Five lessons for Rotary gleaned from the 2016 election.


The “Five Lessons for Rotary gleaned from the 2016 election” has been removed from the 5550opinions website and can now be found at 


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Results Are In: 60% Membership Growth in First Trimester

Rotarian Economist

No, Rotary International did not suddenly get 720,000 or so more members, or at least not yet! I am talking about the membership growth in my club – the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, from July to October.60-percent

Let’s admit it: a high growth rate (negative or positive) is more likely with a small club than a large club. Still, after more than five years of almost continuous decline in membership, my club is excited to report a 60 percent growth in membership from July to October. We had 18 members on July 1. Now we have 29, with 11 new members inducted in the first trimester of the new Rotary year. We are still a small club, and we have a lot more to do to gain strength, but we are on the right track.

How did we do it? Let me share our recipe:

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Big changes coming to RI as membership continues to decline

The second 2016–17 RI Board of Directors meeting was held from 19th–22nd September, 2016. At this meeting, the Board reviewed 12 committee reports and recorded 64 decisions.

The 2016 - 2017 Board of Directors

The 2016 – 2017 Board of Directors

Ten key decisions: Continue reading

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‘Elect to be Civil’ and what if candidates don’t?

by John Borst, Past Pres. Rotary Club of Dryden

In the October 2016 issue of “The Rotarian” RI published a timely piece by Steve Almond titled “Elect to be Civil” in which Almond bemoans the “tribal nature” of America’s politics. In the very first sentence, he calls the current situation “terrifying”. He laments that Americans no longer see politics as a “collective civic endeavor, the means by which our society sought to solve common crises.” Continue reading

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The District website: between and betwixt

by John Borst

For over a decade of conventions, RI has spent considerable energy promoting the creation of club websites as a means of informing the public of the work of local Rotarians as well as the good works of Rotary International.

This has, we all hope, had the double advantage of recruiting new Rotarians in the process.

At the same time, almost no attention has been paid to promoting or discussing District websites. This is unfortunate because, in my opinion, the district website is as vital to the organizational success of Rotary, in the modern age, as is Rotary central. A good argument can even be made that it is more important than the role of RI’s own website. Continue reading

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Join Pres. Germ for Live-streamed EndPolio Status Update on Oct. 24th

John-GermBy John F Germ, President, Rotary International

In 1979, James Bomar Jr., the president of Rotary at the time, traveled to the Philippines as part of Rotary’s earliest work to immunize children against polio. After he had put drops of vaccine into one baby’s mouth, he felt a child’s hand tugging on his trouser leg to get his attention. Bomar looked down and saw the baby’s brother looking up at him, saying earnestly, “Thank you, thank you, Rotary.”  Continue reading

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One thousand World Polio Day celebrations is 24 October 2016 target for Rotary clubs

Kalyan-Banerjee-150x180By Kalyan Banerjee, Foundation Trustee Chair

In our work to end polio, we’ve noticed a disturbing ­development: People in many parts of the world think polio no longer exists. Even some of our members, especially younger Rotarians who were born after the development of the polio vaccine, assume that because the disease doesn’t afflict anyone in their country, it’s no longer a problem. Continue reading

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