Sometime, a member leaves Rotaract. That’s life. But the way it happens varies, and the way we record it is not absolutely fluent. That, also, has an impact on the national member count accuracy.
Sometime the membre leaves suddenly. Reached the age limit ; new job ; moved in another city or country ; or wanna move his life to something new. That’s life.
But at a regular rate either, some member leaves slowly, staying away from the club’s life too long. She (or he) wanna stay, but day to day life makes him less and less available. At first, she gives news, emails, or phone calls. Is she “in”, or “out” ?
The process is reversible : some people come back to action after being away a really long time. So it is fair to keep them in the list until they pay their contribution. When they doesn’t ? Well, it depends, but -my evaluation- if a guy send at least one email to say “Hello” to the club, she is still countered “in”. And it can lasts…
We have a name for that, we usually call them “ghost members”.
“Hey, I got news from Alexandra”, someone reports : Alexandra, you’re “in” one more year. You, ghost member.
Then once, there comes a new president (we change every year). That one wants a clear membership list, he faces reality, and slash decision : “she is out”. As he processes the whole list, he often cleans up all the ghosts at once. Let’s call him a Ghost Buster. (Bill Murray is my hero.)
When you just look at the member list of a healthy club, it appears like this : for a few years, the clubs seems to grow more and more ; then one year, it seems to fall abruptly. Fake hope, fake deception : the club workforce remained stable all along. It’s just a number artifact of ghosts members being piled up a few years and removed at once.
You got he point : you can’t tell one club manpower just by looking at his member list.
But how do you think the national manpower is calculated ? The national boards sum up all these clubs member lists and count.