By Rotary magazine staff
A prominent business leader recently joined your Rotary club. They run a global business and their customers are primarily Rotarians. Your club’s leadership team decides to pay this new member’s way to the next Rotary International Convention; they think the experience will inspire the new member to get more involved in club activities. The member mentions that they plan to have a booth promoting their business in the House of Friendship during the entire convention and probably will not have time to attend sessions. What would you do?
Every month, Rotary magazine showcases answers to an ethical question that members might face in their Rotary clubs. Above is the ethical challenge we will tackle in the November issue of the magazine. Share your suggestions below and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Life is like a mirror. Offer solidarity and you will receive solidarity back; offer kindness and you will receive the same back. Emanate peace, vibrate for goodness and the world will be much better.
If the Rotary Club decides to support a cause who will be against the decision?
Does this prominent business man have the time to attend the Convention? Most likely not and that is why he is paying the new member to attend the convention and possibly have the new member man his stall at the House of Friendship. Maybe this new member is also knowledgeable about the businessman’s business so I do not think it is a bad thing to pay the way for the new member who will gain the convention experience and hopefully also help someone in future to also attend the convention. We need to “serve to change lives” this scenario I feel is a classic example of living this years theme. Thanks you
Forget this member. If the Club has sound financial position and it had been the practice of the Club to sponsor a member for each Convention, then send someone who has done outstanding work for the club and community. Such a member will gain knowledge and use it for the benefit of the Club and humanity at large. If the member is interested in Fellowship and developing his business he can join Rotary Means Business and ask RMB to sponsor his visit to the Convention.
To pay a member to attend when he tells you he plans to work at his exhibit and not attend the sessions would be foolish and wasteful. Send a new member who commits to attend the sessions, and she/he will return filled with new enthusiasm for Rotary!
Not sure who the question is for. If asking what I would do if I were on that club’s leadership team, there is nothing to do. The member is declining the offer to attend RIC, since he will be at his booth in the HOF the entire time. Regarding the question on paying for someone to attend, if the club has funds and the decision is consistent and fair, why not. We pay for members to attend the District Conference because we want them to attend. The person would be obligated to pay close attention and report back to the club. It is up to each individual club to make their own decisions.
I paid for 2 non Rotarians to attend the Toronto Convention and 2nto attend the Hamburg Convention.
The experience had an exceptional impact on them and 2 became Rotarians and 2 became supporters…..
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First, it is stupid to pay this person’s way to the convention. If he is a prominent businessman he has the money to pay. Also, Rotarians need to pay their own way.
If that “prominent business leader” is part of the top management of a “global business”, it is next to impossible that “their customers are primarily Rotarians”, I cannot imagine what the products or services of such a corporation would be. So the premise of this case is already flawed.
The definition of a “global business” is that it generates more than half of its revenues outside of the country of their corporate seat. (I have worked for several global businesses which meet this definition)
If that new member is indeed a “business leader” in her company, she will clearly be earning enough money to pay her own way to the next Rotary International convention.
A Rotary Club board which decides to subsidize any members attendance at an RI Convention is committing, at minimum, a dereliction of duties. Whoever attends an RI Convention is paying for that her:himself, period.
It does not matter what the club member plans to do or not to do at a Convention, she pays for herself.