Posted by Kris Dirks on May 28, 2019
Membership growth is the lifeblood of any organization and this is especially true of Rotary.  Our Club has grown by double digits this year and there is potential to continue that growth into the future.  One avenue for growth for our Club has been through Corporate Memberships in addition to the traditional individual membership.  A Corporate Membership is for companies that wish to have more than one person be an active Rotary member at one time. We currently have 5 Corporate members with the potential to have more.  Initially, the Corporate Membership was set up to have a principal member and up to 2 additional designated members. The principal member was a member in good standing of the Club, District 5950 and Rotary International (RI), however, the designated members were only members of the Club, they did not pay District or RI dues and therefore were not recognized by the District or RI as members of Rotary.  Although this was good for our Club, it did not allow designated members to reap the full benefits of Rotary Membership.
Your Buffalo Rotary Board of Directors is proposing changes to the Corporate Membership category for the Club. The proposed bylaw change corrects this by making all Corporate Members, principal or designate, full members of our Club, District and RI thus allowing them to participate in all Rotary activities, training and networking opportunities. We feel this will benefit both the Member and the Club.
The financial cost to the Corporate Member Company will increase, however, we have offset some of the increase by creating a reduced club rate for companies with multiple members.
Additionally, under the previous bylaws, a Corporate Member could have up to 2 additional designated members.  The proposed change does not limit the number of Rotary members a Corporate Member can have.
We will be voting to approve the above change at the June 12 Rotary meeting.  If you have any questions concerning this change, please do not hesitate to contact me at 763-443-9935 or any of your Board Members, listed on our website.
The proposed changes are shown and highlighted below.  Full copies of the clubs bylaws will be available at the May 29th and June 5th meetings.  Full pdf copies can also be received by contacting the club secretary.
Article 11. Membership
Section 1 – Kinds.  This club shall have three kinds of membership, namely: active, honorary and corporate.  Also recognized are two active membership status levels, namely: Senior Active and Golden Senior Active.
Section 4 – Corporate Membership and Discount
            See Buffalo Rotary Club Corporate Membership Discount Addendum
Section 5 - Senior Active Status
(c) Rights and Privileges.  The Senior Active member is not automatically charged for meals as active club members, but pays for meals only at meetings attended.
Buffalo Rotary Club Corporate Membership Discount
The Corporate Membership Discount will allow a corporation, governmental entity or a company, hereafter referred to as the “corporation”, in the club’s area to become a member of the Buffalo Rotary Club, through the currently established membership approval process.
Each corporation will name a lead member, for billing purposes, and other representatives will be extended a discount on the cost of membership.  The lead member and corporation representatives will all be fully recognized Rotarians, with the ability to vote on Club matters, serve as Club officers and attend Rotary events, including assemblies and conferences.
The intent of the corporate membership category is to increase the Club’s ability to attract and retain a qualified and diverse professional base within the community. It allows for flexibility and recognizes the tremendous mobility that is the norm within the current corporate environment.
Benefits of a Corporate Membership Discount
Increase in:
  • Club membership, recruitment and retention
  • Support of The Rotary Foundation (program participation and fundraising)
  • Successful service projects (community and international)
Improvement in:
  • Leadership and engagement opportunities for members
  • Participation in club activities
  • Overall diversity within the club’s membership
Program Process
  1. Approval. A corporation can become an eligible corporate member of the Buffalo Rotary Club through the existing member approval process and be extended the corporate member discount.
  2. Designees. Once a corporation becomes an eligible corporate member through the established approval process, it must appoint one lead member, and may appoint additional representatives to be its designees. All members and designees must be approved by the board, just like any other member of the club.
  3. Changing designees. If there is a need to change the lead member or designees, the Rotary Club Board must approve any new designee member.
  4. Inductions. All corporate lead member and designees will be formally inducted into the Club as a new member, the same as any other new Rotary member.
  5. RI registration. The lead member and designees will all be listed as official members of the Buffalo Rotary Club.  The designee status is only an internal tracking process for calculating the corporate discount.
  6. Holding Office. The lead member and designee’s may hold any office in Rotary, including the Club and District levels.
  7. Financial obligations. The financial obligations of an eligible corporation will be as follows:
  • RI dues and district dues:  RI and district dues are the responsibility of the corporation, and will be billed to the identified lead member semiannually for each member of the corporation, including the cost of the Rotarian magazine.
  • Buffalo Club dues: Club dues are the responsibility of the corporation and will be billed to the identified lead member quarterly for each member of the corporation.  The corporate member discount will allow the corporation to pay only half the Buffalo Rotary Club dues.
  • Meal costs: Meals for the lead member are billed quarterly, with thirteen (13) weeks used for calculation purposes.  The corporate member discount, beyond the meals for the lead member, allows for the corporation to be billed for meals over thirteen (13) for the designee’s.
  • Contribution to The Rotary Foundation by each member of the corporation is highly encouraged.
  1. Conversion. If the lead member or designee of the corporation is no longer an employee of that corporation, they have the option to convert to an individual membership in the Buffalo Rotary Club. The individual will be responsible for all RI dues, District dues, Club dues and meal/beverage costs, as they become due, and will be billed for those expenses at the active member rate.