“Never waste a good crisis” -Winston Churchill

 RI President, Mark Maloney, used this phrase attributed to Winston Churchill as he addressed the Zone 8 Rotary Senior Leaders in separate Zoom meetings. It speaks well of how Rotary has been quickly adapting and making the most out of the situation we are facing at the moment with the COVID19 pandemic. Both President Mark and General Secretary John Hewko gave assurances that the organisation is financially and operationally sound and that Rotary is successfully going into this new frontier of going virtual. The culture that is emerging may actually present opportunities to make Rotary more attractive to a new demographic. The Presidential themes of Rotary Connects the World and Rotary Opens Opportunities back to back are very apropos and have taken more profound meanings in light of the times.

John Hewko particularly gave us a 4-point Call to Action:

 

  • Concerning possible membership decline amid the crisis, we need to focus on engaging members who have been in Rotary for less than 2-3 years. Statistics show there is a higher probability of losing these members so this focus will be vital in retaining them.
  • Clubs and districts need to identify clubs that have not caught on to meeting virtually and help them along to remain active.
  • Find ways to replace the in-person cultivation of donors and to think of creative ways to allow virtual fundraising.
  • As with fundraising, we need to also come up with creative ways to conduct service projects taking into consideration all the social distancing measures in place locally.

 Having the President and General Secretary in our Zoom meeting was a great opportunity to hear first-hand how the organisation is responding to the changing times.