Posted by Bob Delavan on Oct 25, 2018

There has been increasing interest in alternative membership types with particular emphasis on corporate memberships.  Below are two examples of popular corporate membership models, but don’t let these models limit your club. You have the freedom to structure corporate membership in a way that best serves your club and community, as long as you keep in mind that individuals, not the corporations that employ them, are its members.

Model 1: A primary corporate member pays dues, along with a selected number of alternate members (often 1-3) who don’t pay dues but can attend club meetings in place of the primary member. Many clubs ask for the alternates to be named and approved by the club before they can attend, but some don’t. As the primary corporate member must pay RI dues, he/she is reported as the active member. In this model, the alternate members aren’t normally charged RI dues, so they are not reported to RI but their membership details can be recorded locally by the club.


Model 2: The club charges a flat rate of dues for a certain number of corporate members (often 3-5) and all are able to regularly attend the club’s meetings. In this model, RI dues for all the corporate members are included in the flat rate. This model allows all the corporate members to be full, active members of the club and count in the club’s membership data.


Here are links to some examples of how clubs have implemented corporate clubs in their communities:

·       Check out what has worked and what hasn’t worked for the Rotary Club of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia when they implemented corporate membership

·       Rotary Club of Welland (Ontario, Canada) not only asks details about the prospective member, but also asks questions to get to know their the company as well in their corporate membership application

·       The Rotary Club of Demotte-Kankakee Valley (Indiana, USA) asked local businesses to sponsor employees as Rotarians, which led to 9 members (and counting) that have signed up under the corporate membership program

·       Rotary Club of Harrogate Brigantes, England  lists their corporate members on their club’s website to showcase their relationships with local businesses

·       Prospective members can fill out a corporate membership application to the Rotary Club of Los Angeles (LA5, Los Angeles, USA) on their website, and view information on membership dues and charitable giving programs

·       Through an established membership approval process, the Rotary Club of Madison West Towne-Middleton, WI allows a business or other organization to appoint up to three designees (one Primary Member and two Designee Members) to enjoy the benefits of membership