For a Rotary club to be effective, it must be active in all avenues of service. It must also create a positive public image and be a catalyst for promoting peace and understanding globally. The key to achieving this lies in the members. Without members, there is no club, and without effective members, clubs cannot be effective.

Many leaders talk about membership development and retention in their strategy sessions. Some complain about disinterested members, while their members talk about feeling disconnected to the club or even to Rotary in general.

As president of my club last year, I had the opportunity to look at membership closely. I feel the burden lies on both sides. To have an effective club, members and leaders must work together to build community and trust. In particular, leaders should:

  • Get members involved: Members need to be active in projects and programs of the club. Give them specific tasks according to their expertise and time. This could be as small as delivering announcements at a meeting or as big as running a project or fundraiser. When members are involved, they feel more connected. And an active Rotarian is a committed Rotarian.
  • Give members responsibility: Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks, and give members independence and ownership. Encourage members to make a project their own, be it a small one like beautifying a community park or a big effort like a global grant application for water and sanitation systems in Africa. Encourage them along the way.
  • Create a sense of belonging: The club and its members should be like one extended family. Welcome members at meetings and take time to learn what is going on in their lives outside the club. Come up with activities that allow established members to get to know newer ones. Let members know the club stands behind them and is there to support them if they need anything.
  • Build trust: Conduct yourself in a manner that earns your members’ trust. The Four-Way Test is a reminder that if you follow basic ethics in your daily life you will earn trust. Members will give you their best when they trust you.
  • Acknowledge success and effort: Take time at a club meeting to acknowledge successful efforts. Consider writing something up in the club’s newsletter or on your website. Extending compliments builds a member’s sense of worth and satisfaction in the club.
  • Communicate well and regularly: Provide your members with information on everything happening in the club. Share the decisions of your board both during meetings and in club publications. Seek your members input on key decisions.

Members also have a responsibility to see that a club succeeds. This includes:

  • A sense of commitment: Members should show they are committed to the cause and purpose of the club and Rotary in general by being available to perform tasks, contribute to events and projects, and do more than show up for a meal.
  • A sense of ownership: Members should take on activities or projects and make them their own. Give your club the same attention you would your profession or personal efforts. Give it your time and attention.
  • A sense of sharing: Share your insight and expertise with others, whether professional or personal.
  • A sense of giving: Be ready to give of your time, effort, or money, to the extent you are able. When everyone in a club is generous with their time, money and talents, a club thrives.
  • A sense of accountability: Be accountable to the club and to each other. If you are given a task, do it with the same diligence you would your job or a personal pursuit. Don’t renege or go back on a commitment to another member or the club without discussion. A club’s performance reflects on its members. If a club is struggling, it’s probably because some or all of its members aren’t fully committed.

I strongly feel both the club leadership and its members are responsible for creating a bond of love and affection, an atmosphere of togetherness, and all-around camaraderie. Everyone has to make an effort in order to create an effective Rotary club.


By Amrit Pal Singh, immediate past president, Rotary Club Chandigarh, India

Programs of Scale

Programs of scale grants are competitive grants designed to respond to a need that a community has identified. They will benefit a large number of people in a significant geographic area using a sustainable, evidence-based intervention with measurable outcomes and impact. Each grant will support, for three to five years, activities that align with one or more of Rotary’s .

Key points about programs of scale grants

Programs of scale grants should:

  • Address a clearly defined need that reflects community priorities and engages its leaders
  • Be sponsored by a Rotary club or district and implemented with an experienced partner, such as a nongovernmental organization, private institution, or government entity, to assist with program design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation requirements
  • Use Rotarian leadership to guide the project to succeed, because these grants should not simply transfer resources to partner organizations
  • Include activities that can be adapted for use by other communities with similar needs


Each year, one approved project will receive $2 million from The Rotary Foundation’s World Fund. Applicants are strongly encouraged to supplement Foundation funding with resources from multiple other sources.

Programs of Scale

Grant qualification

Clubs and districts need to be qualified for Rotary Foundation grants to apply. Learn more about the .

The application process

The Rotary Foundation will award one grant each year in a competitive process that requires a proposal and an application. Applicants should be prepared to include a fully developed and highly sophisticated project design, as well as include baseline data and plans for monitoring and evaluation. The project should involve activities that have proved to be successful elsewhere. The Rotary clubs or districts with the strongest proposals will be invited to submit applications, which will include comprehensive details about the project. Partner organizations can complete the proposal and application along with the Rotary club or district. Incomplete proposals and applications will not be considered.

To get started planning your project, read the , then download the  and .

Proposals are submitted online through Embark, an application tool outside of My Rotary.  to begin your proposal.

Monitoring and evaluation

Programs of scale grants directly support Rotary’s . and the directive to have more information on the impact of our grant-funded programs. Through their design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation process, programs of scale grants will illustrate the value of Rotary’s contribution to resolving critical issues and provide our partners with tangible evidence of the impact of Rotary and the international service of Rotarians.


If you have questions, please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Resources & reference

Rotary’s Voice and Visual Identity Guidelines have been updated to help members learn how to speak, write, and design materials so that all communications look, feel, and sound unmistakably like Rotary. This comprehensive guide is now available in English in the Brand Center.


Rotary in partnership with Makerere University has established a new Rotary Peace Center in Kampala, Uganda. The peace center will offer a postgraduate certificate program to peace and development leaders who are from or who have worked in Africa to address the underlying challenges to peace in the region.


KAMPALA, Uganda (9 January 2020) — From human rights violations to the impacts of climate change, Rotary and Makerere University are offering a postgraduate certificate program to peace and development leaders who are from or who have worked in Africa to address the underlying challenges to peace in the region.

The year-long program in Peacebuilding, Conflict Transformation and Development will emphasize issues and solutions that are of particular relevance throughout the African continent and beyond. Hands-on experience will complement coursework that addresses topics including human rights, governance, and the role of the media in conflict. Other studies will focus on refugees and migration, as well as resource and identity-based conflicts.

The program will incorporate the Positive Peace framework pioneered by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) as well as apply concepts grounded in mediation and negotiation, African philosophy, and indigenous mechanisms for conflict resolution. “For centuries, we have looked at peace as the absence of violence, without fully considering the other drivers in play,” said Olayinka Babalola, vice president, Rotary International Board of Directors. “Instead of merely examining the causes of war, Rotary Peace Fellows at Makerere University will explore the underpinnings of peace to achieve tangible measures of human wellbeing and progress.” The program is designed to accommodate working professionals with at least five years of proven experience in the areas of peace and development. There will be two cohorts a year each with 20 fellows, and the first class will begin in February 2021. The online application will be available in February 2020.

“Makerere University is situated at the heart of the Great Lakes region, which has experienced the most strife and the most conflicts in Africa,” said Barnabas Nawangwe, University vice chancellor. “We’ve had frequent experience with conflict, so we established our peace program more than 15 years ago to expand our expertise and augment our engagement in the area of conflict and peace. Partnering with an international organization like Rotary allows us to demonstrate on a global scale what we’ve been doing in our local environment. Based on our past rich experience, we can confront strife in populations all over the world.”

Every year, Rotary awards up to 130 fully funded scholarships for dedicated peace and development leaders from around the world to study at any of its seven peace centers programs. In just over 15 years, Rotary Peace Centers have trained over 1,300 individuals for careers in peacebuilding in more than 115 countries, and program alumni serve as leaders in both governmental and nongovernmental agencies, international organizations, and more. About Rotary: Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. To learn more about Rotary Peace Centers programs and fellowships and to start an application, visit About Makerere University: Established in 1922 as a technical school, Makerere University is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Africa. It is composed of nine colleges offering programs for 35,000 undergraduates and 3,000 postgraduates. Its Department of Religion and Peace Studies, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, will host the Rotary Peace Centers program. To learn more, visit


Rotary: Claudia Brunner, +41.44.387.7116, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Stephanie Herzfeld, +1847 425 5797, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Makerere: Dr. Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala, +256772309982, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

By Mauricio R. Pernía-Reyes, president of the Rotary Club of San Cristóbal Metropolitano, Venezuela

I recently discovered a valuable resource on Rotary’s website that has strengthened my club’s efforts to serve our community and build peace. When I was selected to serve as club president for the 2019-20 year, I wanted to expand my understanding of the resources that Rotary makes available online and through social networks. That is when I found the Rotary Positive Peace Academy.

A result of Rotary’s partnership with the Institute for Economics & Peace, the Rotary Positive Peace Academy is a free online course aimed at strengthening knowledge and identifying “concrete ways to enhance and engage in Rotary’s work in peace and conflict resolution and the areas of focus – all via a Positive Peace lens.”

What is Positive Peace?

Positive Peace is a framework based on empirical facts called “pillars of Positive Peace.” It helps to identify and understand through real statistics the forces that contribute to peaceful, prosperous, and resilient societies. As a professor of law, I immediately saw that this could be an opportunity to bring data, procedures, and information to our community, as well as to youth leaders and university students, to lay the foundation for building Positive Peace in Venezuela.

How to promote Positive Peace 

I completed the Rotary Positive Peace Academy course and encouraged the rest of my club to take the online course too. Once our club’s new board began, we decided to host a face-to-face training for members – the first Positive Peace training in Venezuela.

Members presented their opinions and showed their enthusiasm for Positive Peace. We worked with partners to brainstorm how to bring Positive Peace to our community. By then, I contacted This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., the global coordinator for the Rotary and Institute for Economics and Peace partnership. Lewis provided support, suggestions, and ideas on how to carry the message of Positive Peace forward in our district. She shared with us a wealth of information, including promotional materials from Rotary International World Headquarters in the United States.

Planning to spread the message

Our last activity was to train the Rotaract Club of Metropolitano (District 4380). The national president of Junior Chamber International (JCI), a nonprofit organization of young active citizens who are engaged and committed to creating impact in their communities, was visiting our city and she also attended the training.

This Rotary year, we decided all club members should complete the Rotary Positive Peace Academy and we set a goal to be a 100 percent Positive Peace club, as well as training clubs in the metropolitan area of San Cristóbal. We are also going to apply for a global grant and extend the message of Positive Peace to our district, so we have studied the Positive Peace Workshops that took place in Mexico and Colombia. Positive Peace is included in our strategic plan for the next three years.

The best way to serve our community in Venezuela is to help lay the foundation for the eight pillars of Positive Peace and strengthen the formation of our communities to do so.

About the Author: Mauricio Rafael Pernía-Reyes is a lawyer, university professor, and researcher in administrative law. He has been a member of the Rotary Club of San Cristóbal Metropolitano since 2015.

Rotary has partnered with the Institute for Economics & Peace, an independent research center leading the study of peace and conflict, to help address the causes of conflict and create favorable conditions for peace. Learn more.