How we set up a Rotaract club in a refugee settlement

A Rotary team visited the Nakivale Rotaract Club in January (select cc for English subtitles)

By Francis Xavier Sentamu, District 9211 (Uganda) governor-elect

When I first saw a story on BBC in the spring of 2016 about the Nakivale Refugee settlement, I didn’t give it much thought. It was distant to me. Somewhat coincidentally, I attended a “changemaker” event that November organized by the American Refugee Committee, where 13 youth from the Nakivale Refugee settlement were being honored for their project ideas to impact the refugee community. Continue reading

How accessible is your club?

Shogo Williams-Matsuka, left, attends a club event in 2016. Williams-Matsuka says he joined Rotary partly to improve the representation of people with disabilities in community groups.

By Shogo Williams-Matsuoka, president-elect, Rotary E-club of Western Australia

My life as a Rotarian began in 2014, when I became a member of the Rotary Club of Cockburn in Western Australia. Since then, I have joined the Rotary E-club of Western Australia and am the current president-elect for 2019-2020. My involvement in Rotary is motivated by the need to do more to improve the representation of people with disabilities in community organisations. Often people with disability are portrayed as the passive recipients of charity, undermining our capability to provide meaningful contributions to society. Continue reading

What value does your club have for young professionals?

Michael Walstrom

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of blog posts celebrating Membership Month.

By Michael Walstrom, president of the Rotary Club of Downtown Boca Raton, Florida  

Rotary, like any business, has customers. For us, those customers are our members and we must provide value to assure satisfied customers. The key to attracting and retaining young professional “customers” is presenting a Value Proposition that is attractive. Continue reading

Bringing the Rotary family closer together

Albert E. Kafka, Founder Intarconnect, Rotary Club of Wien-Oper

Change is the only constant in life. No matter how prepared we think we are for it, transition can be challenging. Closing the exciting chapter of our lives as members of Rotaract and moving on to the new adventures that await us in Rotary can be difficult. As a young person, how do we fit in?

I recently joined the Rotary Club of Wien-Oper, in which the average age is high, and there are many experienced people in the club. A desire to help others through this difficulty and to promote true unity among Rotarians led Peter Rabensteiner and I to create Intarconnect. Continue reading

Is it time for a re-read of Rotary?

Elizabeth Usovicz

By Elizabeth Usovicz, Public Image Coordinator for Zone 31

English was not my father’s first language. And like a lot of second language learners, he was an avid reader. He especially liked Conrad and Melville and read their bodies of work not once but several times during his life. As a young man, it was not uncommon for him to drop my mother off at her home after a date and head for a neighborhood diner, book in hand, to read and drink coffee until the night waitress closed up and shooed him home. Continue reading

How our club attracts and retains alumni as members

Members of the Dupont Circle Rotary Club at a tree planting event.

By Mandy Warfield, president, and Emma Satzger, membership coordinator, Rotary Club of Dupont Circle, Washington D.C., USA

The Rotary Club of Dupont Circle was started six years ago by a group of Rotary alumni, and since then, the club has grown to include many other facets of the community, including individuals who have not had any previous experience with Rotary. Continue reading

How we added younger members with an evening group

Stratford-Upon-Avon club members prepare for the Shakespeare Duck Race.

By Jonathan Craig, secretary of the Rotary Club of Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England

Our club meets at lunch and has a membership that is mostly retired. We do have a few younger members who have their own businesses or retired early, but gone are the days when employers encouraged their local bank managers to take two hour lunches. We began to be seen as a club that wasn’t a good fit for young working people. So it became a strategic goal for our club (and also for RIBI) to attract younger members and also more women. Continue reading

Ideas Factory sheds light on club innovation

A facilitator leads the discussion during the Ideas Factory.

By Daniel Vankov, president of the Rotary Club of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

At the Rotary Club of Brisbane, we attempt to be the motor behind major community initiatives in our community, in Queensland, and beyond. As members, we have a duty to continue our impact and expand it. Getting a good measure of the club, our strengths and weaknesses, so we can build on them is not easy. For humans, we can look in a mirror to do a self-assessment. At least externally. But organizations don’t have it so easy. We knew we needed to create the right mirror to get a good look inside our club. Continue reading

The key to pitching Rotary to young professionals

Michael Walstrom leads a presentation on attracting young professionals into Rotary.

By Michael Walstrom, president-elect of the Rotary Club of Downtown Boca Raton, Florida  

I think most would agree that Rotary has struggled to attract and retain young professionals. At a district conference in 2016, my district governor, Eric Gordon, asked me to put together a program for “YP” development. This was a new committee, so I was starting from scratch. I was 38 at the time and two years into my Rotary journey. The only thing I really knew was that I had a lot to learn. Continue reading

Growing Rotary knows no borders

Inauguration evening in Pentyrch, Wales, 6 February 2018.

By Tony Quinn, Rotary Coordinator 

Recently, I attended a memorable event, the inauguration of a 15-member satellite club, Garth, in South Wales District 1150. What is unique about this satellite is that it is being hosted by my own club of Chelwood Bridge, which is in District 1200. How is that so? Continue reading