RI President's Window

9 October–15 OctoberEvanston, IL

Reconnect Week is an opportunity for you to invite Rotary alumni in your community to join you in a celebration or special event that will help strengthen their bond with Rotary. - RI President John Germ in Facebook

RI President in Lebanon

RI President John F Germ - Biography

Whenever John Germ saw a need in his hometown, he engineered a solution. He'll bring the same can-do attitude to the office of RI president.

Champion of Chattanooga

RI Board of Directors

TRF Trustees

What is new

3-H: A Bright New Dawn for the Rotary Foundation

Rotary honors Dr.Sadako Ogata with the 2016-17 Rotary Alumni Global Service Award.

Congratulations to Dr.Sadako Ogata, the former High Commissioner for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, for being awarded the 2016-17 Rotary Alumni Global Service Award by Rotary International. She was a Rotary Foundation scholar in 1951-52 and has since dedicated her life to helping others on an international scale.

John Germ declares Sam Owori president-nominee

Surgeons from India bring relief to underserved patients in Rwanda

Rotary Staff Members Help Keep India Polio-Free

Reasons to Love Rotary Right Now - The Rotarian staff

Rotary's 31-year struggle to wipe out polio

ShelterBox and Rotary clubs take action following earthquake in Italy

Hall Of Fame Singer Donovan Becomes Rotary Polio Ambassador

Bill Huntley Endowment funds the first Rotary Peace Fellow

Polio resurfaces in Nigeria

First wild poliovirus cases in Nigeria since July 2014

Government of Nigeria reports 2 wild polio cases, first since July 2014

WHO plans mass polio vaccination in West Africa

Fresh polio cases embarrassing – Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima

We will redouble our efforts towards eradication of Polio from Africa - Past RI President Jonathan Majiyagbe

Polio will be eradicated - Michel Zaffran, Director of Polio Eradication, WHO

A live Q&A on the Polio response in Nigeria, with Dr Michel Zaffran, Director of Polio Eradication, WHO

Cases in Nigeria: What’s the Outlook? - Interview with Michel Zaffran, Director of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative

RI President John Germ and Vice President Jennifer Jones Facebook Live chat.

Raja of Rotary - An account of  55 years Rotary journey of  PRIP Rajendra K Saboo by Rasheeda Bhagat, Editor, Rotary News Online

Rotary Peace Fellows win resources from "10 for 10th Competition"

'Pakistan and Afghanistan, the last frontiers in the 100-year war on polio'

RI President-elect Ian Riseley on the progress in ending polio in Radio National, Australia

PRIP K R Ravindran's Farewell Message

PRIP KR Ravindran's Farewell Remarks

 John Germ is a man of commitment - The Rotarian Q & A Session

HowDo You End a Global Disease - John Hewko in Medium

What can we achieve within our children’s lifetime?

To create peace we need to look beyond the causes of conflict

What defines a Rotary club? You choose

Rotary helps women in Honduras to successfully build their businesses and future - John Hewko in Medium

What is ‘global competence’, and is it the key to inclusive growth? - John Hewko

Creating Sustainable Peace - John Hewko, RI Gen. Secretary in Diplomatic Courier 

What’s Love Got to Do With It? - RI Gen Secretary John Hewko's Special Contribution to the Parliament of World's Religions

Rotary Delegation Visits Pakistan, headed by International Chair Polio Plus Committee

Pope greets Rotary members at special Jubilee Audience

Council on Legislation Grants Clubs Greater Flexibility in Meeting, Membership

What should you know about 2016 CoL

The Council on Legislation - First day comes to an end

The Council on Legislation - Second day of action draws to a close

The Council on Legislation – The third day completed

The Council on Legislation – Fourth Day Concluded

The Council on Legislation Comes to an End

Canada & The Polio Story: A Will, A Way, And A Healthier World - Past Rotary Polio Chair Dr. Bob Scott

We’ll see an RI woman President in five years - RI Director Jennifer Jones

2016-17 Theme Address by RIPE John Germ

Download 2016-17 theme logo and materials

Rotary's 2016 International Assembly coverage and resources

TRF Trustee Chair Ray Klinginsmith and incoming Chair Kalyan Banerjee speakes about the direction and long-term vision of the Foundation

Latest Activity

Ambalakat Ram Mohan posted photos
Sunil K Zachariah posted a photo

Arjun Maini, Rotary India Literacy Mission Brand Ambassador

Arjun Maini, RILM Brand Ambassador displays the Rotary India Literacy Mission logo on his Formula…
Dec 3
Dr.Heeralal Lohano is now a member of eflashonline
Dec 2
Sonnhard Lungfiel commented on Sunil K Zachariah's blog post RI President's Message - December 2016
"Serving Humatity is our challenges and you might accept this statement even if the undersigned used…"
Dec 1



Doing Good in the World: The Inspiring Story of The Rotary Foundation's First 100 Years.

In addition to making the first personal contribution to The Rotary Foundation, Rotary founder Paul Harris also established a trust that would generate income for him and his wife, Jean, until their deaths, when the remaining balance would be given to the Foundation to educate underprivileged children.

In 2016-17, The Rotary Foundation turns 100. That's a century of helping Rotary members change lives and improve communities all over the world.

Throughout the year we're posting excerpts from "Doing Good in the World: The Inspiring Story of The Rotary Foundation's First 100 Years." You can  at shop.rotary.org.

To learn more about the Foundation's centennial and find tips and resources for celebrating, visit .

From Chapter 11, "It's Not Just About the Money":

In 1944, Paul Harris created a charitable trust, which stipulated that the income would accrue to him during his lifetime and to his wife, Jean, after he died. Upon her death, the balance of the trust would go to The Rotary Foundation. Jean died in 1964, and the Trustees accepted the bequest and honored Harris' request that the money be used to educate underprivileged children.

Others have designated that their gift be used to support a favorite Rotary Foundation program in the name of a loved one. Sir Angus Mitchell, the first Australian to become president of Rotary (1948-49), helped launch this tradition in 1949, when he established a scholarship for an Australian student in honor of his wife, to be known as the Teenie Robertson Mitchell Memorial Fellowship. Thus began a long tradition that continues to this day.

Bruno Ghigi wanted to honor his father, who had been a member of the Rotary Club of Rimini, Italy. Throughout his childhood, Bruno listened to his father regale the family with wonderful stories of Rotary's work. After leaving school, Bruno joined his father in the family business and he later branched out to form a software company that became one of the most successful in Italy. Bruno joined Rotary and became club president and a Rotary Foundation Major Donor. In 1988, on the 20th anniversary of his father's death, Ghigi donated $350,000 to The Rotary Foundation to establish an endowed fund to benefit refugees, the sick, and street children in Africa and Brazil.

Some recipients of the Foundation's benevolence have later felt inspired to pay back so others could enjoy that same experience. For example, Sadako Ogata, one of the first Rotary Foundation scholars, later donated $10,000 to the Foundation in appreciation for the scholarship it had bestowed on her as a university student. "Rotary set me on a course that I am still continuing. If I had not gone to the United States as an Ambassadorial Scholar," she said, "I don't think I would have pursued the study of international relations."

Richard Illgen, an Ambassadorial Scholar from Mainz, Germany, studied business and economics at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, USA. After graduating, he joined Kraft Foods, where he enjoyed a very successful career. Wanting to provide a similar scholarship opportunity for others, Illgen and his wife, Irene, made a gift — matched by Kraft Foods — that provided $23,000 for a scholar from his home district in Germany to study at Northwestern.

Technology is making us feel more alone. Is a return to volunteerism the answer? - John Hewko in World Economic Forum

Today, on International Volunteer Day, we face a paradox. The Fourth Industrial Revolution has made us more connected and globalized than ever before, yet it is also shaping an age of civic disengagement.

In his bestseller Bowling Alone, political scientist Robert Putnam identified a sharp rise in Americans’ civic disengagement over the last generation, with empty town hall meetings reflecting “a giant swing toward the individualist pole in our culture, society, and politics.” Although it is twenty years old, it is still starkly relevant today: a new study by two psychologists in a Public Library of Science journal has proposed that “the more someone uses a smartphone for information, the less likely they are to trust neighbours, strangers, and people from other religions or nationalities.”

Our use of technology is just one factor driving changes in the world of work, but this correlation is bad news for advanced democracies, because strong civic life is a good predictor of the quality of, and trust in, public institutions. Against increasing solitude and disengagement from public life, what are some antidotes to this modern malaise?

One possible cure is a return to the original social networks supplanted by smartphones - volunteer organizations. These can help members stay ahead of the developments that are already happening with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as well as the trends explained in this year’s World Economic Forum Future of Jobs report. The report asked the Chief Human Resources Officers of today’s largest employers to identify the core drivers of change in their industries up to 2020.

Forty-four percent of respondents saw changing work environments and flexible working arrangements as the leading socioeconomic driver of change, with organizations “likely to have an ever-smaller pool of core full-time employees for fixed functions.” Despite its obvious benefits, this flexibility, and the fast-growing sharing economy, epitomized by industry-disrupting companies such as Uber and Airbnb, also comes with many risks for workers. These can include unpredictable working hours, limited access to social benefits, and a decrease in the right to freedom to negotiate and associate.

Through community projects and the mentorship of fellow members, volunteer groups can provide a buffer to this corrosion of civic life, an invaluable source for networking, and a training ground for the skills required to prosper in an environment where “65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist’”.

The importance of volunteerism is also reflected in the paradigm shift taking place in attitudes to philanthropy - the new gold standard is to build social good into your business model, rather than regard corporate social responsibility as a discretionary add-on to a company’s core operations.

As a result, the private sector is starting to see innovative approaches to incentivize volunteering as one solution to empower employees and provide meaningful outlets to engage with the causes that are important to them. For example, professional services company Deloitte offers its employees unlimited hours of time off for volunteering. The healthcare company Novo Nordisk builds social and community service into its projects, while technology company Salesforce leverages “1% of employee time, technology and resources” for community projects as part of its “integrated philanthropy” model. Over 9,000 companies have signed on to the UN Global Compact, an initiative to involve the private sector in the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals, and in spreading responsible business practices.........

Read more in https://www.weforum.org

The Rotarian Editor recognized as one of the most forward-thinking and innovative leaders in magazine media

John Rezek, Editor-in-Chief, The Rotarian is Recognized as a most forward-thinking and innovative leaders in magazine media in "The 2016 Folio: 100".

The Folio Magazine says:

Under John Rezek’s leadership, the magazine has consistently produced standout associational media.

The Rotarian, a publication of Rotary International, is a standout example of associational media which, under Rezek’s leadership, brings Rotary International members diverse coverage on community service.

With a membership of around 1.2 million people, The Rotarian has to keep a lot of different readers in mind. They do this through considered feature coverage on a diverse range of topics.

The September 2016 issue of The Rotarian, for example, included an article called “Southern Comfort,” which focused on Atlanta, as well as a conversation with Henry Winkler. The August 2016 issue included “The Rotarian Conversation with Nobel laureate Stefan Hell.” It’s just a taste of the top tier journalism members regularly find in the magazine.


Know more about the new club flexibility policies

Research and our members' experiences have shown that when clubs have more freedom to decide how and when they hold their meetings, who they'll invite to become members, and what member engagement means, their ability to attract new members and keep current members motivated increases.

The 2016  voted to give Rotary clubs more flexibility than they've ever had. The changes in policy affect when, where, and how clubs meet and the types of membership they offer.


It's up to your club to decide how — and if — you want to use the new options. Start by reviewing the updated  to see which guidelines are flexible. Once you've decided what changes would benefit your club, edit your club bylaws to reflect them, and try them out. If you decide they aren't working, try something else.

Here are some examples of how your club can apply the new flexible options:

  1. Change your meeting schedule. Your club can vary its meeting days, times, and frequency. For example, you could hold a traditional meeting on the first Tuesday of the month to discuss business and service projects and get together socially on the last Friday of the month. You just need to meet at least twice a month.
  2. Vary your meeting format. Your club can meet in person, online, or a combination. including letting some members attend in-person meetings through the Internet.
  3. Relax attendance requirements. Your club can ease attendance requirements and encourage members to participate in other ways, such as taking a leadership role, updating the club website regularly, running a meeting a few times a year, or planning an event. If your club is dynamic and offers a good experience for members, attendance won't be a problem.
  4. Offer multiple membership types. Your club could offer family memberships to those who want to bring their families, junior memberships to young professionals with leadership potential, or corporate memberships to people whose employers want to be represented in the club. Each type of membership can have its own policies on dues, attendance, and service expectations. Rotary will count these people in your club membership and will consider them active members if they pay RI dues.
  5. Invite Rotaractors to be members of your club. You can invite Rotaractors to join your club while remaining members of their Rotaract clubs. If your club chooses to, it can make special accommodations for these members, such as relaxed attendance requirements or reduced fees, as long as they are reflected in the club bylaws.

Find examples of bylaw amendments that clubs might use to try these new flexible options below, and review our frequently asked questions for more information.


- www.rotary.org

The Rotary Foundation Ranked in List of Top Charities

CNBC has ranked The Rotary Foundation No. 3 in its annual list of . The list includes some of the largest and highest-rated charities that help women, children, the poor, and the environment throughout the world, according to Charity Navigator, and that maintain high standards of financial health, accountability, and transparency of reporting.

The Foundation was noted for connecting 1.2 million members from more than 200 geographic areas to tackle the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges, including projects that focus on disease prevention, water and sanitation, and maternal and child health. The ranking also recognized Rotary’s role in the effort to eradicate polio. 

The Foundation ranked No. 5 on CNBC’s list in 2015.

- The Rotary International

2017 Presidential Conference: President John Germ invites you

Atlanta Presidential Peace Conference

Dear Friends,

It is my pleasure to invite you to attend the 2017 Presidential Peace Conference on 9-10 June 2017, taking place in Atlanta immediately before the RI Convention. This special event will celebrate our work to address the underlying causes of conflict and our success in making peace a priority. We’ll hear from inspirational speakers and look ahead to opportunities to continue our steadfast commitment to peace.

johngermThe program will include internationally recognized keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and networking events that explore Rotary’s commitment to peace. The event is open to the entire Rotary family and guests. Registration for the Presidential Peace Conference is US $126.50 and space is limited.  Learn more about the Conference and register online.

I hope you’ll join me in Atlanta to celebrate our accomplishments and recommit our dedicated efforts to Rotary Serving Humanity.



Early-registration rates for the RI Convention end after 15 December. Take advantage of the early-bird prices and register today for the Peace Conference and Convention.

Providing a healthier future for children with cleft lip and palate

One out of every 594 newborns in the United States is affected by cleft lip and palate. That’s over 6800 children a year. Left untreated, the health and social implications for these children is devastating. I knew I had to do something to help these kids go on to live happy and healthy lives.

In 2004, I partnered with five members of my Rotary Club of San Francisco to provide sustainable treatment for children with cleft lip and palate deformities. Together, we founded Alliance for Smiles (AfS). Our goal was not only to send medical teams to provide free surgeries for children in developing countries, but also to establish treatment centers that would provide long term, multi-disciplinary care for these children.

Children in developing countries do not have access to comprehensive treatment like those in the developed world do. We wanted these underserved children to have the same opportunity, which provides not only surgery, but years of follow up care including additional surgery, orthodontia, speech therapy, dentistry, and family counseling.

We started our work in China, and have had 71 total successful missions treating almost 6000 children. These missions have included vocational training teams funded through the Rotary Foundation. The support we have received from Rotary has been substantial through global grants, individual clubs, districts, and Rotarians.

Every child and patient we treat is important. I want to share one child’s story that really touched me. We met Xin Qi Pei in the Guizhou Province of China. This lovely and sweet child had more severe deformities than most of our patients. Her condition seemed hopeless, but our volunteer maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Gagan Sabharwal, felt compelled to help her. He was convinced that surgery would drastically change her life and the way the world looks at her.

In Dr. Sabharwal’s words:

“The moment I saw Pei, I wanted to help her. At first, there was hesitation from the rest of the team because her case was so complex with major complications. I knew that her father would have gone to many hospitals only to face rejection over and over again. Which is why I convinced the team to take on her case, knowing I wouldn’t let her down and could change her life.

Although the surgery was difficult, the most touching moment was in recovery when her father saw her for the first time. He sat quietly next to her and admired her for almost five minutes before bursting into tears. He then told me how he had traveled to different parts of China, to many hospitals since she was born, and no one felt they had the skills to help her. He was so thankful to us for giving his daughter a new life.”

We are currently active in Myanmar, Bangladesh, and a number of African countries.  Each place poses its individual and unique challenges.  To help us understand the local community needs, we have successfully partnered with Rotarians from the Gulshan Lake City Rotary Club in Bangladesh and the newly formed Rotary Club of Yangon in Myanmar. We also have some wonderful Rotarian partners in African countries, as well as other local affiliates outside of Rotary.

Our core goal is to create international peace and understanding.  We aim to change lives for the better through free reconstructive surgery and the development of educational programs.  Our patients, the parents whose lives we change, and the people with whom we partner are affected by the kindness and humanitarianism of our volunteers.  On each and every mission, we aim to spread hope, and create peace among nations.

- Anita Stangl, Past President of the Rotary Club of San Francisco, California, USA; Founder of Alliance for Smiles in Rotary Service Connections

Blog Posts

Trustee Chair's Message - December 2016

Posted by Sunil K Zachariah on November 28, 2016 at 8:06am

RI President's Message - December 2016

Posted by Sunil K Zachariah on November 28, 2016 at 8:00am — 1 Comment

The Economics of water degradation

Posted by Rekha Shetty on November 21, 2016 at 1:34pm

www.eflashonline.org is an initiative of Rotary Club of Kalamassery,  R I District 3201, India. Since 1999, eFlash spreads Rotary news and stories online to members from over 100 countries. 

Founder Editor: PDG Sunil K Zachariah

This community operates in accordance with Rotary International policy, but is not an agency of, nor is it controlled by Rotary International


Sunil's Corner

eFlashOnline is now on Facebook

Rotary Membership as on 31st October 2016

Brian King, Director of Membership Development, Rotary International reports that Rotary's worldwide membership is 1,230,378 as of 31 October 2016 (This represents growth of 22,472 above the 1 July start figure).

To find the membership report by zone and district for the month ended 31 October 2016, please click on the following link:

Comparison to Start Figures: October 2016

- Courtesy: G.V RAMARAO. gvr_ramarao@yahoo.co.in 

Why I Am a Rotarian - Sunil

Keynote Address by PDG Sunil K Zachariah on 9 Sept 2012 at the RCGF of District 3190 at Bangalore

Rotary Institute, Cochin - 2009. PDG Sunil K Zachariah welcomes the gathering

Water is life, Rotary is good

The team visits with community leaders in Kolifianu village.

The team visits with community leaders in Kolifianu village.


Life is usually made up of special moments which make it worth living. I least expected that my Rotary special moment was going to fall on 30 August, 2016.

I joined Rotary barely three years ago, and by dint of my dedication and commitment to service and other Rotary activities, I got elected director of club service projects for the 2016-17 Rotary year. What exactly motivated me to join Rotary?

It was the opportunity to serve, to help improve the community and assist the needy, and to make new friends.

Through the Rotary/USAID International H2O Collaboration in Ghana, I visited five rural villages where access to potable water and proper sanitation is in short supply, despite the effort by government to improve sources of drinking water to these communities.

Despite a slight pain in my right arm on the morning of 30 August, our journey began. And what an experience it was! The travelling group consisted of myself, Andy Berko, chairman of our sanitation and environmental committee, and Adolph Tay, all members of my club. We were also joined by Mr. Samuel Dartey, a representative of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA).  After criss-crossing much of the district, we visited Kojo Nto, Apetaese, Kolifianu, Nsuobri and Avornyokope, all located in the GA South district of the Greater Accra region of Ghana.

I was not surprised when in two of the five villages we visited, we were mistaken for politicians, since it was close to national elections. But this gave us the opportunity to further explain and brief them on the activities of Rotary, and of course to mention our End Polio program, which some of these villagers had seen or heard about.

Community leaders in Nsuobri village.

Meeting with community leaders in Nsuobri village.

It was a no-brainer actually, when given the choice of project they consider a priority, that all five villages chose water. Water is life.

Long may the collaboration between Rotary and USAID continue to provide more rural communities with safe drinking water and alleviate the incidence of water borne diseases. The least we can do for these rural communities is to ensure they are fit and healthy enough to go about their farming for sustenance.

To be of service and to be helpful feels good and right, and my Rotary moment was the joy and the expectation I saw on these peoples’ faces and their expressions concerning the promise of getting clean drinking water.

The product of Rotary is service, and as Rotarians, the opportunity to serve and provide community service to our local communities is paramount. The sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that comes with service is priceless.

I’m patiently waiting to go back and share in their joy during the construction and commissioning phase, happy and proud to be a Rotarian.

-  Justice Lionel Eshun, Rotary Club of Tema, Ghana in Rotary Voices

Visit to new ShelterBox HQ in Truro

In July, Cornwall-based international disaster relief charity ShelterBox moved its headquarters to Truro, keeping its warehousing and aid-packing base in Helston.

On 10 November, I made my first visit to Falcon House, now that ShelterBox has relocated most if its staff, including its operational and fundraising teams, into my 

Newton at ShelterBox HQ

Newton visits ShelterBox headquarters in Truro. Photo © Thom Axon

Truro and Falmouth constituency. The visit was hosted by Chief Executive Chris Warham, my first chance to meet him since Chris’s appointment in July.

In 2013 I was pleased to help arrange a week-long exhibition for ShelterBox in the Palace of Westminster, and a special reception event attended by Ministers and Members of Parliament that led to the growth of donations from more parts of the country.

I am delighted that ShelterBox is now headquartered in Truro. I was interested to learn that this year ShelterBox has provided shelter for over 120,000 people from Haiti to Iraq and Syria, people who have been made homeless as a result of natural disaster or conflict. I very much support their vision to help 1 million people by 2025 and will continue to do all that I can to help them deliver their mission of “no family without shelter.”

During the visit I saw the charity’s visitor centre, which shows the growing range of ShelterBox aid including different types of tents, Shelter Kits and School Boxes. In the Operations room I also had a briefing on current deployments from Operations Manager Alf Evans, and heard about our work preparing to help people fleeing Mosul from Operations Coordinator Sam Hewett, who was leaving the next day for Erbil in Iraq.

I also discussed ShelterBox’s valuable relationship with Rotary, as I am a Falmouth Rotarian myself. Rotary and ShelterBox go hand in glove, an incredibly important partnership. ShelterBox sprang out of Rotarians’ good ideas, what more they could do, and it is brilliant to see that relationship continue year after year and go from strength to strength. Rotary is a global organisation with trusted people in communities all over the globe. It is just a brilliant group of people that ShelterBox can work with in an emergency to get aid to where it’s needed. 

Sarah Newton, Rotary Club of Falmouth, and a Member of Parliament representing Truro and Falmouth, United Kingdom in Rotary Voices

Corporate membership: What has worked for us and what hasn’t

As the first club chartered in Australia, we have a membership of around 250 people. We had two ‘champions’ who were keen to introduce corporate membership. Over several years, they sought acceptance of this category in the upper layers of Rotary, and eventually were given the go-ahead to try it as part of a pilot project in 2011.


We saw corporate membership as a way to uphold our club’s long tradition of attracting the most senior members of Melbourne’s business community, and tap into corporate networks to use their expertise to enhance our social programs. It was our belief that we could achieve significantly greater impact by getting entire corporations involved. We are able to offer them access to a highly respected service organization, and opportunities for their staff to put in volunteer hours and engage in projects.

Five years on

We currently have 17 members from six corporations. RI, district and Rotary Down Under dues are paid for each corporate member as if they were ordinary members. We aim to have just one corporate partner per industry or field. Professional services, banking, and higher education are among some of the industries that are represented. (One member dropped out last year due to lack of senior level connection, and probably inadequate relationship management on our part.)

Our corporate members are engaged in one or more of our projects such as homelessness, domestic violence, and clean water. While they are enthusiastic contributors, the greatest challenge is getting and keeping their attention. They all have extensive time commitments. Attending regular lunch meetings is not easy for them, so we run less frequent and more informal evening meetings to provide them an additional option to keep in touch. Also, our club has a  corporate team which meets quarterly with all the corporate members to provide updates and identify potential areas of cooperation.

What have we learned?

Perseverance is required to ensure that the expectations of corporate members are met. This requires constant efforts to maintain close relationships with the corporation and the individuals. We have found that it is better to get prospective corporate members excited about your projects first, rather than just focusing on adding members.

Even with its challenges, we have found corporate membership to be beneficial.

Editor’s noteAll clubs are free to experiment with different membership models– such as corporate membership — through the flexibility granted by the latest Council on Legislation.

- Robert Fisher, Rotary Club of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia in Rotary Voices

5 reasons to support The Rotary Foundation on Giving Tuesday

When you make a donation to The Rotary Foundation, you are helping Rotary members make a difference in the lives of millions of people around the world, by promoting peace, preventing disease, supporting education, bolstering economic development, and providing clean water and sanitation. Your gift this year will also help us reach our goal of raising $300 million in celebration of the Foundation’s centennial.

Here are just a few ways your generosity is changing lives.

  1. Eradicating polio

Thanks to you, we are closer than ever to ending polio. We have reduced cases by 99.9 percent since 1988, and with our partners, have immunized more than 2.5 billion children worldwide. To end polio for good, we need to reach every last child in Afghanistan and Pakistan, stop the newly detected outbreak in Nigeria, and protect the progress made in polio-free parts of the world. Eradicating polio is an achievable goal that will be known as one of the greatest achievements in history. And thanks to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is matching every dollar two to one, your donation works even harder.Learn more about our work to end polio.

  1. Promoting peace and conflict resolution

Rotary’s most significant effort to promote peace is the Rotary Peace Centers program, established in 2002. Each year, the program trains some of the world’s most dedicated and brightest professionals, preparing them to promote national and international cooperation and to resolve conflict. They include graduates of a two-year master’s degree program and a three-month professional certificate program at Rotary’s partner universities. Watch a video highlighting Rotary Peace Fellows at work.

  1. Supporting education

Through a Foundation grant and in partnerships with the Organization of American States, Rotary members in Maryland, USA, provided a training program for teachers in Quito, Ecuador, which included the use of new technology. At the conclusion of the program, each school selected one story written by a second, third, or fourth-grade student to include in a book illustrated with student art. Read more about the project, and browse other education projects on Rotary Showcase.

  1. Preventing disease

Over the course of eight days, a team of 18 specialized doctors from India, a dozen of them Rotarians, performed surgeries on more than 260 patients, including procedures in orthopedics and urology. The medical mission initiated by District 3080 (India) and hosted by District 9150 (Central Africa) was the fourth to Rwanda organized by the two districts, and among three dozen surgical missions to 12 African countries since 1998. Read more about the medical missions and browse health-related projects on Rotary Showcase.

  1. Ending hunger

In Seattle, Rotary members are diverting millions of pounds of fruit and vegetable from food waste into the hands of those who need it through Rotary First Harvest, a program of Rotary District 5030 (Washington, USA). Watch a video about the program.

See how we are impacting lives around the world in this short video.

Give to the Foundation on Giving Tuesda

- Rotary Staff in Rotary Voices

6 ingredients for membership growth

Let’s admit it: achieving a high growth rate (negative or positive) is easier with a small club. Still, after more than five years of almost continuous decline in membership, my club was excited to report a 60 percent growth in membership from July to October. We had 18 members on 1 July. Now we have 29, with 11 new members inducted in the first trimester of the new Rotary year.

How did we do it? Let me share our recipe:

Ingredient 1: Less meetings, more service and public eventsRotary’s Council on Legislation has given a lot of freedom to clubs on how they organize their meetings. So we decided to reduce our regular meetings from four to two per month, which gives us more time for service work and organizing public events.

Ingredient 2: Better service opportunities. Many Rotarians are professionals and business leaders, yet most do not use their skills when they volunteer with their club. We changed that in our club by creating teams of Rotarians and non-Rotarians combining their skills to provide free advice to local nonprofits on the strategic issues they face. This is not only more interesting in terms of volunteer work, but it is also more impactful to create positive change in the community.

Ingredient 3: Lower cost. By the standards of Washington D.C., our membership dues are not very high, at $600 per year. But this is too much for many. So we created two new membership types – a membership at half the regular dues for young professionals under 35 years of age, and a spouse/partner membership at one third of the dues.

Ingredient 4: Stronger public image. We are organizing better and more regular public events. One of our recent events was a seminar at the World Bank with great speakers on education for peace and social change. That same week we also had a stand at the main festival in our neighborhood. In addition, we have been writing articles for a local blog, the local magazine for our neighborhood in Washington, D.C., and a free newspaper.

Ingredient 5: Strategic planning. We now have a strategic plan, our first since the club’s creation in 2003. The plan gives us a vision, and clear milestones and targets that we are trying to achieve.

Ingredient 6: Luck. Part of our gain in membership was just luck, as two new members transferred from other clubs due to changes in jobs and the location of their workplace. What’s great is that they bring with them a lot of experience in Rotary.

It remains to be seen whether we will continue on the path of membership growth for the rest of the year. We expect some members to relocate, so we will need to recruit more members to compensate. But we are making progress, and we have exciting initiatives coming up that should help us become better known in the community, make a larger difference for the less fortunate, and hopefully continue to grow.


About the author: Quentin Wodon is a lead economist at the World Bank. He holds PhDs in economics and in theology and religious studies, and has taught at universities in Europe and the U.S. He is currently President of the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill, in Washington, D.C. He is also author of the Rotarian Economist blog at www.rotarianeconomist.com.

Rotary Convention 2017

Seoul Convention Digest

Join Fellow Rotarians in Atlanta for the 2017 Rotary Convention and the 100th anniversary of the Rotary Foundation. 

Important deadlines

6 June 2016: Last day for special centennial discount ($265 Rotarians/$70 Rotaractors)
15 December 2016: Last day for early-registration discount ($340 Rotarians/$70 Rotaractors)
31 March 2017: Last day for preregistration discount ($415 Rotarians/$100 Rotaractors)
14 June 2017: Last day for online registration ($490 Rotarians/$130 Rotaractors)


2016-17 RI President John F. Germ invites you to Atlanta

Future Rotary International Conventions

2018: 24-27June, Toronto, Canada

2019: 1-5 June, Hamburg, Germany

2020: 7-10 June,Honolulu, USA

2021: 13-16 June, Taipei, Taiwan

2022: 5-8 June, Texas, USA.

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