Posted on Aug 14, 2017

Dear fellow Rotarians,

I joined Rotary in 1978, when I was relatively young and had just started my accounting practice. My reason for doing so was because I thought that it would be good for my business to be associated with the movers and shakers of my community. But it didn’t take long for Juliet and me to realize that Rotary offered us so much more. Yes, Rotary provided us with ways to make friends and help build a business. But it also became the best way I know of to make a difference in our communities, both local and globally.

Every August we celebrate Membership and New Club Development Month. I hope that you not only take time to reflect on your path to Rotary, but also to think about what you can do to help others in your community begin theirs. There is a potential Rotarian in anyone who wants to make a difference, regardless of age or gender, and you can help them join us.

Providing you with the materials to help cultivate and maintain membership is something Rotary strives to do. Clubs can use our new customizable club brochure, now available in the Brand Center. The club brochure template allows to you upload your own photos or choose from a gallery of Rotary photos, provide your club’s meeting details, as well as showcase your club’s events and projects to show how it is involved in your community. This, along with the Discover Rotary presentation, is a great way to introduce Rotary to prospective members. You can find more resources on the membership page of

Share your pride in Rotary on Facebook this month with our Proud Member profile picture frames, which you can find here by searching for Rotary frames. You can include a message about why you joined Rotary and are still an active member today. Something as simple as sharing your story can spark a conversation with someone who isn’t familiar with Rotary and what we do.

As the world changes, Rotary changes with it. I’m happy to say that Rotary has changed too much since I joined to think that your Rotary path has been anything like mine. The future of Rotary will not be my story to tell; it will be yours. As club and district leaders today, you pave the way for the leaders of tomorrow. Thank you again for all that you do and all that you will continue to do to be part of Rotary: Making a Difference.


Ian Riseley
Rotary International President, 2017-18