Personal growth through Rotary is virtually unlimited. While everyone is different, many people join Rotary to serve their local community and develop business connections, and leadership skills. I’ll review several suggestions to assure you are getting the most out of your investment of time and resources in Rotary.
Managing your Rotary experience is like maintaining an investment portfolio. Each year my husband and I meet with our professional financial advisor to rebalance our investments to make sure we are on track to meet our goals. It is through this lens that I will offer suggestions to rebalance your investments in Rotary to maximize the value of being a Rotarian.
I will explore some of the benefits people seek when they join Rotary. If you are happy with your Rotary experience in a category, then no changes are needed. However, if you aren’t satisfied, these ideas may help you expand the richness of Rotary. As you know, every Rotary club is independent, giving members the opportunity to influence and direct their club’s activities and initiatives. That is one of the amazing things about Rotary. You, as an individual, can help create a club experience to meet your individual interests and needs!
|Value of Rotary Membership||Actions to Enhance the Value of Rotary|
|Serving the local community||-Invite experts in a field that interests you to present their perspective at a club meeting. |
-Approach club leaders and suggest a new project that interests you and addresses a community need. This project may be able to be conducted immediately, but if it is complex or expensive, it may require planning and budgeting into the next fiscal year
-Help your club develop a meaningful project and apply for a Rotary Foundation District Grant. One of the unique benefits of Rotary is the return to the District of a portion of our donations to The Rotary Foundation. This money is directed to local projects, designed by members. I know of no other organization that returns donations to members to create lasting change through member-created projects.
-If you are interested in making an even bigger difference, you can set up small (or large) recurring tax deductible donations to the Annual Fund, thereby increasing the amount available for local projects
-Invite local community leaders to visit your club and become members
-Help promote club events with your Public Image Committee
|Enhancing professional connections||-Participate in club projects as an opportunity to ‘do good’ while getting to know fellow members|
-If your club or Area clubs don’t already do so, ask club or district leaders to:
+Create a member business directory
+Hold business networking events
+Schedule member introduction programs
+Extend social times at meetings or special events so that members get to know one another
|Developing leadership skills||-Chair a club or district committee or project|
-Attend board meetings or serve on the club’s Board of Directors
-Attend District Training events
-Attend Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI)
-Join Toastmasters International, a Rotary partner
|Following your passion, through Rotary||-Join a cause-based club as an affiliate member. District 7710 currently has clubs focused on Social Justice, Environmental Sustainability and All Nations (international service) & others are in development|
-Start a cause-based club with the help of the District Innovative Club Advocate Team
-Join a Rotary Fellowship or Rotary Action Group
|Developing life-long friendships||Developing friendships is one of the greatest benefits of being a Rotarian. Studies show it takes time and intention to develop these friendships; about 40-60 hours for a casual friendship, 80-100 hours to become a friend, and 200 or more hours for a good/best friend. |
That means it will take at least 2-3 years of attending Rotary meetings each week to develop ‘life-long’ friendships through Rotary. Friendships, like retirement planning, take consistent investments, over an extended period. You are likely to develop friendships through Rotary if you attend most meetings and actively participate in projects and events
|Serving a global community||-Attend the Rotary International Convention to make connections, identify potential projects, and to be inspired!|
-Ask your club and district leadership about opportunities for international service and global grants
-Join a Rotary Action Group or Rotary Fellowship
|Leaving a legacy||-Invite your family to Rotary events, to demonstrate your commitment to, and the value of, ‘Service Above Self’ |
-Leave a financial legacy through contributions to The Rotary Foundation. Your Club and District Rotary Foundation Chair can help you develop a plan to meet your goals
You have the power to create an experience in Rotary that nourishes you, your career, and your heart for service. Start by becoming more involved in activities that interest you and suggesting ideas for new initiatives. If you don’t know how to get started, ask your Club President, Assistant Governor, District Trainer, or other district leader for guidance.
Personal growth through Rotary is virtually unlimited. You can be a living example of Rotary’s Vision Statement
TOGETHER we see a world where PEOPLE unite and take action to CREATE lasting CHANGE across the globe in our communities and in ourselves.