Aug. 2016 President John's
RI President's Message - August 2016
Dear Fellow Rotarians,
Forty years ago, a man named George Campbell,
the owner of the company I worked for, invited me to join Rotary.
Back then, that was a common practice in the United States. Your
boss invited you to join Rotary because he thought it would be good
for business and good for the community, and you said yes. It’s
not surprising that our membership surged during that period.
George warned me not to use Rotary as an excuse to slack off at
work. Even so, I always had time to attend lunch meetings and serve
on committees. I never had to worry that taking a long lunch once
a week would hurt my advancement, or what my boss would think about
the occasional Rotary phone call at work.
Today, things are different. Companies are less generous about time,
and not every manager looks favorably on community service. It’s
hard to enjoy a Rotary meeting when you’ve got emails piling
up on your phone. It’s harder than ever to balance work with
Rotary – and the model that gave us so much growth a few decades
ago is part of what’s holding back our growth now.
That’s why the recent Council on Legislation adopted some
innovative measures that allow clubs to vary their meeting times
and expand their pool of prospective members. Clubs have more flexibility
now to respond to the needs of their members and to clear away as
many barriers to membership as they can. But there’s one barrier
to membership that only you can remove, one thing that every prospective
member needs to become a Rotarian: an invitation to join a Rotary
Whenever I tell a group of Rotarians that we need more willing hands,
more caring hearts, and more bright minds to move our work forward,
everyone applauds. But those hands, hearts, and minds won’t
magically appear in our clubs. We have to ask them to join. And
an invitation to Rotary is something that only you can give. An
invitation is a gift. It’s saying to someone, “I think
you have the skills, the talent, and the character to make our community
better, and I want you to join me in doing that.”
I’m the president of Rotary International, but the only club
I can invite someone to join is the Rotary Club of Chattanooga,
Tenn. I can’t make your club or your community stronger. Only
you can do that – by inviting the qualified people you know
to join you in Rotary Serving Humanity..
John F Germ, President, Rotary International
F. Germ, President, Rotary International 2016-17
Aug. 2016 Trustee
Trustee Chair 2016-17
- Our Rotary Foundation depends on a strong and thriving
Rotary membership. It is, after all, our members who provide the
generous support that enables our Foundation to tackle some of the
world’s most pressing problems. As important as that support
is, it’s not the only contribution Rotarians make to our Foundation.
The Rotary Foundation has an unusual business model. Like many charities,
we receive donations that we use to address a host of critical issues.
Unlike most other nonprofit organizations, we depend on our members
to develop relevant and effective service projects. Your volunteer
labor stretches our contribution dollars and helps The Rotary Foundation
to do much more with less.
The typical global grant requires hours of planning and budgeting
before even one dollar is received or spent. Then the sponsors must
purchase supplies, seek donated goods, set up bank accounts, organize
volunteers, write reports, and monitor the project’s progress,
all while working with Rotarians in another part of the world.
Fortunately, our clubs have a wide variety of professional skills
and talents to call upon throughout this process. Smaller clubs
may not have the financial or human resources to sponsor a global
grant, even if their members share a strong commitment to the Foundation’s
mission. Imagine what those clubs could accomplish with two or three
times as many members.
As we celebrate Membership and New Club Development Month in August,
let’s not forget the importance of quickly engaging new members
in Rotary service. Make sure they know about the many opportunities
our Foundation offers members to pursue their service interests,
from promoting better health to providing training and education
to bringing peace and stability to communities in need.
Through The Rotary Foundation, our members have a chance to use
their skills to make a real difference. First, we need to bring
those talented people into our ranks and engage them in our Foundation’s
vital work to create a better world. And only we, the Rotarians,
can bring in those new members. So it is up to us, really, isn’t
- Kalyan Banerjee, Trustee Chair 2016 - 17
Copyright © 2003-04
Rotary eClub NY1 * Updated 2016
Design & Maintenance of this site by TechnoTouch