People are asking to join, why are we ignoring them?

Rotarians in District 7070 package bags with items for childrens’ birthday parties to be delivered to local food banks.

By Bob Wallace, Rotary Coordinator for Zone 24 East and a member of the Rotary Club of Port Hope, Ontario, Canada

At our zone institute in Winnipeg, I saw a presentation about Rotary’s membership leads program and how districts are receiving many requests from the program but not following up on the leads.

Later, I was at Rotary headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA, for training as a Rotary Coordinator, and Brian King, RI Director of Membership Development, pointed out to us how failing to follow up on these leads represented a major public image failure. Think about it. A person makes contact with you, and you totally ignore them? What does that say about your organization?  Continue reading

Rotary is a family that unites

Wilson in South Africa

Mark Wilson during his Rotary Youth Exchange in South Africa.

By Mark Wilson, Rotary Club of London

After a long flight from London, I arrived in Durban, South Africa, in 2011 to begin a short-term Rotary Youth Exchange, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Canterbury Sunrise and hosted by Westville Rotary. I did not know what or who would be greeting me, so I had a bit of anxiety which I can clearly remember to this day. Continue reading

When I give to Rotary, I get so much more back

161027_witkowski1

Stephanie Witkowski, middle in blue shirt, during her Rotary Youth Exchange in Slovakia. 

By Stephanie Witkowski, Rotary Club of Honolulu Pau Hana

At 28 years old, I decided to become a Rotarian, because Rotary changed my life.

I grew up in a small town in Oregon, USA, and was a young leader in my school. When I was 15 years old, I applied to attend a Rotary Youth Leadership Awards event in Rotary’s District 5110 to learn more about myself and what leadership meant to me. During that amazing week-long experience, I learned not only about how to be a better leader for my school and community, but about Rotary itself.  Continue reading

Winning big with chess and Rotary

A mother plays a game of chess with her son.

Mother and son enjoy a game of chess as part of the Rotary Club of Point Fortin project.

By Jo-Anne Nina Sewlal, a member of the Rotary Club of Point Fortin, Trinidad, West Indies

I have always had an interest in chess. So I was thrilled when Raymond Aaron, project coordinator of the “Chess in Schools” project and a past president of my Rotary club, invited me to be on the project committee. Our project is introducing primary and secondary school children to the game of chess.

When I joined Rotary in January, it was a life changing experience for me. I come from a background in academia, which can be quite isolating, no matter how hard you try for it not to be. So joining my Rotary club helped me get reconnected to my community.   Continue reading

Surefire ways to welcome new members

New Member Welcome KitBy Wally Bobkiewicz, a member of the Rotary Club of Evanston, Illinois, USA

This year, our club has been working to enhance how we welcome and orient new members.

Through this effort, we learned of a resource available on shop.rotary.org — a New Member Welcome Kit containing just a few items, all of which are updated to reflect Rotary’s visual identity. This kit is intended to be supplemented with club-specific materials that highlight our membership and our impact in the community. Continue reading