Let’s plan our year ahead


It’s hard to believe that the first year of our ­Foundation’s second century of service — and my term as chair of The Rotary Foundation — is coming to a close.

It has been an amazing experience to see Rotary and our Foundation in action as I’ve travelled the world. It has been inspiring to see the passion and dedication of Rotarians, the energy and ­creativity of Rotaractors, and the diversity of projects and forms of service. I’ve seen Rotary: Making a ­Difference in the lives of countless people in need, because Rotarians are People of Action!

These experiences have reaffirmed my belief in Rotary’s future and the vital role our Foundation can and must continue to play — especially as we approach our post-polio era.

As Rotarians, we have big challenges and bold opportunities ahead:

  • We must achieve our goal of eradicating polio! Please contribute to the polio ­campaign — whether through a direct donation, by ­fundraising, or by telling the polio story using your preferred media platform.
  • We must expand the conversation and ­determine what corporate project or projects we will undertake next. Think bold!
  • We must work to engage the 50 per cent of the world’s population that is under the age of 30. Surveys consistently show that these young people want to make a difference and to volunteer. We need to continue developing proactive strategies to engage millennials and Gen Z-ers.
  • Women account for 50 per cent of the world’s population. They are proving to be the ­backbone of many clubs. We need to expand their reach and welcome their leadership at every level of our organisation.
  • More Rotarians and clubs need to connect more closely to the Foundation to understand how it can help achieve our goals.

This Rotary year, I invited you to share your ideas with me. Many did — about how to raise more funds, to simplify the grant process, to ­better engage youth, to build peace, to enhance our ­membership experience through The Rotary ­Foundation. You expressed your passion for a future in which our Foundation will have a greater impact than ever in its second century. This is because you are our greatest strength.

Thank you for the honour of sharing this ­journey with you.


Paul A Netzel
Foundation Trustee Chair

What should I pass on to my successor?
Let me know. Email me at paul.netzel@rotary.org

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