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Sharpen Your Skills - Attendance
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Rotary Club of New Bedford




District 7950

Founded 1921




Volume 1


Issue 2





Every new Rotarian knows there are attendance requirements for maintaining good standing with their Club. Even after a new member has completed the orientation talk and listened to the words while being sworn in as a new Rotarian, many questions can remain. For instance:

  • How do makeups work?
  • What Rotary activities outside a weekly meeting count as a makeup?
  • How is my attendance measured?


I thought attendance would be a good subject to write about early on in my “Sharpen Your Rotary Skills” series as it is a subject of much conversation, debate and sometimes disagreement within any Rotary Club.


Let’s start with the basics.



A member must,

  1. Attend or make up at least 50% of club regular meetings in each half year.
  2. Attend at least 30% of his or her club’s regular meetings in each half of the year.
    (Note: The Rotary Year starts on July 1st).



Say there are 50 club meetings scheduled for the year.


To stay in good standing a member has to attend 25 Rotary meetings during the year with 15 of those meetings at his or her home club.

  1. To be counted as present you must be part of the meeting for 60% of the meeting, (you can’t pop in and pop out).


A makeup is valid 14 days prior to and 14 days after a missed meeting.






Attending at least 60% of a Rotary meeting at another Rotary Club anywhere in the world. (Note: The 14 day before or after a meeting rule is not imposed for a makeup outside the United States.




  • Rotaract Meeting
  • Interact Meeting
  • A Rotary Fellowship (more on Rotary Fellowships in another article).
  • R.I. District Event including District Committee Meetings. (If the District event lasts longer than one day you receive a makeup for each day of the meeting).

A makeup is granted if you are present at the usual time and place of a regular   meeting of another club but that club is not meeting at that time and place for   some reason, (such as a special meeting held at night).


 4.   Attending and participating in a Club Service Project or Club Sponsored  Community Event.

Attending a Club Board Meeting.


 6.   Attending a Club Service Committee Meeting.
 7.   On line Rotary makeup. See www.Rotary.org for more on this.




If a member’s combined age and number of years of Rotary membership total 85 years he or she may be excused from membership requirements and their attendance will not be included in the membership figures used to compute the club’s attendance.


This status was once known as “Senior Active”, but this designation is no longer used.


The last thing a Rotary Board wants do is terminate members. We all work too hard to find new members and to cultivate them into good Rotarians.


From time to time the Board has to struggle with members who, for whatever reason, have dropped below the attendance level requirements. The Rotary International Constitution and By-Laws state the following,


12.2.a. “Membership qualifications. Membership shall automatically terminate when a member no longer meets the membership (attendance) qualifications.”


The only extenuating circumstances are “special leave of absence” when a member is leaving the club area and needs time to visit other clubs to become known to a Rotary Club in his or her new community.


“Consecutive Absences – A member who fails to attend or make up four consecutive regular meetings shall be informed by the Board that the member’s non-attendance may be considered a request to terminate membership in the club.”


Having sat on Rotary boards in three clubs over my past 12 years as a Rotarian I can attest that the agenda item of attendance has always been a difficult one.


The subjective questions of attendance are much more difficult to deal with. They can include;


  • Did we let this member down by not explaining the attendance rules to them clearly?
  • Have we failed to warn them early enough that they are in attendance trouble?
  • He or she did such a good job on our last fundraiser, we sure would hate to lose them

When a Rotarian falls below 50% attendance the board will usually ask a board member of sponsor to contact the individual and let them know of their attendance problem. This board member or sponsor will report back at the next board meeting. If the Rotarian is still in attendance trouble the board will authorize a warning letter to be sent to the individual (I have included a copy of a notification letter to this article). If the board sees no improvement in attendance after this letter has been sent the board will usually ask the Rotarian to resign due to “other commitments”.


The above process can take two, three and in some cases four months to work through the appropriate steps. However, finally, after much discussion, phone calls and a letter if the Rotarian has either improved his or her attendance or resigned the board will send a letter terminating their membership due to attendance issues.


This is a typical example of how the Rotary Board works through difficult attendance issues. Once a member begins to have real attendance problems they still have months to get themselves back to 50% or better before the board is force to release them from the Club membership roles.


Rotarians will go out of their way not to terminate a member  based on attendance and will usually only come to terms with terminating a fellow Rotarian’s membership after every possibility and option has been explained without success.


However, all Rotary boards realize that poor member attendance reflects poorly on the club.


The best Rotarian in the world is no help to a club if they don’t show up.

Send any comments, questions or suggestions for future Sharpen Your Rotary Skills to Bob.Gencon@gmail.com










Stuff happens! Jobs change, family commitments build up, and the pace of life just keeps on rolling. We have all been there and we certainly can all relate.


Rotary’s attendance requirements may not fit into your busy life right now. If this is not the case, we hope to see you at our future meetings so that your attendance will increase to the minimum requirement of 50%.


You can also get back on track by doing makeups. There are many ways to do a makeup;


• Local Rotary Clubs that meet for breakfast, lunch or dinner four or five days of the week.


• Committee meeting when posted in the GAM.


• Working on a Rotary Club event.


• Attending a Rotary Club Board meeting.


If you can not work out your schedule to meet the attendance requirements we ask that you respond with a resignation of your membership. Remember, you can always re-apply to Rotary in the future when your schedule will allow you the time to meet the attendance requirements.


Please think about your Rotary options. We would love to see you back with your Rotary friends. If we do not hear back from you within the next 30 days we will be forced to drop you from our membership roll.


Your friends in Rotary,