Make retention a priority

Dear friends in Rotary,

My heartfelt gratitude to all the outgoing district governors and Rotarians, who graciously hosted Vidhya and me during our visit to districts this year. My appreciation to the Rotarians, Rotaractors and friends of Rotary/Rotaract who have tirelessly worked to spread hope and make a positive impact in our communities. A special thank you to the vibrant clubs of zones 4, 5, 6 and 7 for making this year truly remarkable in numerous ways. Let us together stand as beacons of change, as we make this world a better and more peaceful place.

While reflecting on the whirlwind of activities, particularly the fulfilling experience of overseeing the Rotary Institute in Bengaluru and DISHA at New Delhi, I feel that while we have achieved much, there is still work to be done. One pressing issue is the high attrition rate in our clubs. Despite our efforts to induct new members, we often lose many by the year-end. It is imperative that we prioritise member retention by fostering genuine connections and engagement. I urge all presidents, both outgoing and incoming, to make retention a priority and not just a mere strategy, as the key lies in building meaningful growth.

The disparities in income and living conditions worldwide serve as a stark reminder of the need for us, the fortunate, to assist the less fortunate. Through local funding and global grants, Rotarians have made significant contributions to communities around the globe. However, it is now time for us to step up and become the benefactors who fuel the Foundation’s resources. We have to replenish adequately the well from which we draw each year. While major gifts are essential, let us not overlook the impact of smaller contributions, for they too can make a significant difference. With only 30 days remaining, let’s seize every opportunity to make a positive impact and save lives wherever possible.

I urge each of you to reflect on the essence of Rotary and the profound difference we can make when we come together as a global community. It’s also time to recognise the work of our Rotarians, their families, our community stakeholders and CSR partners. A simple thank you will go a long way in spreading cheer in an otherwise conflicted world. I always believe that it is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.

Also my friends, let us not run after awards, by ignoring all norms of ethics and integrity. Let your good work, whether in membership or service, make the awards run after you. The greatest satisfaction is bringing a smile on the face of the beneficiary which can never substitute for any award. Let us act now and demonstrate the true spirit of Rotary by serving humanity selflessly. Continue to Create Hope in the World and work towards spreading the Magic of Rotary.

Yours in Rotary service,

Raju Subramanian
RI Director, 2023–25

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