RI President 2019-20 Mark Daniel
Maloney - March 2020
Dear Fellow Rotarians,
March is the month we celebrate Rotaract — and this has been
quite a year for our young partners in service.
Last spring, the Council on Legislation elevated Rotaract in our
constitution: Rotary International is now the association of both
Rotary clubs and Rotaract clubs. Then in October, the Rotary Board
of Directors eliminated the artificial Rotaract age limit and took
other steps to break down barriers that were preventing Rotaract
from growing in some parts of the world.
These steps were long overdue, because Rotaract is a vision of what
Rotary must become. Not only do we need to open our doors to our
young colleagues, but we also have to open our ears and minds to
the Rotary experience they find most engaging. That is one of the
best ways we will meaningfully grow Rotary.
When I say grow Rotary, I mean it in many ways. We need to grow
our service and to grow the impact of our projects. Most importantly,
however, we need to grow our membership, so that we can achieve
more. Rotaractors provide this opportunity, not only because they
can transition to Rotary at the time that is right for them, but
also because they understand what it will take to attract others
Business as usual will not work for us anymore. Bringing in more
members to replace the ones we lose is not the answer. It is like
pouring more water into a bucket full of holes. We need to address
the root causes of member loss in many parts of the world: member
engagement that is not what it should be, and our member demographic
that skews steadily older.
It is time to make some fundamental changes. We already know what
the barriers are to an engaged and diverse membership. It is time
to act on what we know: creating new membership models, opening
new paths to Rotary membership, and building new Rotary and Rotaract
clubs where the existing clubs do not meet a current need.
New club models represent an opportunity to connect with a more
diverse group of individuals — particularly those who are
unable or unwilling to join our traditional clubs. While new club
models have been emerging for some time, it is up to district governors
to make them a reality. In January at the International Assembly,
our incoming district governors took part in an exercise called
Build Your Own Club Model. It was a wonderful experience that put
them in the right frame of mind for the work ahead.
Ultimately, however, it will be up to Rotaractors and young Rotarians
to create new club models that are most meaningful to the next generation.
We may think we know what young people want from Rotary clubs in
the future, but I am confident that what young people say will surprise
us. It will be our job to support their innovation, for it will
help us grow Rotary as Rotary Connects the World.
Mark Daniel Maloney
Trustee Chair's Message - March
Gary C.K. Huang, Trustee
Rotary Club of Taipei
Trustee chair's message
Ni hao, Rotarians!
I like to quote Confucius at many Rotary events, because
his ideas are so much like ours. Confucius would have
been a great Rotarian. Take this Confucius quote,
for example: "The failure to cultivate virtue,
the failure to examine and analyze what I have learned,
the inability to move toward righteousness after being
shown the way, the inability to correct my faults
— these are the causes of my grief."
If you turn the saying around to positive language,
it sounds exactly like the first goal of the new Rotary
Action Plan. When we talk about Rotary increasing
our impact, we mean investing in relationships, making
decisions grounded in evidence, mobilizing our resources
to create solutions that last, and always learning
from our experiences.
The Rotary Foundation already does this so well and
will continue to be the best possible investment in
a better world as the Action Plan is put into effect.
Our global grants respond to real community needs.
That's because we approve them only after a rigorous
community assessment. Then the projects are tailored
to the information uncovered during the assessment.
Now your Foundation is making a difference on a broader
scale than ever through our programs of scale grants.
These are competitive grants, designed to respond
to a need that a community has identified. Programs
of scale will benefit a large number of people in
a significant geographic area. They will be sustainable,
evidence-based interventions with measurable outcomes
and impact. Each grant will support, for three to
five years, activities that align with one or more
of Rotary's areas of focus.
Programs of scale build on our experience in the eradication
of polio, and we must never forget that we still have
important work to do to eliminate this disease. When
I visited Pakistan in November, I was overjoyed to
see so many young Rotary leaders working hard for
End Polio Now.
Wonderful things are happening with our global grants,
and the Rotary Action Plan will help us do more than
ever. Let us continue to cultivate virtue, examine
and analyze what we learn, move toward righteousness
based on our new knowledge, and keep improving everything
Gary C.K. Huang
Trustee Chair 2019-20
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