“If one strong common thread exists among our 1.2 million members, it is our willingness to share. Rotarians share their time, their talents, their expertise to successfully carry out projects that tackle a vast range of humanitarian and social issues. They share their compassion, their enthusiasm, and their commitment to help those in need and make the world better. And they share an unparalleled passion for service.”
— Wilfrid J. Wilkinson, 2007-08 RI president
Every day, all over the world, Rotarians are volunteering in their local communities—it’s just what we do. If you are already participating in your club’s volunteer projects and you want to do more, here are some ways you can identify volunteer opportunities:
Contact your club‘s Assistant Governor. Each AG is providing assistance and guidance to four to five clubs, and s/he will know of projects that other clubs are undertaking.
Check the Monday Morning Memo; our District Governor sends out the District E-newsletter every Monday, and any club in the District can place information about a current community project there.
Contact your current District Governor and ask her/him what’s happening in clubs throughout the district.
Look into local nonprofit organizations in your area—you may just find a need that your club could assist with.
International Rotary Volunteers register their skills with RI to serve outside their home country. As ambassadors for Rotary, they foster international understanding and goodwill, are expected to be flexible and culturally sensitive, and must maintain standards of behavior that reflect positively on their home country and uphold the ideals of Rotary.
Registering as a Rotary Volunteer
Registering with Rotary International is one way for prospective volunteers to publicize their interest in serving on international projects. Registered volunteers are listed in the Rotary Volunteers Database on the RI Web site, a great resource for project coordinators. Rotarians, Rotaractors, Rotary Foundation alumni, spouses of Rotarians, and non-Rotarians are welcome to register as international Rotary Volunteers.
To register, complete the Rotary Volunteers International Volunteer Registration Form, available on the RI website or from RI World Headquarters. Whether you’re a Rotarian or non-Rotarian, the volunteer registration form must be endorsed by the local Rotary club president and the district Rotary Volunteers or Vocational Service chair, or District Governor.
Registrants are expected to have a proven level of professional or technical skill. It’s
recommended that they be at least 25 years old, though younger, qualified applicants will also be considered. Re-registration is required every two years.
Rotary International does not place volunteers on assignments. RI staff can provide detailed information about registered projects and volunteers upon request, but
prospective volunteers and project coordinators are responsible for contacting each other.
The Rotary Foundation’s Volunteer Service Grants support the international travel of qualified Rotarians and their spouses to provide an essential service or plan a needed project in a community.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the Rotary year. They should be received by the Foundation three months before the anticipated departure date and approved at least eight weeks before the scheduled departure date. The application form is available at www.rotary.org. Applicants are not required to register with RI as Rotary Volunteers.
Volunteers who need financial support for international service but don’t qualify for Volunteer Service Grants can explore other fundraising opportunities through a number of Web sites, including Cross-Cultural Solutions (www.crossculturalsolutions.org) and Visions in Action (www.visionsinaction.org).