Turn your fundraiser into a socially-distanced moneymaker

Rotarian Mike Pollard confers with volunteer Janie Griffin about the price of an item at the barn sale.

By Marty Peak Helman, Rotary Zone 32 Innovative Club Associate 

The Rotary Club of Boothbay Harbor, Maine, in my district has held an annual fundraiser every summer, selling donated items during a live auction the first weekend in August. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the club, like many others, faced a problem:

How can a club hold a fundraiser during the pandemic, when traditional sponsors are facing economic hardship, community members have little extra to share, and social distancing alters the rules of what is possible?

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Public image in the age of COVID-19

By Laura Spear, assistant Rotary Public Image Coordinator for Zone 32

How can your club promote your activities and service projects if almost all of it is virtual today? Your club’s website and social media channels are now more important than ever.

Many clubs are meeting virtually, using tools like Zoom, WebEx, and GoToMeeting. Capture a screen image of your members and post it on your digital channels to show that your club remains active. Post club bulletins and newsletters to update your members and community on your club’s activities, even if you aren’t meeting in person. Consistent communication with both members and the public is essential for keeping your club visible in your community. Continue reading

Rotaractor’s app separates pandemic fact from fiction

Members of the Rotaract Club of Dehli Rajdhani test features of the app, designed to provide users with reliable information through a computer-simulated chat.

By Uday Nanda, past president Rotaract Club of Dehli Rajdhani, New Dehli, India

As a social entrepreneur in New Dehli, India, I have been watching the overload of information coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. It can be hard to sort out good information from bad. People have been misled by false news and inaccurate claims. As a member of Rotaract who has received recognition as a product designer in the fields of education and technology, I wanted to do something to help people sort fact from fiction.

With the support of my Rotaract club, I set out to design a Chatbot that could answer people’s questions about the pandemic. A Chabot is a software application that simulates an online text conversation with a live person. You can ask questions and receive information as if you are chatting with a real person, only via artificial intelligence. Continue reading

Do more than ever through strategic planning

Ley Waggoner and Pam Carvey present new project initiatives at a meeting in February.

By George Ritcheske, a member of the Rotary Club of Coppell, Texas, USA

The power of strategic planning was on display, and I could not have been more excited. It was a Saturday morning in February, before the pandemic forced us all into stay-at-home mode. I was facilitating the ninth-annual planning event for the Rotary Club of Park Cities, Texas, with 39 members in attendance for the half day session. They had signed up to craft strategic action plans for 2020-21, the third year of a three-year strategic plan. This was a quarter of their membership! Continue reading

Let e-clubs help you get online

Members of the the E-Club of the Caribbean explain how to get online with Zoom during a video presentation.

By Diana White, club treasurer and past governor of Rotary District 7020

During the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, club president Brent Leerdam and members of the E-Club of the Caribbean, provided immediate support to the family of Rotary clubs across our district. The club offered to setup meeting times for other clubs using the club’s Zoom account until these clubs could make online arrangements for themselves. The goal was to make sure clubs lost no time maintaining their routine of weekly fellowship meeting. A second goal was to empower clubs to immediately create action plans to support their community, all within a safe online environment. Continue reading

Ideas for staying connected during social distancing

Ingrid Waugh

By Ingrid Waugh, Assistant Rotary Coordinator and Past Governor of Rotary District 9920

During this time of physical separation and social distancing, it is more important than ever to keep our social connections. Rotarians join Rotary to do good in their community. They stay because of the connections they make. Our relationships are important, and we need to strengthen the ones we have and to build new ones. What might this look like in our changed world? Continue reading

Resolve to protect the Rotary brand in the new year

Amanda Wendt

Amanda Wendt

By Amanda Wendt, vice chair of the RI Communications Committee and a member of the Rotary Club of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

I recently saw a story on television about a West Papuan woman who received life-changing facial surgery to fix a a deformity which had caused her a lifetime of struggling to eat, drink and speak. Members of the Rotary Club of Liverpool West and Bendigo Strathdale flew the woman to Australia for the surgery. I was instinctively moved to share the story immediately with my network, congratulating the team involved and expressing how truly proud I was at that moment to be a Rotarian.

I’m sure many of my fellow Rotary members can relate to this feeling. We’ve all experienced pride when our Rotarian friends locally or abroad have helped change the world. But this instance made me realize that we have something else that communicates that sense of pride and it is valuable to preserve and promote. Continue reading

How to be innovative with People of Action campaign

People of Action campaign assets are available in the Brand Center.

By Ron Janssen, governor of District 6980 (Florida, USA)

Our People of Action campaign tells the world Rotarians are people of action. But are we as district leaders being people of action when it comes to that very campaign?

Faced with a tight budget, many district leaders think there is little room in their spending plan for discretionary items like People of Action ads. The campaign is designed to increase awareness in Rotary and our humanitarian efforts. The desired result is membership growth, which ultimately grows dues and our budget. So isn’t it ironic that it is among the last things we tend to fund? Continue reading

4 lessons from launching a Rotaract club

Working with your sponsoring Rotary club is critical for a Rotaract Club’s success. Here, Austrian Rotaractors build homes for those affected by the war in Bosnia as part of an intergenerational project. Photo by Stefan Fürtbauer © Rotary International. All Rights Reserved.

By Lauren Smyser, president, Rotaract Club of Treasure Valley, Boise, Idaho, USA

Last year was both exciting and challenging for our club because we officially received our charter. With any new thing, there’s a lot to figure out. We have many people to thank, who I’ll note at the end. The year also taught us many valuable lessons, but four in particular, that we hope to use to improve our club going forward. Continue reading

Newest addition to the Brand Center

Screenshot of the Power in Our Connections video. You can find it in the Brand Center.

By RI’s social & digital team

Have you visited the Brand Center lately? We’ve added a new video, “Power in Our Connections,” that you can share on social media. By doing so, you become part of our public image campaign, helping us show how we are People of Action. Continue reading