Service projects that are well planned can have a strong impact and create effective and transparent communication between your community and your club.
Successful service projects
- Respond to a community's needs
- Are well-planned and managed
- Offer measurable results
What does my community need?
You can determine what your community needs by involving and listening to community members. You might host an informal chat at a coffee shop or organize a focus group with community leaders. By discovering the community’s strengths and weaknesses, you'll be better equipped to create a project that's not only sustainable, but continues to grow over time.
To learn about the techniques to conduct community assessment, use our Community Assessment Tools.
How do I plan a project?
Before starting a project, refer to Communities in Action: A Guide to Effective Projects, which is our full guide to starting a project with Rotary.
Creating a comprehensive project plan will help you manage club and community resources, anticipate potential problems, and evaluate your project’s success. Before beginning your project, you should:
- Form a club service projects committee to oversee your projects
- Create measurable goals and a work plan to accomplish them
- Involve project recipients to be part of the solution
- Develop a budget, aim for transparency in all aspects of your planning
- Promote your project in local media, in social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and in Rotary Showcase
Working with partners
Teaming up with partners helps small projects achieve greater impact. Established projects can grow and become more effective, sustainable programs. Rotary’s partners range from community volunteers to international organizations.
- Rotarian Action Groups
- Rotary Community Corps
- Rotaract clubs
- Interact clubs
- Intercountry committees
- Aga Khan University
- Dollywood Foundation’s Imagination Library
- Global FoodBanking Network
- Goodwill Industries International
- International Reading Association
- Mercy Ships
- YSA (Youth Service America)
Funding your project
Depending on the size of your project, you may need funding beyond what your club is able to provide. A fundraiser is a good way to raise money and has the added benefit of putting your club and its work in the public eye. Visit our Fundraising page for tips on how to plan a successful fundraiser.
You can also explore Rotary grant options to find specific funding for your project.
An in-kind donation can be as valuable as a financial contribution. Use our discussion groups to publicize your project’s need for donated goods or to find Rotary projects seeking specific items.
Learn more about donated goods in the Donations-in-kind Best Practices Guide.
A volunteer is not only an invaluable source to help your club with its service project, they also could also be a future Rotarian. An effective way to recruit volunteers is to post on social media and your club website. Also keep Rotaract and Interact clubs in mind when you invite volunteers to help with your project.
Project fairs are a great way for Rotarians and Rotaractors to find potential supporters for their service projects. Work with your district to organize a project fair in your region. Contact Rotary staff to learn more or to find a project fair in your area.
Evaluating your project's success
If your plan includes measurable goals, then you're halfway there! To complete your evaluation, you'll need to collect data for each of your project’s objectives and determine whether or not they are met.
Learn more about evaluating your project in Communities in Action: A Guide to Effective Projects.
Resources & reference
- Club Service Projects Committee Manual
- Grant Management Manual
- Rotary’s Areas of Focus guide
- Be a Vibrant Club: Your Club Leadership Plan
- Doing Good in the World video
- Rotary Video Magazine collections
- What Is Sustainability video
- Rotary Leader
- Club service projects committee
- Assistant governor
- Regional coordinators