Weekly programme for week commencing 9th January, 2014

This month is Rotary Awareness Month so it perhaps asks us to promote Rotary more and tell others about who we are and what we do. Or perhaps it is about Rotary being aware of the era it now finds itself as an organisation that was formed over 100 years still operating in. The two needs are pulled together where District Governor’s Elect are gathering next week in San Diego for their training towards their Rotary year in 2014/15, preparing them to galvanise their Districts to promote Rotary and its activities, whilst helping them to see that the organisation must change to meet the needs of the 21st Century, with guidance of how they might achieve this change process.

So this week as eRotary we pose some issues that need to be considered as Rotary moves forward and adapts to the needs and circumstances of people living and working in the 21st Century.

Time is a big issue these days, so is a weekly meeting in a Club still an option for many people who work long hours, often away from where they live and work life balance with their families is very important? How is Rotary gearing up to meet these needs?

What options do we offer people to be part of the Rotary International network without having to be a member of a physical Club? If we look back to when Paul Harris started Rotary, he rotated the meetings so those coming could network, exchange ideas, in a sharing way within the community. In todays Rotary how many Clubs rotate, how many are in venues that can only be arrived at within a private car?

How does Rotary ensure we can engage all the family in our activities? Should we offer special rates for Family Membership? Embracing the needs of modern life, offering a family membership is a good incentive for all the family to engage in a community initiative, have fun together doing it, which in turn helps them to tell their friends at school, college, work or wherever they meet others about what Rotary is all about.

Changing Rotary to meet the needs of the 21st Century will need us to be bold to see that we need to change.  It will need us to be wise to design our offer so it attracts and encourages community service for the whole family, it will need to be accessible so that it is just easy to get to and be involved in, which perhaps will mean in our own offices or homes by internet, not in some Golf Club down the road.


Further more it will need us to think of new structures to administrate a new developing organisation, that’s another story, but it does need the leadership to consider how we achieve a vibrant, modern offer that is attracting people who are aware of Rotary as a 21st Century offer.

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0 thoughts on “Challenges for Rotary in the 21st Century

  1. Cyril Mannion says:

    Well said Tim. Perhaps we should be encouraging traditional Rotarians to look in the mirror and ask themselves to try to be open to these newer communications? And ask them to look around at the hectic lives being led by their own offspring. There is no time left in the lives of 30-50 year olds to be spent in weekly meetings to eat mediocre food in dreary surroundings. And ask those younger people how they would choose to spend the time they are able to afford in helping their communities? How would they most constructively spend one hour per week helping in the community?

  2. Sinead Darker says:

    Plenty of food for thought. It’s easier today to slip into a routine of watching tv or playing games online, losing touch with what’s happening in our communities. Eclub gives everyone the opportunity to play their part without being anxious about turning up at a meal when under pressure at work or at home. Plus we have fantastic opportunities for interacting with others, it’s fun!

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