How I found support and acceptance in my Rotary club

By Monica Mulholland, Rotary Club of Queenstown, New Zealand

When I made the decision to come out as transgender to my Rotary club, my wife and I were worried that we would be shunned by our community and lose many of our friends, including those in the Rotary club. It is common for transgender people to lose half their friends and half their family when they come out. But we couldn’t have been happier with the acceptance and support we received from club members. Continue reading

Mock interview project benefits more than just job seekers

Members of the Rotary Club of Silverdale interview a job seeker (left, back to camera)

By Cathy Bisaillon, President & CEO of Easterseals Washington, and a member of the Rotary Club of Silverdale, Washington, USA. Video and photos by Steven Boe, Rotary Club of Silverdale

When I shared with my fellow Rotarians last fall that 70 percent of people with disabilities are unemployed or under-employed, in spite of a national labor shortage, we decided to take action. Our club has a diverse membership, and it values a diverse workforce. By pulling from District 5030’s Partners for Work Program, we organized a high-energy mock interview  during our club’s meeting on 31 January. Continue reading

3 ways to make your club more inclusive

By Katey Halliday, Rotaract Club of Adelaide City and the Rotary Club of Adelaide Light, South Australia, Australia

Rotary recently adopted a diversity, equity, and inclusion policy that sends a strong message that we embrace inclusivity. Rotary has clubs all over the world and reaches a broad range of people with our service projects. So we are already diverse, but a second ingredient, inclusion, is the key to unlocking and maintaining the full benefits of that diversity. How inclusive is your club? Continue reading

Birth of a new Rotary club: a satellite success story

Members of the Y Garth club at its charter event.

By Douglas Nash, past president of the Rotary Club of Chelwood Bridge, England

A while ago, when my good friend Charles and I started talking about Rotary and the possibility of him becoming a member, he was a little apprehensive.

That is until I explained that Rotary has gone through a number of changes, keeping our core values but embracing the idea of flexibility: that all clubs need not have the same structure, dress code, or event schedule. These changes are embraced in the concept of satellite clubs. Continue reading

5-year plan to increase membership

Rotary and Rotaract members in Taipei, Taiwan, take part in an after-hours service project. Creating a separate after-hour meeting can be an effective strategy to attract members your main group isn’t reaching.

By Galen Engel, Rotary Club of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, USA

When I first became a member, I was interested in membership. I was new and didn’t know many people in the club and the incoming president asked me to be Sergeant at Arms. It’s a good way to get to know everybody and it’s fun.

In the club of 65 members, the same 10 people seemed to be the ones that were involved in everything. I thought it would be an easy job to engage the whole group and get the rest of them involved. After eight months, I had some success, but not as much as I had thought. It became apparent that it would be easier to build a new group to attract a younger and more vibrant membership base. Continue reading

New Voices club charts its own course

RI Director Jeffry Cadorette, left, with members of the Rotary Club of New Voices.

By Marty Peak Helman, growth chair for District 7780 (parts of Maine and New Hampshire, USA )

A new Rotary club, New Voices, was chartered 15 June in my district with 33 new members. What makes this club unique is that the newly-minted Rotarians – who range in age from 18 to 30 – are all graduates of the district’s phenomenal Rotary Youth Leadership Awards program. Continue reading

What is inspiration?

The Rotary Club of Kingsville Southshore, Ontario, Canada, involves children in all club activities.

By Stacey Jones, Rotary Club of Kingsville Southshore, Ontario, Canada

What is inspiration? To me it means that we are so moved by something, that we are compelled to act. Almost without a conscious thought.

That was my experience in Italy in the summer of 2018. While attending an event at the Coliseum, I had the opportunity to speak to Connie Nielsen about her charity called the Human Needs Project. They work primarily in the slums of Nairobi assisting people with the very basics of human needs. And as I stood there, literally rubbing elbows with these celebrities listening to them speak so passionately about their charity work; and staring out into the city from this private gala, I couldn’t help but question what I was doing with my life. And so at that moment my question became my answer. Continue reading

New Rotary club models enhance connections

Munkhtuul Nyamdorf, from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, checks out the four priorities of Rotary’s new strategic plan in the Future of Rotary Booth during the 2019 Rotary International Convention in Hamburg. Photo by Monika Lozinska/Rotary International

By Jessie Harman, chair of the Rotary International Membership Committee and a member of the Rotary Club of Wendouree Breakfast, Victoria, Australia

Rotary’s new strategic plan is underpinned by four key priorities – to increase our impact, expand our reach, enhance participant engagement, and increase our ability to adapt. The emergence of new club models is evidence that Rotary clubs and districts are working actively to advance these priorities. Continue reading

Stories, not stats, attract people to Rotary

Joe Otin

By Joe Otin, governor-elect of Rotary District 9212 (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan)

I gravitate naturally to statistics despite the negative feelings some people have about them. I think that information is the fuel that our world runs on and without it our systems will sputter, stall, and shut down. That is because statistics are significant in decision making.

When I joined the Rotary Club of Nairobi East, Kenya, 19 years ago, I was told that good Rotarians were defined by the regularity of their attendance, the frequency of their gifts to The Rotary Foundation, and most importantly by their ability to introduce new members to the club. Continue reading

Secrets to growing a new Rotary club

By Corey Lopardi, membership development chair for District 5020 (parts of British Columbia, Canada, and Washington, USA)

Recently, I had the pleasure of  interviewing the newest club president in our district who moved to a small town of 1,770 and started a brand new Rotary club with 42 members. They grew to almost 50 members in just over 30 days. Continue reading