Virtual tour of One Rotary Center shines

Vision Statement display and seating area in the west atrium on the 18th floor of Rotary International World Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA.

By Bruce Baumberger, 2010-11 governor of District 6440 (northern Illinois, USA)

As one of the two Rotary clubs normally conducting club meetings at One Rotary Center in Evanston, Illinois, USA, members of the Rotary Club of Evanston Lighthouse were touched by General Secretary John Hewko’s inspirational tour of Rotary World Headquarters. Seeing Room 711, the location of the first Rotary meeting, was a reminder that club members later this year will once again walk by it on our way to club meetings, just as we did prior to the pandemic. Continue reading

Why you should care about Rotary branding

By Liz Thiam, Rotary brand specialist

As a Rotary brand specialist, I see Rotary signs everywhere. I guess you could say it’s an occupational hazard. Even my children spot Rotary signs wherever we go. So when I attended a local Rotary event in my hometown last year, I couldn’t help but notice how Rotary’s logo was being used. Continue reading

3 ingredients to keep members happy

Members of the Metro Bethesda Rotary Club enjoy a service project.

By Barton Goldenberg, member of the Metro Bethesda Rotary Club, Maryland, USA

I had the pleasure to be invited recently to an online Rotary discussion regarding member apathy. We were two past district governors, an assistant governor, two past club presidents – one from a large club and one from a smaller club— and a community service chair from a large club.

The topic was why some (many?) Rotarians are reluctant to participate or get involved in Rotary activities. Based on a district-wide survey of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic I facilitated in June at the end of my governor year (results are posted on our district website), we knew we would be facing membership challenges this Rotary year, particularly around member engagement. Continue reading

3 ways to create a harassment-free zone at Rotary

Katey Halliday

By Katey Halliday

We have no place for harassment in Rotary. People won’t join or stay if they are exposed to harassment.

Rotary’s policy on maintaining a harassment-free environment at meetings, events, and activities makes it clear that harassment will not be tolerated. It even stipulates that all Rotary leaders, including club presidents, shall be provided with annual training on Rotary International’s policies on the topic. Continue reading

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?

Continue reading

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