R. I. President & TRF Chair's Monthly Messages

Rotary International Kalyan Banerjee's August 2011 Message

The RI president’s monthly message - August 2011

My dear brothers and sisters in Rotary,

There is an old saying in India: “When you help your neighbor’s boat across the water, you find that your own has reached the shore.” By helping others, we often find that we have helped ourselves as well.

Each of us came to Rotary to serve – and found the joys and satisfactions of friendship and fellowship. In August, the month we dedicate to membership and development, we focus on spreading the message of Rotary. By serving well, without hiding our Rotary light under the proverbial bushel, we find ourselves closer to our own goal: a stronger, more vibrant Rotary for generations to come.

Public image and membership go hand in hand. Too many people – intelligent, educated, involved people – simply have no idea what Rotary is. This is something we need to confront. We have heard again and again about communities where, despite all the good work that Rotary clubs do, many people are unaware that those clubs even exist. This is not the way forward for our organization.

Serving well is the essential first step – but it is only the beginning. We have to raise our profile with all the tools that are available to us, and there are more tools today than there ever were. We have to use social media such as Twitter and Facebook, and we have to be sure our clubs have an online presence. Having a website is not enough; it must be up to date, it must be appealing, it must reflect the work we are doing. And it must offer a way for prospective members, once they see what we do and become interested, to take the next step.

Rotary has so much to offer. It is up to us to let others know what a fantastic organization we have, and to show people how they can integrate Rotary into their lives. Service does require time, and time is something nobody has enough of these days. So we need to ensure that all the time we spend with Rotary is worthwhile – that it is rewarding and never wasted. When we reach within ourselves and our clubs, when we learn what we are capable of and harness that power, we will elevate our communities as never before – and elevate Rotary as well.

Kalyan Banerjee
Reach Within to Embrace Humanity
President, Rotary International, 2011-12

TRF Chairman Bill Boyd's August 2011 Message

Trustee Chair's monthly message - August 2011

The Rotary Foundation supports your Rotary service?

A few months ago, Lorna and I attended three district conferences. The conference programs featured several Rotary Foundation activities, and we heard from Ambassadorial Scholars, Rotary Peace Fellows, Group Study Exchange teams, and representatives from a number of excellent projects in which Rotarians and the Foundation have worked together. I reflected on how much our Rotary Foundation is woven into the fabric of our Rotary service.

After the conferences, I went directly to a meeting of the Future Vision Committee. The committee heard from one of our RI senior managers, who had tested the process of applying for grants and found the global grants application to be too complex. We also discussed the definition of basic education within the areas of focus, possible strategic partnerships, and training for those districts not in the pilot.

There were many other topics, but I mention these to demonstrate that there are big items and small items that need attention as we work our way through the pilot. We are all experiencing some frustrations as we build the Foundation for the future. The three years of the pilot will seem a long time for many of you, but we are shaping something that should help us serve humanity more effectively in the years ahead, and we need to test that we are getting it right.

From that meeting, it was straight into the Finance Committee meeting, where senior staff and trustees spent a day and a half working through the budget to ensure that our operating costs could be as low as possible while still giving you the service you need. Our aim is to ensure that we spend the maximum amount on programs.

This is our Rotary Foundation, and there are.

Bill Boyd
Foundation Trustee Chair, 2011-12

Source: Rotary International

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