Talk to us; we’ll listen Message from the Foundation Chair - August 2017


What does the chair of The Rotary ­Foundation Trustees do, anyway? What do the Trustees do? These ­questions are often asked of me in different ways. The Board of Trustees manages the business of the ­Foundation, the charitable arm of our organisation that ­transforms your gifts into sustainable outcomes that change lives — both close to home and around the world.

One thing we do is listen. We listen to you, the members. Your voice comes to us through many different channels and connections with feedback, ideas, concerns and recommendations.

We listen to our Rotary Foundation ­committees. We listen to our regional coordinators and ­advisers, to the district Foundation committee chairs and to our district governors. We listen to our ­associate Rotary foundations which provide local tax ­benefits in seven countries.

We listen to our colleagues on the Board of Directors, to our trusted Rotary staff, to our ­incredible PolioPlus committees and our polio partners, to our Rotarian Action Groups and to the Cadre of Technical Advisers. We listen to feedback from our six Rotary Peace Centers.

Rotarians are the backbone of the Foundation, so it’s important to listen to you.

For example, listening to Rotarians’ ideas at the 2016 Council on Legislation (COL) led to ­several significant reforms to enhance the ­membership experience. These reforms offer clubs more ­flexibility. For example, an exciting rules change allows a service project to count as a meeting. Importantly, Rotaractors can now become ­members of Rotary clubs while they are still in Rotaract.

How do these changes benefit The Rotary ­Foundation? The strength of the Foundation starts with our members, and we believe the new club flexibility options will attract and keep more ­members. What needs to be accomplished for Rotary to remain relevant today and for the ­generations to come? This is where the COL’s three-year cycle is your opportunity to bring ­forward ideas to continue the evolution of Rotary. The deadline for submitting proposed enactments for the 2019 COL is 31 December. Share your ideas at:

You are our greatest strength. Let me hear from you. I can be reached at


Paul A Netzel
Foundation Trustee Chair

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