all about treating people fairly, building better friendships, and creating goodwill.

These are the things people are drawn to. If our clubs are perceived to operate under these principles in our community, people will be drawn to us.


Here are ten things every member can do to create a positive experience:

  1. Apply The Four-Way Test and Code of Conduct in your lives and in your club proceedings. Before judging or expressing a point of view, sending an email, taking any action, find out the facts of a situation. After doing that, determine if an action is fair to all, will build goodwill and better friendships, and will be beneficial to all concerned. If not, don’t act.

  2. Become an advocate for policies and practices that are based on truth, fairness, inclusivity, and diversity.

  3. Always greet members with warmth and interest.

  4. Treat members with the respect you would like to get.

  5. Take the time to listen and evaluate diverse opinions and defend the right of members to express a view different from yours.

  6. If you have a concern with another member, speak to them personally. Don’t send a complaining email.

  7. Before you send an email or communicate with others, make sure the assertions you are making are based on fact. Always use an appropriate tone. Ask yourself, is it fair and will it build goodwill and better friendship?

  8. Get involved and spread the news about Rotary’s good work.

  9. If someone expresses a concern about Rotary, listen and see what you can do to correct the situation.

  10. None of us are perfect. We all can display poor judgment at times. If you find you’ve made a mistake or offended someone, apologize as soon as possible. Not only will your action be good for Rotary, but you will gain respect for doing so.


You may have ideas to add to it. Share your ideas with others.

Your club’s reputation for being welcoming and fair will spread throughout our communities.

This will result in people gravitating toward Rotary who are seeking fellowship and an opportunity to serve their community.