By Rotary Service and Engagement
Rotary service transforms lives and communities. To achieve even more truly transformational service, RI President Barry Rassin encourages us to think differently about our role in Rotary, and Rotary’s role in the world during the 2018-19 year. Globally, Rotary is more relevant than ever before, and its potential for good is vast. Unfortunately, not enough people fully understand what Rotary is and does. Even within clubs, many Rotarians don’t know enough about Rotary to take full advantage of their membership in Rotary. Use this opportunity to discuss the many different ways clubs can start or expand service activities to enhance the Rotary experience for their members.
During the 2018-19 year, President Rassin wants us to Be the Inspiration for positive change, inspiring our clubs, our communities, and our organization to face today’s challenges head on, with courage, optimism, and creativity. Below are just a few ideas of activities you can undertake to honor this year’s theme:
The 2018-19 Rotary Citation will recognize clubs’ array of accomplishments that make a positive difference in their communities related to Rotary’s three strategic priorities: supporting and strengthening clubs, focusing and increasing humanitarian service, and enhancing Rotary’s public image and awareness. Encourage your clubs to focus on the Humanitarian Service goals listed in the Rotary Citation brochure:
- Sponsor a Rotary Community Corps
- Partner on a service project with a sponsored Interact or Rotaract club
- Increase the number of club members involved in service projects
- Conduct a significant local or international service project in one of Rotary’s six areas of focus
Take Action in 2018-19
Host a Rotary Day event in your community! Rotary Days underscore our warm and cohesive community, show others our inspirational work, introduce Rotary to the larger community, and motivate action. They can take any form, as long as they are fun and engaging, involve young people, and are open to all.
Tips for planning an event:
- Partner with nearby Interact, Rotaract, and Rotary clubs, local Rotary Community Corps, young professionals groups, community centers, other service organizations, civic society leaders or local businesses.
- Consider including a hands-on service project as part of the event to let visitors see for themselves how Rotary benefits the community.
- Feature guests that appeal to a non-Rotary audience. Consider young leaders, inspirational speakers, celebrities, musicians, or other public figures.
- If the event will offer food, keep it simple — for example, a self-service buffet rather than a formal, sit-down meal.
- Advocate on local issues related to Rotary’s areas of focus by calling attention to challenges that affect people in your area.
- If you charge admission, keep prices low. Ask local businesses to sponsor your event.
- Welcome families and make the event enjoyable for them.
- Present Rotary as an appealing opportunity for potential members to make new friends, exchange ideas, and take action to improve their community and the world. Avoid using Rotary jargon or referring to club traditions.
- Highlight the work of local Rotarians, Rotaractors, Interactors, Rotary Community Corps members, and other community members who do extraordinary humanitarian work.
- Recognize non-Rotary community members who demonstrate Rotary’s service ideals.
- Sponsor an event with a partner organization to show that, by working together, we make a deeper and more lasting impact on communities.
- Ask local news media to cover the event.
- Collect participants’ contact information, and invite them to future club events.
During and after your event, post photos and videos with the hashtag #RotaryDay to social media. We’ll collect photos of Rotary Day events around the world and show them at the 2019 Rotary International Convention in Hamburg, Germany. Some may also appear in Rotary media throughout the year.