You’re the incoming community service chair for your club and will be serving in this role for the first time. You have been approached by a local Rotaract club to work together on a river cleanup project. Your club doesn’t sponsor this Rotaract club, which works with its sponsor club on other projects but also wants to make new connections. You’re excited about the opportunity to work with youth leaders in your community and build a relationship with the Rotaractors. You present the project and opportunity to your club. Members who have been involved in a mentoring program at the local school for many years feel they don’t have the time to commit to this new project. They believe their ongoing tutoring project is already engaging youth and don’t see a value in working with the Rotaract club. You believe that the Rotaract project could be the start of a long-term partnership and feel strongly that the club should accept the invitation.
What would you do?
3 thoughts on “Ethical Dilemma Discussion: what would you do?”
Since members do not have time to commit this project, you can consider inviting the Rotaract Club sponsored by your club to share time and ask your club board to accept the invitation.
I’d first check with the Rotaract club if they had approached the sponsor Rotary club and been told no, or simply to ask other Rotary Clubs to join in. Most sponsor clubs would encourage the outreach to yet additional clubs. BUT if the Rotaract club is bypassing their sponsor club, you would be reinforcing poor planning and leadership skills by the rotaract leaders by joining in, and probably creating bad relationships thereafter with both the sponsor club and the Rotaract club. If the Rotaract club was told no interest by the sponsor club (hard to imagine) but not told they’d contact other Rotary clubs, I would inform the sponsor club you are interested in proceeding – hopefully with the sponsor club joining in, but your club taking more of the lead. Since you have no members willing to work on the project, I’m not sure you have the capability to do much more than provide a name for Rotaract to pursue District or other funds. You would be wisest to help Rotaract find a Rotary club that could provide more substantive help and financial support. Ask the sponsor club to help
I would take this invitation to my club’s Board of Directors. At the same time, I would connect with not only the sponsoring club to gauge their support of the project but other clubs in the area. Supporting Rotaracters is encouraging youth to elevate service for themselves and others as a lifelong goal. This opportunity has the potential to enlist Rotaracters for future club community service projects. Finally, volunteers for the Rotaract project need not be limited to club members, rather, it is an opportunity reach out to the community and enlist support for the project on a wider scope. This has the potential to build membership for all Rotary clubs.