Time for an Inventory
As you read this, we will have turned the page on another calendar year.  And we will have reached the halfway point in the 2018-19 Rotary year.  This would be a good time to take an inventory not only of where we have been and what we have accomplished, but also of where we will be going for the remainder of the year.
Let’s start with your club.  How are you coming on reaching the goals that you have established for your club?  Have you attained any of these goals?  Are you making progress toward reaching the rest?  Have you tried anything new this year something that perhaps represents out of the box thinking for your club?  What about your club membership?  Are you adding new members?  If so, do they represent a more diverse cross section of your community than perhaps in the past?  If you are not adding members, ask yourself why not.  Regarding clubs and membership, I think there is also one very important question that every member needs to ask themselves.  Would I join my Rotary club again today?  If you cannot answer that question with a resounding yes perhaps it is time to take a harder look at what is going on in your club.  How is your club’s fundraising going?  What about service projects in your community?  Have you added any new ones or is it same old same old?  These are all issues that need to be touched on periodically throughout the year for your club to remain vibrant and relevant.
How are we doing in our district?  Well I’ve done a little mental survey of my own.  Our membership has been growing through the first five months of the year.  I look forward to seeing where we are when the January 1 numbers come out.  Hopefully we will still be on the plus side. There has been one new club chartered this year and early in the new year I look forward to a second club receiving their charter. Those are positive developments.
Another positive development is the strength of our clubs.  If you have been watching the videos on a somewhat regular basis you will have noted on several occasions that I mentioned that a club had made progress and was stronger than when I visited the same club a couple of years ago.  That’s an exciting development.  As a matter of fact, as I look back on my 65 club visits thus far this year, I’m not sure that I can think of any club where I felt the club was in serious danger of failing.  That is a very positive state of affairs.
On a less positive note is the District’s Foundation giving to this point of the year.  As I write this our District giving to the annual fund is $112,155, representing only 32% of the amount we gave last year.  Per capita giving this year is $49.85 again well short of the $150.39 we gave a year ago. According to Rotary International we have reached 82% of our giving goal.  But that is only because there are numerous clubs that did not bother to enter a foundation goal.  That can be remedied and our Annual Fund giving amount can be improved.  But we need to start now, and all of us need to look in the mirror and ask ourselves honestly, am I doing my part?
As I mentioned in a previous message, I purposely did not hammer on the clubs during my visits about giving to the Foundation.  But now is the time to look at our Foundation giving. Three years from now, if Foundation giving is not stepped up soon, we (The District) will pay the price with substantially reduced funds coming back from RI for grants.  If you think that is not a problem, ask yourself, would your club prefer $2000 or $1000 for DDF?
There is a similar situation in the PolioPlus fund giving.  Not quite as dire as Annual Fund giving but we are not where we should be in Polio giving.  This is disappointing as Polio was a major emphasis of mine this year.
Marty and Doc thought they had the necessary parts for the DeLorean fabricated, but when they tried to get back to the present, they only made it to 1971.  It appears the car may have only made it to the Governor’s wedding day!  Back to the machine shop for further work!
Yours in Rotary Service,
Jim Erickson
Rotary District 5495
District Governor 2018-19