7 tips to growing membership

Members of the Rotary Club of Collierville with the Non Profit of the Year Award they received from the Chamber of Commerce for their service projects in the community.

By Dave Rhylander, president of the Rotary Club of Collierville, Tennessee, USA

Is it possible to grow your club in the midst of a pandemic? We have found the answer to be a resounding yes. Despite all the challenges that COVID-19 has presented to Rotary clubs and the entire world, really, there are ways to excite members, engage in service, and through creativity attract people who are interested in joining us as people of action.

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What would you do? Serve now or later

By Rotary magazine staff

Every month in Rotary magazine, we showcase answers to ethical questions that members might face in their Rotary clubs, to help members share best practices with each other as they make their clubs stronger. Below is the ethical challenge we will tackle in the August issue of the magazine.

Your club has been flexible in finding ways to meet and participate in service virtually. Your club president wishes to continue to innovate and has tasked a committee that you chair with creating a new service opportunity each month for club members to take part in, either virtually or in person if it is safe. However, there is reluctance among your fellow committee members, who wish to wait until after the pandemic has ended to work on creating new opportunities for engagement and volunteering. What would you do?

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What every Rotary club should know about running Virtual/In-Person meetings

By Jim Marggraff, Entrepreneur and Member of the Rotary Club of Lamorinda Sunrise, California, USA

Four years ago, my wife MJ surprised me with an unearthly question. “How can we keep Mars-bound astronauts connected with their loved ones on Earth?”

This question sparked a journey, though not yet to Mars… Instead, I embarked on a journey to understand social isolation on Earth, to develop new ways to connect remote loved ones using advanced technologies, to found another company, my seventh, Kinoo.family, and to become even more deeply engaged with Rotary!

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Why zone partnerships work

A frame from the Big West Rotary’s training session for district leaders.

By David Bobanick and Jim Bell, Rotary public image coordinators (United States)

As Rotary leaders, none of us work in a vacuum. Big West Rotary (Zones 26 and 27, western United States) created a model to leverage the collective knowledge and expertise of its coordinator team to train and support district and club leaders in membership, the Foundation, public image, and other areas. We think building a collaborative, multi-zone model to enhance training and support could be beneficial to your districts, as well.

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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.

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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?

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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