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

Rotary EcoClub offers diversity, variety

By Steve Solbrack –District 5950 New Club Development Chair and a member of the Twin Cities Rotary EcoClub, Minnesota, USA

We chartered our new Rotary club in February 2019 with 25 members and a focus on the environment. The EcoClub is a non-traditional format designed to attract a segment of the population not currently served by traditional clubs. We began with 48 percent of our members as women, 44 percent under the age of 40, and an average age of 42. In North America, those demographics are unheard of in a service organization of any kind. Continue reading

Innovation through Rotary

Rotaractors

RI President Barry Rassin and Rotary directors with Rotaractors at the Rotaract Turns 50 Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.

By Alexandria Ritchie, a member of the Rotaract Club of Virginia Commonwealth University and the Rotary Club of James River, Richmond, Virginia, USA

Both Rotary and Rotaract have contributed so much to who I am as a young person. The spirit of innovation that I’ve found in this family has been instrumental to my journey.

During my very first meeting as a member of an Interact club, I listened as our faculty adviser talked about the project the club had just finished. They had raised funds to provide livestock to a family in South America. The livestock would benefit the family for years to come because it would help provide goods that they could sell in a local market for profit. I remember thinking how amazing and different this type of service seemed.  Looking back, I now realize that I was falling in love with this idea of sustainability. Continue reading

10 things we can all do to grow Rotary

Gary Bennett

By Gary Bennett, past president of the Rotary Club of Kelowna and current member of the Sunrise Rotary Club of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

I read with great interest what President-elect Mark Daniel Maloney had to say about growing Rotary in the March issue of The Rotarian. He is spot on. Healthy membership is the life blood of any organization and Rotary is no exception. Because we all benefit from a thriving membership, all of us share a responsibility to help grow Rotary and bring in new members. President-elect Mark’s emphasis on growing Rotary is a welcome reminder of our opportunity to help. Continue reading

Returned Peace Corps volunteers make great members

Chief Matari and Charlie Masilae Hunt

Charlie Masilae Hunt, right, and Ben Matari, chief of the village in Vanuatu where Hunt served as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

By Charlie Masilae Hunt, Rotary Club of Denver LoDo, Denver, Colorado

Imagine increasing your club membership by 50 percent in just one month. That is what my club did this past January. As a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) and a member of Rotary, I have had a dream for some time now of recruiting returned Peace Corps volunteers into our club. It is a natural fit. The focuses of both organizations are almost identical. So recruiting returned volunteers is certainly logical. Our club just had an induction ceremony adding ten newly returned volunteers to our membership. Continue reading

What do beer, brats, and Rotary have in common?

The Rotary Club of Madison South is known throughout the community for its Brat Stand.

By Angela Lingle and Ginny Olson, Rotary Club of Madison South, Wisconsin, USA

More than four decades ago, our club was facing disappointing returns on its staple fundraising events, a turkey shoot and light bulb sale, when inspiration hit. This is a story about how knowing your community, perseverance, and a little bit of luck can turn around just about any fundraising fortune and help a Rotary club raise money for projects while building awareness of Rotary.

Continue reading

4 dynamite ways to find new members

The Wenatchee Confluence Rotary Club’s new members class of October 2018. Membership chair Rob Tidd says do something to make new members feel special, like framing their certificates and interviewing them during their induction.

By Rob Tidd, District 5060 membership chair and member of the Rotary Club of Wenatchee Confluence, Wenatchee, Washington, USA

In January, we had 61 members in our club, an increase of about 40 percent from the beginning of the Rotary year in July, when we had 43. Our success has been based on two ingredients: encouraging friendships and promoting fun in Rotary.

But just as important to our growth has been a systematic and continuous follow up with potential new members. Too often a potential new member is approached once and then forgotten. Every club needs a champion or champions willing to take the extra time to stay in communication with every potential new member. I am often asked where I find all these potential new members. Our sources grow as we come up with new ideas. Below are some of the practical ways we have found members: Continue reading