Ethical dilemma: what would you do?

As your club’s vocational service chair, you have been engaging young professionals through mentorship initiatives and career counseling projects. You would like more of your fellow club members to participate in these initiatives since many of the mentees are starting off in their careers and you want to introduce them to Rotary and all it offers. You would like to see the young professionals join your club, but have received feedback that they cannot attend your club’s meetings because of the cost and inconvenient time.

You propose to your club leadership that they should change the location, time, and introduce a reduced cost option to attract young professionals. The youth have mentioned that they like to meet with one another at a local bar, so you suggest your club starts meetings at this location instead where drinks and food are optional making it more affordable for the prospective members. Your club leadership is opposed to this idea; they believe it will drive away current members who are not comfortable in that setting. You believe these changes will help attract young professionals to join your club while helping members get more engaged with youth.

What would you do?

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If you would like to submit an ethical dilemma for discussion, email us at rotary.service@rotary.org.

Ethical dilemma: what would you do?

After moving to a new town, you join a newly formed Rotary club as one of its charter members. During the club’s second year, the president-elect brings her partner as a guest to many of the meetings. The president-elect, displeased with the club’s web and digital media coordinator, confers with the club’s board to make her partner an honorary member so he can oversee the club’s digital content without becoming an official member.

Since the incoming club president’s partner has openly expressed his lack of interest in joining Rotary, you speak with a member of the board, saying that the naming of honorary members should not be used in this way. The board member explains that in this case the granting of the honorary membership was a strategic decision, made with the expectation that the current web and digital media coordinator would resign from the club. You are shocked to learn of the club’s interest in removing a member in good standing and contact your district governor to express your concerns. The governor isn’t shocked by the action and confirms that the club has the authority to make this decision.

What would you do?

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Would you like to submit an ethical dilemma for discussion? Email us: rotary.service@rotary.org

Your favorite stories from 2016

As we head into the new year, we’re taking a look at back at 2016. Here are your five favorite stories from this past year (based on views):

  1. Rotary offers many programs that allow you to engage with fellow members and make new connections outside your club and district. Learn how to make the most of your Rotary membership.
  2. The Rotary Club of New York hosts monthly breakfast meetings at the United Nations with UN officials and representatives of its member states. Each meeting is broadcast live for Rotary members around the world.
  3. During September, Rotary Literacy Month, we encouraged members to take action to support basic education and literacy projects.
  4. July’s ethical dilemma encouraged a discussion regarding funding and sponsorships.
  5. When disaster strikes, Rotary’s project partner ShelterBox often works closely with Rotarians to evaluate local needs and devise a plan for immediate response. Members of the Rotary family assist response teams with disaster assessments, serve as housing response team volunteers, help coordinate relief logistics, and sponsor aid.

Tell your Rotary story: add completed projects to Rotary Showcase, share on Facebook and Twitter, and submit a blog post.

Ethical Dilemma Discussion: what would you do?

Your club is formalizing a partnership with a local organization. Since the organization’s work aligns well the work of your club and Rotary, the partnership is highly beneficial. A member of your club with experience working with the organization is very passionate about the partnership. As you spearhead the relationship, the club member is constantly monitoring partnership progress. Although you are doing as much as you can, the club member expects you to do a lot more and is not satisfied with how things are moving along. The member has even made calls to the organization to check on the progress, and your partnership liaisons from the organization have complained that the member is being pushy. As this is a very important partnership, you want to maintain your club’s image and ensure the partnership develops into a successful one.

While you appreciate your fellow member’s passion, what would you do?

Ethical Dilemma Discussion: what do you do?

Your club is working to provide technology and training for teachers and children at a school in a very low-income area with limited educational resources. During your search for sponsors, a club member in a senior position at a well-known business offers to pay most of the project’s costs. This sponsorship would allow you to complete the project quickly, and kids would be in classrooms learning in just a short time. You are grateful for the generosity but hesitate because this business has been in the media over some ethical concerns. You aren’t sure it’s a good idea to accept the sponsorship, but raising the funds in other ways could sharply delay the project.

What would you do?

Ethical Dilemma Discussion: what do you do?

A member from your club made a new Rotarian friend from abroad at the Rotary Convention and now is excited about the prospect of hosting this friend. Your fellow member wants to use club funds to sponsor that trip. Although the trip won’t be linked to a club program or activity, the visitor would attend club meetings and help with the club’s ongoing projects. Your fellow member wants her guest to experience and understand your country’s culture and values. She’d like other members to take the visitor out for lunches and dinners and to see tourist attractions. But you’re not comfortable using club funds for the visitor’s trip because you don’t see the value for your club. What do you do?

If you would like to submit an ethical dilemma for discussion, email us at rotary.service@rotary.org.

Ethical dilemma discussion: what would you do?

Your club is working on a literacy project with a school in a poor rural community with which the club has a long-standing relationship. The school has identified a need for teacher trainings, along with new books and computers. You and fellow club members have worked hard to develop a project plan and the club has hosted three fundraising events to cover the costs of the project. Though the project was to begin at the start of the calendar year, your club hasn’t been able to raise all the money required. Your club president has connected with an organization specializing in literacy and education that works in the region, and the organization is willing to cover the remaining costs — on the condition that it will take over the project, with little further involvement from your club. Without the remaining funds, your club is unable to start the project, and the school is relying on you.

What do you do?

Would you like to submit an ethical dilemma for discussion in a future post? Email us: rotary.service@rotary.org

Your favorite stories from 2015

By Azka Asif, RI Programs Staff

As we head into the New Year, we’re taking a look at back at 2015. Here are your five favorite stories from this past year (based on views):

Tell your Rotary story: add completed projects to Rotary Showcase, share on Facebook and Twitter, and submit a blog post.

Happy New Year!

Ethical dilemma discussion: what would you do?

According to survey results and a discussion at the start of the Rotary year, the majority of your fellow club members are very interested in partnering with local organizations that offer hands-on volunteer opportunities for club members and their families. As this years’ service chair, you have worked very hard to secure speakers who can offer flexible service opportunities throughout your community. Although club members have received each monthly speaker with great enthusiasm, very few have signed up for the volunteering opportunities. How do you encourage participation while respecting members’ time?

Ethical dilemma discussion: what would you do?

Your club commits to covering airfare for a local high school student embarking on a yearlong Rotary Youth Exchange. Club members form three committees, each responsible for hosting a fundraising event to collect money that will pay for the student’s round trip international airfare. The first two events raise the targeted amount, but bad weather forces your club to cancel the third committee’s event, scheduled a week before the student’s flight must be booked. As a result, that committee requests that all club members split the remaining amount needed for the ticket purchase. You, along with a handful of other club members, are uncomfortable with this request.

What do you do?