Start a new service project today!

By Chelsea Mertz and Rebecca Hirschfeld, Rotary Service staff

Does your club want to try a new type of service project or want to find a project in another region to partner on and are not sure where to start?

The Project Lifecycle Kit tools can help with all your service project needs. These online resources guide your project from inception to implementation while also facilitating connections with other Rotarians around the world. Rotary is unique in that service means more than just helping others. We’re also about forming valuable partnerships that make projects more sustainable and in turn help foster more peaceful communities. So which tools comprise the Project Lifecycle Kit?

Through Discussion Groups, Rotarians have access to a plethora of information from other Rotary members who provide valuable support during the planning phases of a project. Use these groups to pose questions to other members and tap into their expertise, experience, and advice. If you are starting a project in one of our areas of focus, you can take advantage of our Cadre of Technical Advisors moderated groups.

For example, the Water and Sanitation Group gives you the opportunity to receive advice from subject matter experts, as well as members of our Water & Sanitation Rotarian Action Group (Wasrag).

A few recent enhancements to Rotary Ideas makes finding a project partner easier than ever before! A Google Translate option is now available on each project page, expanding the options for partnering beyond the boundaries of language. You can now search for projects by filtering by contribution type (volunteers, partnerships, online contributions, and materials), making it easier to find the types of projects you want to support.

For example, the Water For Life Project in Egypt is looking for global grant partner to help provide safe and clean water to families living in poverty.

Remember to continue to share your success stories on Rotary Showcase, recently updated to allow you to tag Rotarian Action Groups and Rotary Community Corps as project partners. Identifying all of your Rotary project partners ensures that your good work is shared as accurately as possible within our communities and the world.

For example, through a global grant, the Rotary Club of San Pedro South in the Philippines installed a solar powered potable water treatment system at a local elementary school benefiting 1100 students. The project included a deep well with a submersible pump powered by a solar panel. The system can produce up to 2000 liters per hour when the solar panel is at its peak capacity. To manage project operations and maintenance, including how to share the potable water with the surrounding community, the Cuyab Rotary Community Corps (RCC) was formed with officers from the school faculty, the parent teacher association and local government. The RCC will decide how the water will be shared with the nearby community, its price, schedule and mechanics.

As always, if you have any questions regarding these tools, please feel free to contact for assistance.



Getting the most from Rotary’s social tools

By Chelsea Mertz and Rebecca Hirschfeld, Rotary Service Connections staff

Is your club looking to implement a service project, but lacking funds or materials? Are you seeking specific expertise within the areas of focus to assist with planning and applying for a global grant? More than 25,000 Rotary clubs and members are using Rotary’s Project Lifecycle Kit to reach their service goals.

The Project Lifecycle Kit, consisting of – Discussion Groups, Rotary Ideas, and Rotary Showcase – is your one-stop-shop for digital tools that can help you with planning and supporting your service project and then promoting and sharing its impact. These online tools help the Rotary family build connections, find project resources and partners, and share their successes to help you be more effective, efficient, and ready to take action! These tools represent the many phases of a service project and serve as a set of resources that can ensure success throughout the lifecycle of a project.

While you brainstorm and strategize ideas, connect with others to exchange best practices through Rotary Discussion Groups. By soliciting support on Rotary Ideas, contributions from the Rotary community and beyond can help make your service goal a reality. Then share your project impact to inspire others through Rotary Showcase.

Join us on 14 March for the Getting the most from Discussion Groups, Rotary Ideas, and Rotary Showcase webinar to learn the Project Lifecycle Kit basics to help you maximize your project’s impact. Space is limited, so sign up today!

› Tuesday, March 14, 10:00 – 10:30 AM Chicago time (UTC-5); convert to your local time.

How will you Be a Gift to the World this year?

T1516-ENBy Ellina Kushnir, RI Programs staff

RI President K.R. Ravindran challenges us to use our gifts – talents, knowledge, abilities, and efforts – to make a genuine impact through fellowship and service activities. Through our Rotary network, we have access to many resources to plan projects using our skills, expertise, and passions to improve communities near and far.

Showcase how your club or district supports communities:

  • Through a Rotary grant, the Rotary Club of Santa Maria, Philippines, is working with the Rotary Community Corps of Pulong Buhangin 2 and other partners to provide safe water and sanitation for a community within the Santa Maria Bulacan municipality.
  • BELThe Rotary Club of Udaipur Udai, India, partnered with a cooperating organization to provide computer literacy classes to older residents. The Rotaract Club of Aishwarya volunteered as teachers during the trainings which covered topics including scheduling appointments, making reservations, and paying bills online. The Rotary club members provide students with ongoing consultation after completing the courses.
  • The Rotary Club of Santurce, Puerto Rico, collaborated on a Rotary Friendship Exchange with the Rotary Club of Port of Spain West, Trinidad and Tobago, to build fellowship and friendship and explore international service opportunities. The visiting team from Puerto Rico visited several projects, engaged in fellowship, and met the club’s sponsored Interact Club and RCC. They will host their new friends from Trinidad and Tobago later this year.
  • VocServiceThe Rotary Club of Irvine, USA, teamed up with the Irvine Valley College to host an interview workshop and mock interviews with college students. Students were interviewed by a panel of three Rotarians and then received feedback to improve their interviewing skills.

Support club and district initiatives:

  • The Rotary Club of Benin Metropolitan, Nigeria, seeks an international partner to assist with their initiative to provide safe drinking water for the 5,000 residents of the Obazagbon and Ugieghudu communities.
  • IDEASThe Rotary Club of Kharkiv Multinational, Ukraine, is seeking partners to assist with a camp program for local youth. Children who are refugees from nearby conflict areas, part of military families or face tough life situation will participate in the program which includes fun outings and activities along with a targeted curriculum to help participants adapt and socialize given their backgrounds and traumatic experiences.
  • The Rotary Club of Sorocaba-Sul, Brazil, seeks partners to help build a playground for children with physical disabilities. The project will create safe place in the city for recreation, rehabilitation and physical education for children with disabilities. The park will also offer opportunities for children to socialize with their peers

Visit for many more resources to help you with your club or district project. Remember, the 2015-16 Presidential Citation will recognize clubs that achieve an array of accomplishments intended to make Rotary stronger, more effective at delivering service, and more widely known and respected by the general public. Encourage your clubs to focus on the Humanitarian Service goals listed in the Presidential Citation brochure.


Make a splash, it’s World Water Day!

By Ellina Kushnir, RI Programs staff

22 March, World Water Day, reminds us to celebrate our achievements and commit to further advancements related to accessing clean water, sanitation facilities, and employing hygienic practices. Sustainable water resources are critical to reducing poverty, improving education opportunities for youth, and alleviating health-related complications.

Today we recognize the countless hours our Rotary family dedicates to water, sanitation, and hygiene education efforts including:

While we have helped make great strides within the water and sanitation area of focus, 748 million people do not have access to an improved source of drinking water and 2.5 billion do not use an improved sanitation facility.*

Continue the #WorldWaterDay celebration by:

*March 2015 United Nations Inter-Agency on Water and Sanitation Issues

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Monrovia club spearheads Ebola relief campaigns in Liberia

Photo courtesy of Rotarian Wilson Idahor, Rotary Club of Monrovia

By Monique Cooper-Liverpool, Rotary Club of Monrovia, Liberia

Today is 2 September, we are just past the fifth month anniversary of Liberia’s first encounter with the Ebola virus.  We are now 41 days into a declared national health emergency, 28 days into a national state of emergency and on the 16th day of an imposed national curfew, the first since our civil conflict ended in 2003. Nine international airlines have cancelled or suspended service to Liberia, with only two international carriers continuing to operate, overbooked and overpriced.

As of two weeks ago, 613 lives have been lost to the Ebola virus, a total of confirmed, probable or suspected cases.  Countless others have also died because the frail remnants of the decimated hospitals, clinics and health centers simply cannot cope or health care workers are too afraid to treat more common illnesses or conduct routine procedures.

The Ebola virus has hit us at a vulnerable time: we are already on our third successive year of budget short-falls, low global prices in our export commodities and subsequently, high inflation and a soaring exchange rate.

Photo courtesy of Rotarian Wilson Idahor, Rotary Club of Monrovia

Obviously, this has been more than a clarion call for us as the Rotary Club of Monrovia and our Ebola support campaign began at our leadership induction on 4 July.  During her speech, Rotarian  Vicki Cooper-Enchia, our club president, committed the club to raise US$1,000 to purchase gloves for health care workers responding to Ebola patients.  We reached the target that same day and donated 10,000 gloves to the Ministry of Health on 7 July.

Since then, the number of recorded cases has nearly tripled and we’ve also stepped up our resource mobilization and response.  Through our club members who work in the Ministry of Health and Liberia’s largest teaching hospital, the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, we established contact with national response leaders to get accurate information on priority needs.

Over the past six weeks, our club has raised US$21,000 from organizations, companies and individuals to support our Ebola response campaign.  This tremendous generosity has allowed us to provide urgently needed items to hospitals, Ebola holding facilities and the Ministry of Health.  As we continue to donate, the needs also continue increasing in efforts to contain this deadly virus.

Our donations to the government have included 10,000 examination gloves, 3,000 pairs of sterile surgical gloves, 1200 pairs of gynecological gloves, 100 plastic buckets with spouts for hand-washing, 80 PVC covered mattresses for patients in holding & treatment facilities, 120 pairs of rubber rain boots for health care workers, fuel coupons for Ebola response vehicles, soap, bed sheets and mattress covers, tarpaulin for reconditioning a temporary hospital waiting area and assorted medicines and food items for patients undergoing treatment.

We hope to continue to support the national fight against this disease with a US$100,000 fundraising target to make our impact felt. Our demonstration of Service Above Self, through this Ebola response campaign has gained the respect of the Ministry of Health, the businesses we have engaged for supplies and the attention of the press.  We are committed to doing more and are hoping to harness the goodwill of Rotarians around the world.

Donate to our Ebola campaign here!
Donate to our Ebola campaign here!

The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) causes hemorrhagic fever and currently has no cure.  Infected patients receive supportive care and fatality rates are between 60-90%.  The virus is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of an infected person once they are demonstrating symptoms – high fever, sweating, diarrhea, vomiting, bleeding and internal organ failure.

For more information about the current situation in Liberia, visit Liberia’s Ministry of Health & Social Welfare website and receive updates from the World Health Organization

The Power of Crowdsourcing

By Mohamed Shedou, Rotary Programs staff

Success is always about the little actions that add up to something magnificent. This is also true of all the service projects that Rotarians undertake every year, everywhere in the world, in order to make people’s lives better. Every service project cannot happen without every single contribution, big and small, be it time, money, or expertise.

You might have read that Rotary has a new crowdsourcing platform for service projects, but what is crowdsourcing? And where does it fall in the lifecycle of a project?

Simply put, crowdsourcing is the collection of small contributions to make something big. That could be small amounts of money adding up to thousands of dollars, or small donations of volunteer time or materials that make a big project a reality.

Some of you might be more familiar with the term “crowdfunding”, in which a project uses a website to collect funds from hundreds, or thousands of people. Small contributions can add up to big resources. We use the term “crowdsourcing” to describe Rotary’s online tool, Rotary Ideas, because our platform allows a project to solicit not only funds, but also partners, volunteers, materials, or any combination of the four.

Rotary Ideas Homepage
Rotary Ideas helps Rotary projects benefit from the power of crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing can help because it uses the power of the Internet and social media. For example, if your project needs funds and you can accept payments through PayPal, this will make it easier than ever for Rotarians and non-Rotarians to make online contributions to your project. The more you can leverage your social media network, the more people will see your project listing, and the more contributions you’re likely to get.

Read more about how crowdsourcing through Rotary Ideas can help you with your next service project.