Alumni of three Rotary programs unite to advance ‘Service Above Self’

The three Rotary alumni and DSLI Global participants at the Zero Baht Shop Community, a domestic migrant community that has developed a recycling program that funds community insurance and social support programs.

The three Rotary alumni and DSIL Global participants at the Zero Baht Shop, a domestic migrant community that has developed a recycling program that funds insurance and social support programs for the community.

By Courtney Lawrence, Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar 2009-10; Katherine Grennier, Rotary Peace Fellow 2016; and Hermes Huang, Rotary Scholar, 2014-15

From the coastline of Costa Rica, to the sidewalks of Bangkok, to the jungles of Indonesia, we have been supported as individuals by The Rotary Foundation to make this world a better place; one where service comes before self. As a team of Rotary alumni, we have been able to pull together in pursuit of empowering grassroots social innovators around the world. Continue reading

How Rotary creates lifelong friendships

Kate Kimmer and Hilary Caldis.

Kate Kimmer and Hilary Caldis.

By Hilary J. Caldis, Rotary Peace Fellow

I am constantly in awe of the power of connection. This is what Rotary is all about. We unite in friendship to realize truthful, fair, good-willed, and beneficial outcomes in our communities and the world. For Rotary members and people like me, our lives are forever transformed by this powerful network. Continue reading

Images of the Council on Legislation

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Photos by Monika Lozinska/Rotary International

Representatives from Rotary clubs worldwide met in Chicago last week for the 2016 Council on Legislation to discuss changes to the policies that guide Rotary and its clubs. The meeting takes place every three years and serves as an opportunity for members to share their voice. This year’s council proved to be one of the most progressive ever, granting clubs greater flexibility over their meetings and membership. Read about the council and download vote totals.

Using social media to expand your event’s reach

A notice about the Live Event on the World Bank website.

A notice about the Live Event on the World Bank website.

By Quentin Wodon

On 8 March, I helped organize an event at the World Bank in celebration of International Women’s Day designed to illustrate the power of women to change the world. The main speakers for the event, sponsored by the World Bank Group Staff Association, were Marion Bunch and Deepa Willingham, both dynamic Rotary members.

We learned a few valuable lessons from our efforts to promote the event online through social media. First, with about 250 people attending at the World Bank, the event was a success. But more importantly, 3,341 unique visitors viewed the event through the World Bank Live platform. That means 13 times more people watched the event online as did in person. We expect even more people to watch the recording of the event when it is made available on the event’s webpage. Continue reading

How I learned to stop worrying and love social media

160408_lovesocialBy Evan Burrell, a member of the Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia

Did you know Baby Boomers are the fastest growing demographic on Facebook?

This doesn’t surprise me at all! I think there’s this myth that anyone over 50 is technically inept, but I’m not buying it. Perhaps some “seniors” might not be as technically savvy as the younger generation. But I don’t think all of them are clueless when it comes to new technology or social media.

Facebook and other social networks have enabled Boomers to get in touch with long-lost friends and relatives, as well as see pictures of their grandchildren. If they can use social media for a few family happy snaps, it’s not that far a stretch to get your older members over their initial fear or discomfort with social media, and to start thinking about using the tools in an even more beneficial way for your club. Continue reading

The key to a successful multi-generational Rotary club

Emmanuel Rey

Emmanuel Rey addresses his multi-generational club.

By Emmanuel Rey, a member of the Rotary Club of Villa Devoto, Argentina

In 20 years as a member of the Rotary family, I have learned much. I began my Rotary journey as a member of Interact when I was 12, and six years later moved on to Rotaract. After passing the maximum age of 30 for that program, I proudly became a member of my Rotary club two years ago.

At first, I dreamed of building a big and youthful Rotary club, especially as I observed how hard it was for my fellow Interactors and Rotaractors to bridge the generation gap and become members of Rotary. Continue reading

If Paul Harris started Rotary today

Evan Burrell and Room 711

Evan Burrell, left, with other members of the Joint Committee on Alumni Relations during a visit to Room 711, a recreation of the room where Rotary began.

By Evan Burrell, a member of the Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia

I wonder, as we approach yet another Rotary anniversary, what Paul Harris would think of the Rotary of today? Would he smile, or grimace? He probably didn’t imagine how far his little idea would go when he sat down for that first meeting on 23 February a full 111 years ago.

As a fun exercise, I tried to imagine what it might be like if Paul Harris started Rotary today. To do this, I first imagined what a Gen Y Paul might be like. Continue reading

6 social media resolutions to get your club noticed

160204_SocialMediaPartyPopperBy Evan Burrell, a member of the Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia

Maybe you spent much of last year banging away on social media to gain exposure for your club (because everyone says you should), but you felt like you were getting nowhere fast. It’s still early in the year. Why not take a step back, make an honest assessment of your approach, and determine what you could do better.

Here are six social media resolutions I think you should make this year to elevate your club’s social media exposure. Continue reading

A South African’s Youth Exchange to Denmark

Ronan Morgan and South African flag

Rotary Youth Exchange student Ronan Morgan holds up the South African flag.

By Ronan Morgan

I had just arrived in Denmark after a 13-hour flight from South Africa, tired, but not exhausted. I was excited and ready to face a year of surprises and challenges as a Rotary Youth Exchange student from District 9400. It was not until I moved into my new home where I would spend the first five months of my exchange that it fully hit me – I was not in Johannesburg anymore, or anywhere familiar. Continue reading

Why use e-learning?

160122_aldredBy Wendy Aldred, a member of the Rotary Club of Brampton & Longtown, and assistant governor for District 1190 (England)

Several years ago, I became part of the Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland E-Learning Team, developing online courses for Rotary members. I am now leading the project and working with staff at Rotary International to develop courses for Rotary’s Learning Center, where Rotary members can find a wealth of online training materials. Continue reading