Trustee chair's message
Trustee Chair 2015-16
Rotary and its partners have developed an endgame for the final eradication of polio, and the plan is working successfully. No one can predict the last case of wild poliovirus, but if our progress is sustained, it may come before the end of this Rotary year. What a victory that will be for Rotary and its partners – and for the children of the world!
Rotary also has a plan to publicize and gain recognition for its vital role in the eradication of polio. Rotary started its first immunization campaign against polio in 1979, when there were still 500,000 cases of paralytic polio every year. Its success led Rotary to launch PolioPlus in 1985, with the goal of immunizing all the world's children against polio. It raised US$247 million for that purpose in the first three years, and it then joined forces with the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and UNICEF in 1988 to eradicate polio. When the partnership was formed, a truly epic battle was joined, and Rotary was the catalyst.
Now we are in the final days of this heroic effort, and it is important for Rotary that the entire world is made aware of its contributions as a major partner in the eradication battle. Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation will do everything they can to publicize Rotary's role, but that is only one piece of the puzzle. Every Rotary club needs to learn the history of the PolioPlus campaign and publicize the news in their local communities. We need the active involvement of every Rotary club in the world to spread the news around the globe.
Download the marketing tools available at endpolio.org, and read Rotary and the Gift of a Polio-Free World, now available at shop.rotary.org. Share information about Rotary's role in the fight to end this disease with your social networks online and offline.
World Polio Day is observed every year on 24 October, and it is critical that every Rotary club schedule an event on or around 24 October this year to spread the word in their local communities about Rotary's role in the campaign to eradicate polio. Use the live-streamed updates from endpolio.org as a key element of the program. This is a great time to start our local publicity efforts for World Polio Day 2015. We are so close to our goal – don't let us down! Your club needs to start spreading the outstanding news about PolioPlus!
The Rotary Foundation has traditionally used a few annual goals to guide its planning for the next Rotary year. However, there is a more comprehensive plan in place for the current Rotary year. At their October 2014 meeting, the Trustees utilized the spirit of the RI strategic plan by approving four priorities to stay in place for the next three years:
1. End polio, now and forever.
2. Strengthen Rotarians' knowledge, engagement, and financial support of The Rotary Foundation.
3. Increase the quality and impact of Rotary's humanitarian service effort through Foundation grants and the six areas of focus.
4. Enhance the image and awareness of the Foundation's record of achievements, particularly the success of PolioPlus and its 100-year record of doing good in the world.
In addition to the agreed four priorities for the next three years, the Trustees also approved four measurable goals for each of the priorities. Therefore, we now have 16 measurable goals to guide our efforts. The goals can be changed each year as progress is made on achievement of the priorities, but for the current year our course is set – and for the first time, it is measurable!
I will be sharing some of the goals with you in future editions, but it is worth noting that the advent of measurable goals for the Foundation came at a propitious time. RI President K.R. Ravindran is a proponent of key performance indicators (KPIs) for the work of Rotarians in leadership positions, and the new measurable goals made it much easier to develop some KPIs for our regional Rotary Foundation coordinators and endowment/major gift advisers. The KPIs are still an experiment, and they will need refinement and development, but they are a step in the right direction as we try to take a longer look ahead each year!