How my first trip to Africa changed my life

Rotary members and Rotaractors took part in World Polio Day activities as part of the West Africa Project Fair.

Rotary members and Rotaractors took part in World Polio Day activities as part of the West Africa Project Fair.

By Shapreka Clarke, president of the Rotaract Club of Eleuthera, The Bahamas

After an 18-hour flight from The Bahamas, I finally arrived in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, on 19 October to participate in the 11th West Africa Project Fair. As I stepped off the plane onto African soil for the first time, I did not know the adventure that was ahead of me, the lasting friendships I would make or how my life would forever be changed. That first moment getting off the plane, I remember being very excited and a little nervous. Continue reading

Crossing the Choluteca bridge

The Choluteca bridge

The Choluteca bridge is a suspension bridge in Honduras built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1935 and 1937.

By Neal Beard, a member of the Rotary Club of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, USA

For the past eleven years, I have traveled to Honduras with many other Rotarians to help on numerous Rotary humanitarian projects in the southwestern part of Honduras near the Pacific Ocean and in the mountains along the Nicaraguan border. Continue reading

New Year’s resolution: Stand up and be an ambassador for Rotary

150209_burrellBy Evan Burrell, Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia

It’s a new year, and here’s something you can resolve to do for your club and for Rotary in 2017.

Think about the last time someone gave you a “word-of-mouth referral” that influenced your decision to do something. Maybe a friend shared a new favorite restaurant over Facebook, or your neighbour recommended a plumber. Or maybe it was that friendly suggestion to come along to a Rotary club meeting that got you involved in Rotary in the first place. Regardless, you probably acted on the referral, in part, because it came from someone you trust! Continue reading

Making connections through the Travel and Hosting Fellowship

Tilak during a visit to RI World Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA

Tilak Thapa Magar during a visit to RI World Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA

By Tilak Thapa Magar, a member of the Rotary Club of Kathmandu North East, Nepal

I joined Rotary in 2012, and as a tourism entrepreneur in Nepal, quickly became acquainted with the International Travel and Hosting Fellowship. In the course of my work promoting tourism opportunities in Nepal, I have traveled to Europe and Asia extensively, and to the United States three times. But I had never had an opportunity to plan a visit and make “connections” with other Rotary members through the Travel Hosting Fellowship.

Last year, I contacted fellowship members through email and to my big surprise received an overwhelming response from many of them with an invitation to visit them. They wanted to host me during my visit. Continue reading

A sneak peek at the Web refresh

A sneak peak at the new Our Causes page.

A sneak peak at the new Our Causes page.

By Rotary staff

In January, visitors to Rotary.org will discover a new, contemporary site that tells Rotary’s story in a fresh and exciting way. It’s the first step in a two-part process to refresh our entire website: first the public site, Rotary.org, and then My Rotary.

Some of the changes will be obvious: a modern design, increased use of imagery and graphics to tell our stories, and better organization of content to help readers find out who we are and what we’re doing. Others, like the improved speed of the site, will be a welcome surprise.

We believe these changes will more clearly show that Rotary is making the world a better place — and will persuade potential members and donors to support Continue reading

Corporate membership: What has worked for us and what hasn’t

Corporate members have helped the Rotary Club of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Corporate membership has helped the Rotary Club of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, attract senior business leaders.

By Robert Fisher, Rotary Club of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

As the first club chartered in Australia, we have a membership of around 250 people. We had two ‘champions’ who were keen to introduce corporate membership. Over several years, they sought acceptance of this category in the upper layers of Rotary, and eventually were given the go-ahead to try it as part of a pilot project in 2011. Continue reading

6 ingredients for membership growth

Festival booth

One public event the club organized included a booth at a neighborhood festival.

By Quentin Wodon, a member of the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., USA

Let’s admit it: achieving a high growth rate (negative or positive) is easier with a small club. Still, after more than five years of almost continuous decline in membership, my club was excited to report a 60 percent growth in membership from July to October. We had 18 members on 1 July. Now we have 29, with 11 new members inducted in the first trimester of the new Rotary year.

How did we do it? Let me share our recipe: Continue reading

What does it mean to be human?

Misaki Otani

Misaki Otani, an Interact member in District 5170 (California, USA)

By Misaki Otani, member of Interact in District 5170  (California, USA)                 

Interact members in my district are raising $120,000 this year to aid Syrian refugees overseas and refugee resettlement in the San Francisco Bay Area. We are also raising awareness, planning service projects, and working to break the stigma associated with refugees.

Why did we chose this project? Continue reading

How do you create stronger connections in your community?

Michael Bucca

Michael Bucca addresses a club about raising its profile in the community.

By Michael Bucca, president of The Central Ocean Rotary Club of Toms River, New Jersey, USA. 

Rotary clubs are always looking for ideas on how to increase membership and develop meaningful service projects. Sometimes, the answers lie outside our own club or organization.

Partnering with other local charities, or joining a service project already in progress, are excellent ways of furthering our mission of Service Above Self. Look around for organizations that share similar goals as Rotary. Invite someone from their group to come and speak to your club. In doing so, you develop an immediate contact that can be built into a deeper relationship. Continue reading

How to promote your club by not talking about your club

Volunteers from Capitol Hill Group Ministry assist the homeless.

Volunteers from Capitol Hill Group Ministry assist the homeless. Photo courtesy Capitol Hill Group Ministry

By Quentin Wodon, Rotary Club of Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., USA

Sometimes the best way to gain a little attention for your club is to not talk about your club, but about other worthy groups and volunteers you are working with.

Rotary members are becoming more aware of the need to tell their Rotary story. But here’s the catch. It may be better to use local blogs or magazines in your community rather than your club or district’s own channels. This is because typically, these external sources will have a much larger readership. Continue reading