Why I finally joined a Rotary club

Erin Maloney watching a recording of the 2020 Virtual Convention on her laptop. (On screen is her brother, 2019-20 Rotary International President Mark D. Maloney

By Erin Maloney

Until this summer, I had never really thought about joining a Rotary club. Even though I have been involved with service – from anti-domestic violence issues to giving music lessons – for all of my adult life, I was not interested in the traditional model of Rotary (with weekly meetings).

Living in Turkey, I was becoming more interested in reducing human trafficking, as I was concerned that female university students from abroad were being “groomed.” After the COVID-19 pandemic, however, it became more difficult to address this issue. Continue reading

Sunrise after Dark increases Rotary’s diversity in Louisiana

Sunrise After Dark members

New members of the Sunrise after Dark satellite club during an induction ceremony earlier this year.

By Tracey Antee, past president of the Rotary Club of Opelousas Sunrise, Louisiana, USA

During my tenure as club president in 2019-20, I made a goal of starting a satellite club that would meet after regular business hours, hence the name Sunrise after Dark. A young professional group in the community just ended, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to reach out to these individuals and invite them to join Rotary, within the ease provided by the satellite format. Continue reading

Hybrid meetings keep all members engaged

Hybrid meeting setup

A hybrid meeting setup with a webcam on a dampened tripod, a laptop, and a projector.

By Patrick Eakes, Zone 33 Rotary Coordinator

Patrick Eakes

Patrick Eakes

In our area, the global pandemic arrived like an unwelcome dinner guest. Within a matter of days after the first local case of COVID-19, my Rotary club’s meeting location closed, and gatherings of 50 or more people were prohibited (my club has over 100 members). Face-to-face Rotary meetings came to an almost immediate halt.

David Stovall and Stephanie Urchick, Rotary International Directors, and Director-elect Peter Kyle immediately set up online meetings for all Rotary members in Zones 33 and 34 to attend. They held these meetings twice each week and posted recordings on social media, setting an explicit example for district and club leaders of how they could maintain and strengthen the engagement of Rotary members even during a pandemic. Continue reading

Embracing a new Rotary

Editor’s note: The pandemic has challenged the way our clubs operate, but it has also presented some opportunities. A Rotaract club shares lessons they have learned from virtual meetings.

Kennedy Gayah

By Kennedy Gayah, Rotaract Club of Nairobi Central, Kenya

Members of Rotary and Rotaract enjoy the comfort, love, and unity they experience during a club meeting, whether it be sharing a meal, enjoying a drink, or chatting with friends who have become like family. Our in-person meetings have been a principle means of connection. But COVID-19 has changed all that. We have been forced to be innovative, creative, and flexible to recreate the camaraderie of our clubs. This is a blessing in disguise. Continue reading

Ideas for staying connected during social distancing

Ingrid Waugh

By Ingrid Waugh, Assistant Rotary Coordinator and Past Governor of Rotary District 9920

During this time of physical separation and social distancing, it is more important than ever to keep our social connections. Rotarians join Rotary to do good in their community. They stay because of the connections they make. Our relationships are important, and we need to strengthen the ones we have and to build new ones. What might this look like in our changed world? 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

Why Passport clubs work

Gold Coast Passport Rotary Club

Gold Coast Passport Rotary Club of District 9640 at Karma Collab Hub in June.

By Jayde Purnell, Gold Coast Passport Rotary Club, District 9640 (Australia)

A passport Rotary club is designed to attract a diverse demographic, and from my perspective, it’s working. On the last Tuesday of each month, I merrily waltz my way into Karma Collab Hub for an evening of wine, cheese, laughter and community impact; all in the company of great friends and with the guidance of Rotary members from local clubs. It’s unlike any community I’ve ever experienced, and I’ve come to realise that my Rotary badge is consistently (and quite unintentionally) accompanied by a wide grin. 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