About a year and a half after I joined my Rotary club, I terminated my membership because I missed four consecutive meetings. That was the rule at the time. I’ll freely admit — I didn’t care much for the food or the weekly meetings. I didn’t think they were the best use of my time. But the real issue was that I wasn’t engaged. I had no role, I had no reason to be a member, and I didn’t need to go to a luncheon meeting every week that appeared to offer me absolutely nothing.
But then my incoming club president asked me to chair the club’s Rotary Foundation Committee for the next Rotary year. That was a turning point for me, and the rest is history. I want you all to think about engaging those members who have their doubts about Rotary. In 2018–19, I need your help. I want you to join me in focusing on our four core goals for the Foundation.
First, the No 1 priority of our entire organisation (and this won’t be a surprise) is ending polio. We must fulfill our promise of a polio-free world to every child.
Second, we must increase the sustainability of our service efforts within the six areas of focus. This means conducting thorough needs assessments. It means working with communities to see what they really need and get them to buy in — to own the project and measure it over time.
Our third priority is to encourage districts to use all their District Designated Funds. Whether through district grants, global grants or PolioPlus, there are many ways to form transformative partnerships and put these funds to work.
Finally, we choose to build our Rotary Foundation Endowment to $2.025 billion by 2025. Our comprehensive fundraising goal for the year is $380 million. These funds will allow us to continue the life-changing programmes that Rotary members undertake every day. But we each need to think about our Rotary legacy. The Endowment is our future.
So please join me, and let’s make this a legacy-building year for Rotary. Your legacy, Rotary’s promise.
Ron D Burton
Foundation Trustee Chair