How we grew our club by saying no to domestic violence

Rotary Baton relay
Rotary clubs in New South Wales delivered a message against domestic violence during the baton relay event marking 100 years of Rotary in Australia and New Zealand.

By David Harmon, president, Rotary Club of Ballina on Richmond, New South Wales, Australia

If we want to reverse the decline in membership that many clubs have been experiencing the last 10 years, we need to have a cause that engages our members and communities. With this in mind, our Rotary club created a focus group three years ago that searched for an issue that would make a real difference in our community. After carefully consideration we decided to adopt a project to address domestic violence and family abuse. Since our involvement in this project, we have grown from 31 members to 76 members.

Continue reading

My escapades during the pandemic lockdown

Rotary member Su Boertje, right, delivers supplies to The Baby House in Westville, South Africa.

By Su Boertje, membership and PR chair, Rotary Club of Westville, South Africa

In April, I learned that the Baby House in Westville, South Africa, a safe house for abandoned babies, desperately needed basic supplies. Due to the country-wide lockdown, donations had all but dried up, and the two house mothers and 10 babies (aged 1 week to 23 months) needed help.

”Not all super heroes wear capes,” I thought to myself, “some wear Rotary badges!” So I contacted our club treasurer to see if I could spend some of my PR budget to assist and they agreed. Continue reading

No use crying over spilled milk

Martin Cohn holds up containers of Green Mountain Yogurt made from surplus milk.

By Martin Cohn, past president of the Rotary Club of Brattleboro, Vermont, USA 

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vermont dairy farmers were in trouble. With the close of colleges and restaurants, there was too much supply of milk. This excess was headed to be spilled into mudholes. At the same time, the need to help food-insecure families was increasing. How could food that was being wasted reach people who needed food?

That’s when I heard about a project where the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets was coordinating an effort to recover raw milk from being disposed of while creating a new, temporary food supply for Vermont Foodbank. In collaboration with the Vermont Community Foundation, $60,000 was made available to purchase this milk for the benefit of Vermonters. These efforts were particularly important as Vermont’s dairy industry, like all sectors, had been challenged by COVID-19 but remain essential to the state’s food supply. However, more money was needed. Continue reading

How to be innovative with People of Action campaign

People of Action campaign assets are available in the Brand Center.

By Ron Janssen, governor of District 6980 (Florida, USA)

Our People of Action campaign tells the world Rotarians are people of action. But are we as district leaders being people of action when it comes to that very campaign?

Faced with a tight budget, many district leaders think there is little room in their spending plan for discretionary items like People of Action ads. The campaign is designed to increase awareness in Rotary and our humanitarian efforts. The desired result is membership growth, which ultimately grows dues and our budget. So isn’t it ironic that it is among the last things we tend to fund? Continue reading

Newest addition to the Brand Center

Screenshot of the Power in Our Connections video. You can find it in the Brand Center.

By RI’s social & digital team

Have you visited the Brand Center lately? We’ve added a new video, “Power in Our Connections,” that you can share on social media. By doing so, you become part of our public image campaign, helping us show how we are People of Action. Continue reading

How to master Rotary’s public image campaign

Pat O'Donnell

Pat O’Donnell

By Pat O’Donnell, Rotary Club of Olathe, Kansas, USA

The People of Action campaign is all about showing and telling the public who Rotary really is – a group of people that unites for good and actually roll up their sleeves and do meaningful projects that help their communities.

I know a little about getting the message out, having worked in broadcast journalism. So I naturally got excited when, as the public image chair for my district, I had the chance to coordinate a People of Action media buy covering four Rotary districts in my home region of Kansas and northwest Missouri, USA.   Continue reading

Our top stories of 2018

Rotary clubs of Guernsey and Guernesiais light the Government House purple for end polio.

Throughout the year, Rotary members have shared their inspiring stories here on our blog. As the year draws to a close, we wanted to take a moment to look back at some of the top posts of the year (based on views). Thank you for sharing, and keep telling Rotary’s story! Continue reading

7 tips for creating compelling social media content

Harvard Community Garden

Elizabeth Sanchez and her mother, Reina Montes, harvest vegetables from a community garden in Harvard, Illinois, a  project of the local Rotary club. Use photos like these in your social media posts to show Rotarians as People of Action, and clearly address the problem, solution, and impact. Photo by Monika Lozinska/Rotary International

By Ashley Demma, social & digital specialist for Rotary International

It’s hard to believe that social media has been around for more than twenty years. From the early days of crafting the perfect AIM away message in the late ‘90s to the rise of sharing photography on Instagram … social media has certainly come a long way and continues to evolve. It’s important to remember why we started getting “social” in the first place: to connect with one another.

Sharing stories that show Rotarians as People of Action on social media is an easy and effective way to amplify your club’s success to the world and build awareness and understanding of what we do. Below are 7 tips to create engaging social media content: Continue reading

How to improve your photography: telling Rotary’s story in pictures

Rotarians and Rotaractors plant mangrove trees at Bonefish Pond National Park in Nassau.

By Alyce Henson, Rotary International staff photographer

Over the last year, I have worked on a few assignments highlighting club projects in Nassau, Bahamas, and Seattle, Washington, USA. Each project demonstrates how Rotarians take action to solve problems in their own communities. These type of projects translate well into visual storytelling content.

My approach to photography remains consistent with the Rotary brand: I strive to make authentic images that represent the values and personality of Rotary. Because of this, I am able to create appealing images that tell a bigger story – one that reflects the projects and people who make the world a better place.

Using photography to tell a story can become complex and challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. By following a few guidelines, having a focused mindset, and applying a bit of confidence, you can take great pictures with less intimidation. Below are some photo tips based on recent images I took in Nassau and Seattle. Try these, and you might be surprised what you can capture. Continue reading

Helping the homeless, one tiny house at a time

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Editor’s note: World Homeless Day, 10 October, is an opportunity to educate people about homelessness and raise awareness in your community.  

By John Matthews, Rotary International Vice President 2018-19 and member of the Rotary Club of Mercer Island, Washington, USA. Photos by Alyce Henson/Rotary International

Spending the night under the stars sounds romantic. But for hundreds of thousands of Americans, it’s the exact opposite. It’s not a choice; it’s an unpleasant reality that can quickly become detrimental to one’s life. And it happens more often than most people with a roof over their heads might think – 553,742 people were homeless on a single night in 2017. Alarmed by the growing homeless population in our city, my club and I felt compelled to take action. Continue reading