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

Take a virtual tour of Room 711

Room 711 on the 1st floor of Rotary headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA.

By Rotary Heritage Communications staff

Each year, thousands of visitors to Rotary headquarters experience Room 711, a recreation of the office where, on 23 February 1905, Paul Harris met with three acquaintances to start a club based on “mutual cooperation and informal friendship.” Continue reading

How do we innovate at Rotary?

By John Hewko, Rotary International General Secretary

Innovation and flexibility. Those are two words you hear a lot today when we think about any organization adapting to a rapidly changing environment.  But what do those two words mean for Rotary?

In short, they will define Rotary’s future, because they are fundamental pillars of our strategic plan for enhanced impact, reach, engagement and adaptability. Continue reading

Is a corporate membership plan right for you?

Members of the Humboldt Rotary Club pack food for the hungry in May.

By Christine Warrington, 2018-21 assistant governor District 6760, and a member of the Rotary Club of Humboldt, Tennessee, USA

Like many Rotary clubs, we were looking for ways to boost our membership two years ago when we heard about the flexible and innovative club models being promoted out of Rotary headquarters. We were excited and did a bit of research to see if one option, corporate membership, would work for us. I am happy to report the results have been phenomenal.

I have since traveled to many clubs near and not-so-near to share our success story with other Rotarians at Rotary events. We are at 75 members, up from 45 a little over a year ago and we anticipate growing to 100 members by the end of this year. Here’s a bit of information about how we did it. Continue reading

Why we asked for donations to PolioPlus in lieu of wedding gifts

Roberta Peverelli and Filippo Arcioni

By Roberta Peverelli, Rotary Club of Como-Baradello and Filippo Arcioni, Rotary Club Como

Many years ago, before our paths crossed, we were each asked to become members of different Rotary clubs. We were honored to be asked, since we felt that Rotary would be a great container for many things: friendship, culture, learning, international connections, and most of all Service Above Self. Continue reading

Rotary-supported story contest gives Tacoma youth a voice

The first-ever Tacoma Ocean Fest Youth Story Contest invited youth to write about the ocean and what it means to them.

By Rosemary Ponnekanti

At first, Hope was reluctant. She was on the verge of flunking school through poor attendance. But when Kathleen Figetakis, literacy chair at Tacoma Sunrise Rotary, Washington, USA, asked the Tacoma senior for one little favor – to put up posters in her school for the Tacoma Ocean Fest Youth Story Contest – Hope agreed. Six months later, she had not only won second prize in the contest, but she also graduated from high school – and helped the inaugural contest to be a wave of success. Continue reading

Empowering women in Colombian prisons

Exercise class.

Charlie Ruth Castro leads an exercise class for inmates.

Charlie Ruth Castro

By Charlie Ruth Castro, Rotary E-Club of Sogamoso Global, Colombia

I had to go to prison to understand how education for innovation is the path for empowering millions of Latin American and Caribbean women economically. I’ve never committed a crime; I belong to that group of people who believe education is the most sophisticated tool we have to opening any door.

In 2016, I founded MujeresConDerechos.org with the idea of reminding society that all girls and all women are powerful. For this reason, I have dedicated myself to gathering the most influential leaders through summits, marches, and a television program. The attention and support I have received has been converted into generating innovative programs for girls and women most in need. Continue reading

How to create your own Instagram story

An Instagram story about Miles to End Polio using sound on and clock stickers.

By Ashley Demma, social & digital specialist for Rotary International

As a social media team here at Rotary headquarters, we are encouraged to see a growing number of clubs adopt social media to promote Rotary and tell their stories. We realize that keeping up with all the changes to social media can be challenging. So I wanted to share one of the exciting new features we have been using to tell Rotary’s story, and give you a few tips for creating your own.

Instagram stories are any piece of vertical content, either a photo or video or text, that disappear about 24 hours after you create it, similar to Snapchat. You can extend how long a story is viewable by adding it to your highlights. Stories tend to get more engagement than your regular grid posts, making them a powerful publicity tool. Here’s how you do it: Continue reading

What it’s like to escape a wildfire

The Gray’s home after the fire.

By Pam Gray, past district governor and member of the Rotary Club of Paradise, California, USA 

While 77 days may seem like a long time, it has been a flash for those of us who were living in Paradise, California, and the surrounding foothills on 8 November, 2018.

My husband and I are members of the Rotary Club of Paradise. I was a District 5160 Governor during the 2014-15 Rotary year, and my husband, Brian, is currently club president. Brian was known as the “First Dude” as we traveled to visit 71 Rotary clubs the year I was governor. Continue reading

How to master Rotary’s public image campaign

Pat O'Donnell

Pat O’Donnell

By Pat O’Donnell, Rotary Club of Olathe, Kansas, USA

The People of Action campaign is all about showing and telling the public who Rotary really is – a group of people that unites for good and actually roll up their sleeves and do meaningful projects that help their communities.

I know a little about getting the message out, having worked in broadcast journalism. So I naturally got excited when, as the public image chair for my district, I had the chance to coordinate a People of Action media buy covering four Rotary districts in my home region of Kansas and northwest Missouri, USA.   Continue reading