10 things we can all do to grow Rotary

Gary Bennett

By Gary Bennett, past president of the Rotary Club of Kelowna and current member of the Sunrise Rotary Club of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

I read with great interest what President-elect Mark Daniel Maloney had to say about growing Rotary in the March issue of The Rotarian. He is spot on. Healthy membership is the life blood of any organization and Rotary is no exception. Because we all benefit from a thriving membership, all of us share a responsibility to help grow Rotary and bring in new members. President-elect Mark’s emphasis on growing Rotary is a welcome reminder of our opportunity to help. Continue reading

Introducing young leaders to human rights

Cassady Shaw and Tamara Larson

Cassady Shaw, left, and Tamara Larson at the Nelson Mandela Exhibit in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

By Tamara C Larson, Youth Services Chair for District 5370 (West and Northwest Canada) 

For the past two years, I have had the privilege of being a chaperone and working with many young leaders as they attend the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg as part of our district’s program to introduce young people to human rights.  As youth service chair, I find working with these young leaders to be very inspiring. They have a strong investment in social justice, in creating positive change, and are willing to tackle tough issues without compromise. Continue reading

Returned Peace Corps volunteers make great members

Chief Matari and Charlie Masilae Hunt

Charlie Masilae Hunt, right, and Ben Matari, chief of the village in Vanuatu where Hunt served as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

By Charlie Masilae Hunt, Rotary Club of Denver LoDo, Denver, Colorado

Imagine increasing your club membership by 50 percent in just one month. That is what my club did this past January. As a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) and a member of Rotary, I have had a dream for some time now of recruiting returned Peace Corps volunteers into our club. It is a natural fit. The focuses of both organizations are almost identical. So recruiting returned volunteers is certainly logical. Our club just had an induction ceremony adding ten newly returned volunteers to our membership. Continue reading

Seeing Rotary face to face

Steven Sundstrom and Dr. Koki Inai

Rotary Regional Grants Officer Steven Sundstrom (right) with Dr. Koki Inai of the Rotary Club of Hiroshima South.

By Steven Sundstrom, RI regional grants officer

As a regional grants officer for Rotary, I spend most of my work time at Rotary headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA, working with members around the world, including in Japan. Given the time difference, communication is naturally often by email. The first time I traveled to Japan for work was for the Rotary Institute in Nagoya, Japan. I met many Rotarians in person who I had been emailing for years. We were meeting face to face for the first time, but somehow we were already old friends. “お会いが出来て嬉しいですね!Nice to finally meet you!” Continue reading

Young people can make their mark through Rotary

By John Hewko, Rotary International General Secretary

The desire to give back, become involved in your community, create connections, and use one’s skills to benefit others is a cornerstone of civil society. But how can young people find these opportunities while facing the challenges of a widening skills gap, lost personal connections through digital isolation, and an uncertain future?

Let me begin with a description of a young person who may sound familiar. Continue reading

3 tools for building peace in your community

Participants take part in a mapping exercise to understand how the eight Pillars of Positive Peace are interconnected during a workshop in Mexico in 2017.

By Summer Lewis, Rotary-IEP Partnership Coordinator

When you think about peace, do you think about how peace is lived and practiced? Are you seeing images of violence and thinking peace is the “opposite” of that?

There is no one right way to define peace, but there are many ways to work towards it. Continue reading

What do beer, brats, and Rotary have in common?

The Rotary Club of Madison South is known throughout the community for its Brat Stand.

By Angela Lingle and Ginny Olson, Rotary Club of Madison South, Wisconsin, USA

More than four decades ago, our club was facing disappointing returns on its staple fundraising events, a turkey shoot and light bulb sale, when inspiration hit. This is a story about how knowing your community, perseverance, and a little bit of luck can turn around just about any fundraising fortune and help a Rotary club raise money for projects while building awareness of Rotary.

Continue reading

4 dynamite ways to find new members

The Wenatchee Confluence Rotary Club’s new members class of October 2018. Membership chair Rob Tidd says do something to make new members feel special, like framing their certificates and interviewing them during their induction.

By Rob Tidd, District 5060 membership chair and member of the Rotary Club of Wenatchee Confluence, Wenatchee, Washington, USA

In January, we had 61 members in our club, an increase of about 40 percent from the beginning of the Rotary year in July, when we had 43. Our success has been based on two ingredients: encouraging friendships and promoting fun in Rotary.

But just as important to our growth has been a systematic and continuous follow up with potential new members. Too often a potential new member is approached once and then forgotten. Every club needs a champion or champions willing to take the extra time to stay in communication with every potential new member. I am often asked where I find all these potential new members. Our sources grow as we come up with new ideas. Below are some of the practical ways we have found members: Continue reading

Blueprint for welcoming Rotaractors into the family

John Marvin Leonor has fun in a foam pit during a fellowship event including the Rotaract clubs of New Rise Kalookan North and Zamboanga City West at the ABS-CBN Studio Experience in September.

By John Marvin Leonor, Rotaract Club of New Rise Kalookan North, Philippines

The first word that comes to mind when I think about our sponsor Rotary club is family. It is our greatest honor to serve our community alongside the Rotary Club of Kalookan North. Whenever anyone asks me what our greatest strength is as a Rotaract club, I can proudly say it is the active and strong partnership with our Rotary club.

The importance of this partnership cannot be underestimated. Rotary clubs have the ability to make Rotaractors feel they belong to this huge family of Rotary and are an integral part of it. I feel fortunate our Rotary club has made it such a priority, and hope by sharing this it will inspire other clubs to do the same. Continue reading

How to prepare to be a Rotary Peace Fellow

Orientation for Rotary Peace Fellows at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand.

By Bonnie Emerson, Rotary Peace Fellow at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, Class 26, from Canada

As an Indigenous (Metis) Canadian woman from Winnipeg Manitoba, I was surprised and very honoured when I was encouraged to apply for the Rotary International Peace Fellowship Program. I wasn’t too optimistic, though. How could a police officer from a mid-sized Canadian city be selected when applicants come from all over the world? Continue reading