February – March 2023 | Regulars

Garth Arnold – Rotary GB&I Chair of the Board Column

Garth Arnold – Rotary GB&I Chair of the Board Column

Garth Arnold reflects on how Rotary GB&I can continue to do good in the world through The Rotary Foundation.

It has been five years since I was district governor, then the centenary of The Rotary Foundation, and I was the 100th district governor in Ireland.

I remember being so passionate and proud about promoting our charity The Rotary Foundation and asking local well-known businesses to sponsor a conference gift to promote the 100 years of The Rotary Foundation.

It is hard to believe that one idea and an initial contribution of $26.50, set in motion a powerful force that has transformed millions of lives around the globe.

What makes our charity appealing to me, and why I have been a sustaining member for many years, is the high percentage of funds which are spent on programme awards and operations and the four-star charity award given by Charity Navigator. That’s notwithstanding the massive work the Foundation does around the world.

It is the sheer impact of what we can do on a world stage through our Global Grants that can make us stand out as an organisation. The component we need to ensure we always do is to tell our own stories.

We have to be prepared to make changes to remain relevant in today’s world and be attractive for new people to want to join us.”

It is through telling Rotary stories that we will increase our profile and attract potential new members. By increasing our membership, it increases the potential for more funding for our Foundation, therefore we can help more people.

We are now seven months into our new governance structure and starting to find our footing. Our two strategic goals are growing membership and Foundation. The past couple of years with the pandemic have played havoc with many things, and membership organisations are no different. We have to be prepared to make changes to remain relevant in today’s world and be attractive for new people to want to join us.

As part of our One Region, One Rotary, One Team, is critical growing Rotary Great Britain & Ireland and clusters are a key component. A Global Grant by a cluster would be an ideal way of working together.

At the other end of the scale, clubs forget that our Foundation can help locally too and the use of District Grants is a perfect way to support and put monies back into the local community.

I know we see ourselves as working in the community and trying to support worthy causes, but we can do so much more if we direct our monies through our own charity The Rotary Foundation.

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