Treating your club like a start-up business

Elaine Lytle at a school in the Philippines her club is supporting through a service project.

Elaine Lytle, second from left, at a school in the Philippines her club is supporting through a service project.

By Elaine Lytle, Rotary Club of Como-Jannali, New South Wales, Australia

As a small Rotary club, we were on the road to extinction when we decided to hold a series of meetings as a whole club. We reviewed the usual list of strengths and weaknesses, action plans, and brainstorming ideas that we have done in the past with no real follow up.

But what really made a difference was when we looked in depth at the new means of communication and technologies available to us. One of our members is a financial consultant and another an accountant and we had them lead a session on approaching our club like it was a start-up business. Continue reading

Why we can’t afford to ignore social media

Interactors during a photo break at the Rotary Convention in Sydney, Australia.

Interactors during a photo break at the Rotary Convention in Sydney, Australia.

By Marilyn Axler, a member of the E-Club of South Jersey, and Rotary Global History Fellowship board member

I have been using social media to promote Rotary for three years now, posting on LinkedIn and other platforms to connect with others and share Rotary’s message. From time to time, I hear from members who are uncomfortable with social media. They say they feel it is invasive and they bring up concerns for privacy and safety.

Could it be that they are also afraid to embrace change? I agree the telephone is still the best way to communicate sometimes. But social media is clearly where it is at for younger people. Can we really afford to ignore the “new age of communications?” Continue reading

The richness of belonging

140820_riley_adamsBy Renée Riley-Adams, a member of the Rotary Club of Ashland, Oregon, USA

Recently, I received a blue name badge from my Rotary club. Initially, when a member first joins, my club issues a red badge with a ribbon that identifies them as new members. As we take part in a series of tasks that include things like joining a committee, attending a district meeting, and participating in a club service project, we get our blue badges.

During a short ceremony, I looked out into the crowd, and realized how much these people have become my community. Eating lunch with them every Thursday since last September and hearing about their children’s sports wins, new grandchildren, trips far and wide, and professional achievements, I have a new way of locating myself in this little town of 20,000 people. Continue reading

Who’s your Tommy?

140811_pollardjrBy William D. Pollard, Jr., Rotary Club of Churchland, Portsmouth, Virginia, USA

I joined Rotary in 1988 at the age of 25. Whenever I think of why we should invite someone to join Rotary, I think of Tommy.

Two years after starting a banking career in Richmond, Virginia, I was asked to work in my hometown of Petersburg. One of the first people to visit me was Tommy Adkins, a retired banker, who asked me to attend a Rotary club meeting. Tommy lived on the same street as my family when I was growing up, and I even delivered his newspaper. Continue reading

Taking Rotary into the next generation

Members of the recently chartered Rotary Club of Plaza Matriz in Montevideo, Uruguay. Photo courtesy of Erin Mills

Members of the recently chartered Rotary Club of Plaza Matriz in Montevideo, Uruguay. Photo courtesy of Erin Mills

By Erin Mills, Rotary Scholar and charter member of the Rotary Club of Plaza Matriz in Montevideo, Uruguay

A little over six years ago, I packed my luggage and boarded a plane for Montevideo, Uruguay, as an  Ambassadorial Scholar from Arizona, USA, to that tiny corner of the world I now call home. It’s where I teach future English language educators at the University of Montevideo, where I teach middle school children from around the world at the American International School, and where 24 young professionals and I are taking Rotary into the next generation.  Continue reading