How to get all clubs in a district to give to the Foundation
Tomohiro Fukaya, District 2760 Rotary Foundation Chair, told Rotarians in his district, "The Rotary Foundation is part of us."
“The Rotary Foundation is a part of us.” That’s the key message Tomohiro Fukaya, Rotary Foundation Chair for District 2760 (Japan), delivered to every Rotarian in his district to encourage members to support the Every Rotarian Every Year (EREY) initiative.
It worked. Since 2006, all 82 clubs have contributed to the Foundation's Annual Programs Fund through EREY. The Annual Programs Fund is the primary source of funding for Foundation programs and Rotary projects worldwide.
Effective communication makes a difference
The district made calls for donations at seminars and training sessions and in newsletters. At every event and in every communication, Fukaya and his team explained the Foundation, its Future Vision Plan, and EREY. But one method seemed to work exceptionally well.
"It is most important to deliver the message directly, face-to-face, rather than just rely on handing out information," Fukaya says.
Joe Mulkerrin echoes Fukaya's sentiment. Mulkerrin is the regional Rotary Foundation coordinator for Zone 33, which includes several states on the East Coast of the United States. Each of the zone's 790 clubs donated to the Foundation -- and not just once. All 790 have contributed to The Rotary Foundation for the past four years.
What is Zone 33's secret?
"We set the expectation of zero nongiving clubs, and repeat the expectation," says Mulkerrin, adding that a little friendly competition between districts doesn't hurt either.
"I blew up a map of [zone’s 15] districts and cut out each district's configuration on the map,” he explains. “During our seminar, I gave each piece to that district’s governor-elect and said, 'Here is your piece of the puzzle. When you get to the point that you have zero noncontributing clubs, mail me the puzzle piece.'…And we got zero noncontributing clubs."
Eric Grubb of District 7630 (Delaware and part of Maryland) was the first to return his puzzle piece. District 7630 is one of 100 Future Vision pilot districts.
Grubb, the district's Foundation committee chair, says that being a pilot district helped significantly in motivating clubs, as did the districtwide Rotary Foundation advocate program, which is often used in Zone 33. Advocates are "dedicated Rotarians who are knowledgeable about Foundation programs and policies," Grubb explains.
The advocates offer personalized help, inform clubs about project opportunities, provide regular updates on polio eradication efforts, and encourage every Rotarian to give to The Rotary Foundation every year.
"Our team really, for the first time in our district, asked every Rotarian to give something in support of our Rotary Foundation," Grubb says. "Within the first month, each of our 40 Rotary clubs answered the call by giving to our Annual Programs Fund.
"Every Rotarian in District 7630 has kept a positive attitude about Rotary's future," Grubb adds. "Every Rotarian has . . . said, ‘I want to be a part of where my Rotary Foundation is going.' "