The Four-Way Test isn’t a tool to judge others

Martin Postic Jr.

Martin Postic Jr.

By Martin “Marty” Postic Jr., past governor of District 5750 and a member of the Rotary Club of OKC Sunrise, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

In our contentious society, I see friends who are members of Rotary use The Four-Way Test to support opposing political and social arguments and to criticize the thoughts, statements, and actions of others. I see members with completely opposing viewpoints use the same Four-Way Test to both support their argument and demean others. Rotarians and others are using all forms of social media to share their opinions about perceived violations of The Four-Way Test, causing others to pile on additional comments and insults, all with little thought to how this affects our public image.

Which leads me to this basic premise: Continue reading

Leaders, members must work together for an effective club

AP Singh

Amrit Pal Singh

By Amrit Pal Singh, immediate past president, Rotary Club Chandigarh, India

For a Rotary club to be effective, it must be active in all avenues of service. It must also create a positive public image and be a catalyst for promoting peace and understanding globally. The key to achieving this lies in the members. Without members, there is no club, and without effective members, clubs cannot be effective. Continue reading

How we created five new clubs in under a year

Shah and Bhatt

Vikash Shah with Sharmila Bhatt, 2018-19 governor of District 9211, at a club event.

By Vikash Shah, Rotary Club of Dar es Salaam Oyster Bay, Tanzania

My year as Rotary club president was approaching, and I knew I had to do something substantial to leave my mark. I had participated in a district team training seminar by our district governor, Sharmila Bhatt, and was inspired by her vision for growing Rotary. For many years, the growth in District 9211 (Tanzania and Uganda) had come mostly from Uganda. But she saw potential in the “sleeping giant” of Tanzania. It was then that I conceived the bold idea to form not just one, but five new clubs during my year as president. Continue reading

Why Toastmasters benefits Rotary clubs

Toastmasters meeting

Portland Rotary members at a Toastmasters meeting.

Terry Beard

Terry Beard

By Terry Beard, Rotary Club of Portland, Oregon, USA

You may have heard that most people would rather die than give a speech. Public speaking is the number one fear for many people.

For 49 years, I too had a fear of public speaking. It was so bad, I would break out in a sweat. I’d leave the room. I’d find excuses, or ask other people to stand up and speak for me. Anything to avoid having to speak in public. A couple of bad experiences early in my life built up this fear, but I made it my goal to overcome it. Fifteen years ago at the age of 50, I was introduced to Toastmasters by a good friend, and I’ve been a member since. Continue reading

Selma Rotary Club thrives on diversity

Selma club bicycle giveaway

The Selma Rotary Club partners with business leaders to invest in youth.

Jerria Martin

By Jerria Martin, past president of the Rotary Club of Selma, Alabama, USA

Diversity is important to my club, and that’s a big reason why I am a member and past president. My club is a second family to me, one that began investing in me all the way back in 2006.

As a senior in high school, I received a Rotary Scholarship as part of my club’s annual scholarship competition. The program is just one way my club embraces and seeks diversity. We invite a graduating senior from every high school, public and private, from all neighborhoods and walks of life, to share their leadership and service skills with us. Every senior who is chosen receives a scholarship. Continue reading

Want to grow your club? Have a clear mission

Club event

The Friends of Scott-Shiloh Rotary Club holds an event on the air force base.

By Steve Bione, Friends of Scott-Shiloh Rotary Club, Illinois, USA 

A little more than a year ago, I was looking to join Rotary. I wanted to be involved in Rotary but also help out Scott Air Force Base in St. Claire County, near St. Louis, Illinois. The base is a big part of our community, and I knew Rotary could help connect men and women in the service with life outside the base. Continue reading

Why a Satellite Club was right for me

Satellite Rotary Club of London, Ontario, Canada.

Members of the Rotary Satellite Club of London, Ontario, Canada.

By Heather Macdonald, Rotary Satellite Club of London, Ontario, Canada

I was a recent college grad when I moved to a new city and was looking to join an organization where I could meet people my own age who were at the same stage of life that I was in. My parents are both Rotarians, so Rotary was the first organization that came to mind. But I struggled to find a club where I could fit in. Continue reading

Creating a family-friendly vibe with your Rotary club

The Bonfa family at a food drive

The Bonfa family at a club-sponsored food drive to benefit families in South Orange County, California, USA.

By Anabella Bonfa, Rotary Club of Irvine, California, USA, with Anthony Bonfa

My husband and I and our teenage son Anthony all volunteer at 30 or more projects every year. We consider ourselves a Rotary family. All three of us are hands-on because we come from a smart club that engaged our son in Rotary projects at a young age.

We all enjoy Rotary because it gives us a joint activity where we can spend time together with mutual friends, contribute our individual talents, and create a better world. My club went out of their way to include Anthony from day one. This is how he explains it: Continue reading

5 steps to club growth: why membership matters

Ainsley Brown at installation banquet

Ainsley Brown, left, receives his pin as Vocational Service Director from then-president Jemelia Davis at the club’s 2017 installation banquet.

By Ainsley Brown, Rotary Club of St. Andrew, Jamaica

My club, the Rotary Club of St. Andrew, Jamaica, has a storied history. We were chartered in 1966, four years after Jamaica’s independence from the United Kingdom, as the third Rotary club in Jamaica. We have a pioneering spirit as demonstrated by being the first Rotary club in Jamaica to allow women to join.

Rotary is a wonderful global movement that allows individuals to come together and take actions that are an expression of our collective will to make this world a better place. Our members are our greatest strength, and membership matters. But our greatest strength is also our greatest challenge. Like a lot of clubs, we struggle with membership. How do we recruit new members, retain existing members, transition members of Rotaract into Rotary, and re-engage current or former members? Continue reading

Magic potion for membership growth?

Nancy LeonhardtBy Nancy Leonhardt, 2018-19 membership chair for District 6150, Arkansas, USA

When it comes to membership growth, there are no magic potions. Our district was blessed to add more than 65 new members last year, one of only four districts in our zone to have any increase. But I can’t point to just one thing we did that achieved those results. Instead, planning, goal-setting, follow-thru, and hard work on the part of many committed individuals were instrumental in the success we achieved. Continue reading