Board decisions

April 2020

The 2019–20 RI Board of Directors met via video conference on 18 March and 21–24 April 2020. At these meetings, the Board reviewed 10 committee reports and recorded 36 decisions.

COVID-19 Response

25 February Executive Committee Ballot

The Board agreed to prioritize the health and safety of Rotarians during the COVID-19 outbreak and

  • encouraged districts to follow local government recommendations for gatherings;
  • agreed to allow districts to delay (until no later than 30 June 2020) or to convene online their training events, including PETS and district training assembly, at no cost to Rotary International, should their government recommend restricting gatherings due to COVID-19 or if district leaders feel such action is appropriate;
  • recommended that those districts holding their training meetings online due to the COVID-19 outbreak, hold at least three one-hour meetings to cover 1) Rotary’s strategic plan, 2) the role and responsibility of the participant, and 3) goals for the year, and further to follow all other requirements for district training meetings;
  • agreed to allow districts to delay (until no later than 30 June 2020) or cancel their district conference, at no cost to Rotary International, should their government recommend restricting gatherings due to COVID-19 or if district leaders feel such action is appropriate.

18 March Special Virtual Session of the RI Board

The Board canceled the in-person 2020 RI (Honolulu) Convention and approved refunding of registration fees and fees for RI ticketed events to registered attendees.

21–24 April Virtual RI Board Meeting

The Board

  • approved holding a virtual convention on 20–26 June 2020;
  • agreed to the following general principles:
    • The health and safety of all participants in Rotary programs, meetings, and events is of paramount importance.
    • No in-person meeting or event shall be mandatory for any Rotary participant who may feel uncomfortable attending because of the pandemic.
    • All conveners and organizers of Rotary meetings are strongly encouraged to consider all health concerns in deciding whether to hold in-person meetings.
    • All conveners and organizers of Rotary meetings shall fully comply with all health and safety rules in effect in that location.
  • With the principles above in mind, adopted the following rules and guidance for specific Rotary activities:
    1. All RI Board meetings shall be conducted virtually (and not in-person) for the remainder of calendar year 2020.
    2. All RI committee meetings shall be conducted virtually (and not in-person) for the remainder of calendar year 2020.
    3. The general secretary shall develop contingency plans for interim report to the Board at its June 2020 meeting:
      1. to train district governors-elect for those unable to attend in-person the 2021 International Assembly and
      2. to conduct the 2021 International Assembly virtually in the event more than 40 percent of the governors-elect are unable to attend in-person.
    4. 2020 Rotary Institute conveners are strongly encouraged to conduct their institutes and governor-elect and governor-nominee training virtually. Conveners are authorized to decide whether to conduct such meetings in-person or virtually; however,
      1. no Rotary staff shall attend an institute, governor-elect, or governor-nominee training in person unless specifically authorized by the general secretary in exceptional circumstances;
      2. directors shall not be funded to attend an institute that is outside of their zone or region unless specifically authorized by the president
    5. In fairness to all districts, Rotary International shall not fund the expenses of any president’s representative to a district conference for the 2020–21 Rotary year. If a district requests a president’s representative, the president may appoint one at no cost to RI.
    6. Governors are strongly encouraged to use virtual meetings for club visits that occur during calendar year 2020.
    7. Regional leaders are strongly encouraged to use virtual meetings for training seminars and other events during calendar year 2020.
    8. The general secretary shall prepare a risk assessment of conducting the Rotary Youth Exchange Program during the 2020–21 Rotary year for report to the Board at its June 2020 meeting.
  • requests the president and the president-elect to jointly appoint a nine-member Pandemic Response Task Force to comprehensively study how Rotary can optimally utilize virtual technologies during the COVID-19 pandemic and agreed that the task force’s mandate runs through 31 October 2020.

* * * * * *

Programs, Meetings, and Awards

The Board

  • received President-elect Knaack’s update on holding a third preconvention event in conjunction with the 2021 RI (Taipei) Convention on Intercountry Committees;
  • amended its policy on district conferences to allow for participation of non-Rotarian community leaders in a conference and encouraged governors to hold public-facing events as part of their district conferences;
  • amended its policy to provide for Rotaractors to be eligible to receive the Service Above Self Award, and the Avenues of Service Award, and for Rotaract clubs to be eligible to receive the Significant Service Award;

Administration and Finances

The Board

  • agreed to sunset the Rotary Global Rewards program by 1 July 2021;
  • broadened the mandate of the Rotary Representatives Network beyond public relations to include helping build connection for humanitarian projects, opening doors to expertise, and helping facilitate

January 2020

Board minutes - January 2020

The third 2019–20 RI Board of Directors meeting was held on 27–29 January 2020 at Rotary International World Headquarters in Evanston, IL USA. At this meeting, the Board reviewed nine committee reports and recorded 39 decisions.

Programs, Meetings, and Awards

The Board

  • established an annual Rotaract per capita dues fee structure of US$5.00 for university-based clubs and $8.00 for community-based clubs, beginning 1 July 2022 and agreed that the $50 one-time chartering fee for new Rotaract clubs will be eliminated beginning 1 July 2022;
  • clarifying its decision from October 2019 regarding a Rotaract age limit and in response to Rotaractor feedback and survey data, agreed that a Rotaract club may, but is not required to, establish upper age limits, provided that the club (in accordance with its bylaws) obtain the concurrence of its members and the sponsor club(s) (if applicable);
  • renamed Rotarian Action Groups to Rotary Action Groups and agreed to admit non-Rotarians as members of these groups;
  • to enhance Rotary's engagement with local communities, approved a non-Rotarian event concept for launch at the 2023 Melbourne convention;
  • selected the 2019–20 recipients for the Rotary Alumni Global Service Award and the Rotary Alumni Association of the Year Award, to be awarded at the 2020 Honolulu convention;
  • approved 147 recipients for the 2019–20 Service Above Self Award.

Administration and Finances

The Board

  • agreed to cease producing the Official Directory;
  • approved President-elect Knaack's proposed 2020–21 Rotary committee appointments, including his selection of Johrita Solari (USA) as vice president, Bharat Pandya (India) as treasurer, and Stephanie Urchick (USA) as Executive Committee chair;
  • approved the 2020–21 district governors funding budget of US$9.3 million.

Clubs and Districts

The Board

  • continued its review of a global membership test project that is not club-based;
  • reviewed six resolutions that were adopted by the 2019 Council on Resolutions.

October 2019

Board minutes - October 2019

The second 2019–20 RI Board of Directors meeting was held on 21–24 October 2019 at the Rotary International World Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA. At this meeting, the Board reviewed 14 committee reports and recorded 61 decisions.

Club and District

The Board received a report on membership trends that included, as of 1 July 2019, a membership total of 1,189,466 Rotarians (down 5,641 members from 2018) and a total of 35,890 clubs (up 209 clubs from 2018).

Programs and Awards

The Board

            • approved a pilot partnership concept with the Global Partnership for Education, a global fund that aims to strengthen education systems in developing countries;
            • agreed to a resource partnership with the Eleanor Crook Foundation that will involve a nutrition initiative with the Power of Nutrition in a sub Saharan Africa country;
            • agreed to add Gavi The Vaccine Alliance as a partner to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative;
            • approved the Rotary Fellowship: Rotary Peace Fellowship Alumni Association;
            • in reviewing several recommendations from the Elevate Rotaract Task Force, agreed to
              • allow Rotaract clubs to organize without a sponsor
              • allow Rotaract clubs to organize with a Rotaract club sponsor
              • remove the upper age limit of Rotaract (but maintained that the program is for young adults)
              • strongly encourage Rotary districts to include Rotaractors in every district committee
              • further review establishing per capita dues for Rotaractors
              • eliminate the US$50 chartering fee for new Rotaract clubs, beginning 1 July 2021 (provided that a Rotaract per capita dues structure is in place)
              • encourage future RI presidents to appoint Rotaractors as advisers to RI committees
              • explore developing a mobile app to better facilitate Rotary and Rotaract club management and communications
              • set the following goals pertaining to Rotaract:
                • increase the number of reported Rotaractors by 100 percent by 2022
                • increase the number of reported Rotaractors that join Rotary clubs by 20 percent by 2022
                • increase the number of reported Rotaractors to one million by 2029.

Meetings

The Board

            • accepted the proposal of the 12 Taiwanese districts to host the 2021 Rotary International Convention on 12–16 June 2021 in Taipei, Taiwan;
            • noted that 2026 will be the first year (of a seven-year cycle) Rotary will hold its convention in a city that does not meet all of Rotary's critical criteria to host a convention and agreed to solicit proposal from Durban, South Africa; Genoa, Italy; Krakow, Poland; Manila, Philippines; Rimini, Italy; Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt; and Trondheim, Norway.

Administration and Finances

The Board

            • elected Hsiu Ming Lin, Geeta K. Manek, Aziz Memon, and Barry J. Rassin to be Rotary Foundation trustees, beginning 1 July 2020;
            • received President-elect Knaack's committee structure for 2020–21, comprising the standing committees of: Audit, Communications, Constitution and Bylaws, Conventions (Taipei and Houston) Districting, Election Review, Finance, Membership, Operations Review, Rotaract, and Strategic Planning, and "Other" committees including the International Assembly, Joint Committee on Partnerships, Leadership Development and Training, Shaping Rotary's Future, Young Past Governors, and Risk Advisory;
            • strengthened its adult harassment policy and agreed that incoming and current club presidents, governors, regional leaders, and directors shall be provided annual training on Rotary's adult harassment policy, and further requested the Leadership Development and Training Committee to incorporate this training at all future President-elect Training Seminars and at the International Assembly;
            • the Board adopted the 2020–21 annual goals for Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation as follows:

GOALS FOR PRIORITY 1 – INCREASE OUR IMPACT
1. Eradicate polio and highlight Rotary's role.
2. Increase contributions to the Annual Fund and PolioPlus while building the Endowment Fund to $2.025 billion by 2025.
3. Improve the measurable impact of district grants, global grants, PolioPlus and the Rotary Peace Centers.
4. Build new partnerships, including opportunities with government agencies, to enhance the global foot print of humanitarian projects.

GOALS FOR PRIORITY 2 – EXPAND OUR REACH
5. Increase and diversify participation by starting new and innovative clubs and participant engagement channels, and by attracting new members in our existing clubs.
6. Increase the number of female members, members under 40, and Rotaractors joining Rotary.
7. Build awareness of Rotary and Rotarians as People of Action.

GOALS FOR PRIORITY 3 – ENHANCE PARTICIPANT ENGAGEMENT
8. Enhance the engagement among Interact, Rotaract and Rotary club members and other Rotary participants.
9. Increase collaboration between all participants, in particular between Rotary clubs and Rotaract clubs.
10. Build new partnerships to enhance the global foot print of our humanitarian projects.

GOALS FOR PRIORITY 4 – INCREASE OUR ABILITY TO ADAPT
11. Implement adjustment to our volunteer leadership structure.
12. Focus and potentially narrow our program efforts.


"July" 2019

Board minutes - "July" 2019

The 2019–20 RI Board held its first meeting on 7 June 2019 in Hamburg, Germany. At the May and "July" meetings, the Board reviewed reports from three committees and recorded 27 decisions.

The Board

            • welcomed the 2019–20 appointments of Olayinka Babalola as RI vice president and David D. Stovall as RI treasurer;
            • agreed that Zones 1B, 3, 14, 18, 22, 29, 32, and 34 shall select committees in 2019–20 to nominate RI directors for election at the 2021 convention to serve in 2022–24;
            • approved creation of a new task force to thoroughly study how best to implement the 2019 Council's approval of admitting Rotaract clubs into Rotary;
            • extended its electronic voting pilot in South Asia (whereby districts are required to use electronic voting for district and zone elections) to include more countries in the region and to be extended through 2021–22.

May 2019

Board minutes - May 2019

The 2018–19 RI Board of directors held its fifth and final meeting on 30 May 2019 in Hamburg, Germany. At the May and "July" meetings, the Board reviewed reports from three committees and recorded 27 decisions.

The Board

            • modified the qualifications for the International Assembly moderator and Convention Committee chair positions to allow for more candidates, to ensure that candidates have recent Rotary leadership experience, and to clarify that the candidates must have basic English ability, among changes to ultimately help ensure the best candidates are selected for these important Rotary leadership positions. The Board also clarified who may nominate Rotarians for these positions;
            • extended Rotary's service partnership agreements with Ashoka and Mediators Beyond Borders International through 30 June 2022;
            • approved the 2019–20 RI operating budget, reflecting revenues of US$111,639,000, operating expenses of $87,878,000, use of general surplus funds of $572,000, and use of convention reserves of $1,215,000, resulting in an excess of revenues, general surplus funds, and convention reserve over expenditures of $3,292,000.

April 2019

Board minutes - April 2019

The fourth 2018–19 RI Board of Directors meeting was held on 8–11 April 2019 in Evanston, IL, USA. At this meeting, the Board reviewed 11 committee reports and recorded 44 decisions.

Clubs and Districts

The Board

            • agreed to implement to all districts, beginning 1 July 2021, a new district governor funding model (in pilot now through 2021), whereby RI funds governors via district accounts and governors are required to document full use of their funds, returning any unused portion to Rotary;
            • amended its qualifications for serving on a district committee to allow for the selection of Rotaractors;
            • agreed to continue conducting its non-club-based participant model test, which aims to create new channels into Rotary, build awareness of the Rotary brand, diversify participation in Rotary, and to increase Rotary's openness and appeal;
            • approved the formation of Rotary clubs in Iraq.

Administration and Finances

The Board

            • took several decisions regarding the power of the RI president, including
              • requesting the president-elect to nominate no fewer than twice the number of candidates for election as Foundation trustees as there will be open positions for (not including the position to be held by an RI past president);
              • agreeing that effective 1 July 2020, Rotary will not fund the expenses of a president's representative to district conferences that do not meet certain attendance requirements;
              • agreeing that effective 1 July 2020, president's representatives shall not be appointed to more than one conference per Rotary year;
            • regarding Rotary committees
              • agreed that all Board decisions creating a new committee or task force that is to last beyond the current Rotary year must identify:
                1. a defined trial and evaluation period of not more than four years;
                2. anticipated impact on Rotary's resources for the duration of the trial and evaluation period;
                3. criteria by which the success or failure of the committee or task force will be measured;
                4. dates for interim evaluations and reports to the Board;
                5. a date of the final evaluation, following which the Board may adopt it as an on-going committee or task force, terminate the committee or task force, or extend the trial and evaluation period as needed;
            • in reviewing the Rotary brand
              • requested all users of the Rotary Marks to come into visual brand compliance as soon as possible;
              • agreed not to publish in official Rotary media, after 31 July 2019, any advertisements or other information that are not in brand compliance;
              • agreed not to permit any exhibitions at all official Rotary events that are not in brand compliance;
            • approved a five-year roadmap through 2024 as a guide for implementing the new strategic plan with specific activities and target completion dates for each of the four strategic priorities;
            • extended the strategic partnership with the Institute for Economics and Peace through 2022 and the project partnership with ShelterBox through 2022;
            • agreed to add the African Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank to the list of organizations to which Rotary has representation.

January 2019

Board minutes - January 2019

The third 2018–19 RI Board of Directors meeting was held on 21–23 January 2019 in La Jolla, CA, USA. At this meeting, the Board reviewed 9 committee reports and recorded 56 decisions.

Clubs and Districts

The Board

            • continued its review of a global membership test project that is not club-based;
            • reviewed 16 resolutions that were adopted by the 2017 Council on Resolutions;

Programs, Meetings, and Awards

The Board

  • agreed to allow Rotarian Action Groups to establish separate charitable entities;
  • authorized the general secretary to work with Toastmasters International to develop and launch a co-branded online product, to be made available first to Rotaract clubs, then non-club based participants and Rotary clubs;
  • approved allowing content from the 2020 RI (Honolulu) Convention to be available via a livestreaming platform;
  • tentatively selected Melbourne, Australia, as the site for the 2023 RI Convention;
  • selected the individual and association to receive the Rotary Alumni Global Service Award and the Rotary Alumni Association of the Year Award;
  • approved 75 recipients for the 2018–19 Service Above Self Award.

Administration and Finances

The Board

  • approved President-elect Maloney's proposed 2019–20 Rotary committee appointments, including his selection of Olayinka Babalola (Nigeria) as vice president, David Stovall (USA) as treasurer, and Francesco Arezzo (Italy) as Executive Committee chair;
  • approved a diversity, equity and inclusion policy statement for Rotary as follows:

As a global network that strives to build a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change, Rotary values diversity and celebrates the contributions of people of all backgrounds, regardless of their age, ethnicity, race, color, abilities, religion, socioeconomic status, culture, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Rotary will cultivate a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture in which people from underrepresented groups have greater opportunities to participate as members and leaders.

  • updated its policy on adult harassment and requested the general secretary to provide training resources to club and district leaders regarding maintaining harassment-free environments at Rotary meetings, events, and activities;
  • agreed to submit to the 2019 Council on Legislation a statement of support for Council item 19-117: "To authorize the RI Board to take appropriate action to change RI's tax status";
  • approved the 2019–20 district governors funding budget of US$9.3 million;
  • approved spending from The Rotary Foundation unrestricted funds to increase the World Fund match from US$0.50 to $1.00 for every $1.00 of district designated funds contributed to the PolioPlus program, and further increased the annual maximum contribution from US$5 million to $10 million.

October 2018

Board minutes - October 2018

The second 2018–19 RI Board of Directors meeting was held on 22–25 October at the Rotary International World Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA. At this meeting, the Board reviewed 17 committee reports and recorded 52 decisions.

Club and District

The Board

  • received a report on membership trends that included, as of 1 July 2018, a membership total of 1,195,107 Rotarians (down 7,829 members from 2017) and a total of 35,681 clubs (up 25 clubs from 2017);
  • agreed to pursue registration as an overseas NGO in the People's Republic of China;
  • amended the role, selection criteria, and term of assistant governors;
  • encouraged regional leaders to appoint current or former Rotaract members as assistant Rotary coordinators and Rotary public image coordinators to support member development in Rotaract and to strengthen the relationship between Rotary clubs and Rotaract clubs;
  • agreed that the following district committees and subcommittees should be mandatory, effective 1 July 2019:

Committees
Finance
Membership
Public Image
Rotary Foundation
Training

Subcommittees
Grants
Fundraising
PolioPlus
Rotary Peace Fellowships Stewardship

  • agreed that the following district committees are optional, effective 1 July 2109:

Alumni
Community Service
Conference
Convention Promotion
Interact
International Service (DISC)
Programs
Rotaract
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards
Youth Exchange

Programs and Awards

The Board

  • extended its service partnership agreement with Ashoka and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness through the end of June 2019;
  • adopted the following initiatives for the first year of the new Rotary strategic plan:
    • Rotaract—the Secretariat will research Rotaract as a channel into the Rotary experience and investigate what Rotary products and services Rotaractors are most interested in.
    • Area of Focus Modifications—for the first time since the 2010 Future Vision rollout, the Foundation will evaluate whether changes to the Areas of Focus are needed.
    • Governance—the Board will investigate streamlining governance throughout Rotary.
    • Business Process Review—the Secretariat will undertake a system-wide review of all major business processes within Rotary to ensure efficient allocation of resources and their alignment with the new strategic plan.
    • Global Membership—the Secretariat will thoroughly investigate all components of a new avenue into Rotary membership with the global membership model for possible adoption as a pilot program.
    • Programs of Scale—the Rotary Foundation Trustees will investigate the further development of a new grant model that features large-scale projects.
  • requested the general secretary to investigate the impact of collecting annual per capital dues from Rotaractors.

Meetings

The Board

  • accepted the proposal of District 5000 (USA—Hawaii), to host the 2020 Rotary International Convention on 6–10 June 2020 in Honolulu, Hawaii;
  • updated the leadership development and training cycle to combine the District Rotary Foundation Seminar, the District Membership Seminar, and the District Public Image Seminar into a new seminar called the Vibrant Club Workshop.

Administration and Finances

The Board

  • elected Jorge Aufranc, Hipolito S. Ferreira, Jennifer E. Jones, and Ian H.S. Riseley to be Rotary Foundation trustees, beginning 1 July 2019;
  • adopted a new privacy statement for personal data as follows:
Rotary's Privacy Statement for Personal Data

In the course of fulfilling its mission, Rotary International ("Rotary") collects personal data regarding Rotarians, Rotary clubs and others. Rotary is committed to protecting the privacy of these individuals. Personal data is defined as any information that relates to an individual who is or can be identified from the data, either alone or in conjunction with other information. Rotary will adhere to the following principles:

1. Rotary will only collect and use personal data for Core Business Purposes.
2. Rotary will strive for personal data accuracy and relevance.
3. Rotary will be transparent about how it uses personal data.
4. Rotary will act with urgency on potential breaches.
5. Rotary will adopt "privacy by design and by default."
6. Rotary will keep personal data secure.

Rotary's Core Business Purposes are purposes that are critical or closely related to Rotary's essential activities or legitimate interests. Such purposes include, but are not limited to:

• fulfilling Rotary's obligations to Rotarians and other individuals
• financial processing
• supporting The Rotary Foundation, including fundraising efforts
• facilitating convention and special event planning
• communicating key organizational messages through Rotary publications and other materials
• supporting the programs and membership of Rotary
• complying with the law or acting in good faith belief that such an action is necessary to conform with the requirements of the law.

  • requested the general secretary to study and recommend a formal policy statement on gender equity for report at its January 2019 meeting.

July 2018

Board minutes - July 2018

The 2018–19 RI Board held its first meeting on 29 June 2018 in Toronto, ON, Canada. At these meetings the Board reviewed reports from six committees and recorded 39 decisions.

RI Administration

The Board

  • welcomed the 2018–19 appointments of John C. Matthews as RI vice president and Peter Iblher as RI treasurer;
  • adopted the 2019–20 annual goals for Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation as follows:

GOALS FOR PRIORITY 1 – UNITE PEOPLE
1. Strengthen the process for activating leadership in clubs and districts.
2. Increase club membership by attracting new and retaining existing members.
3. Start new clubs.
4. Increase the number of female members, members under 40, and Rotaractors joining Rotary.
5. Enhance the engagement and collaboration among Interact, Rotaract and Rotary club members and other Rotary participants.

GOALS FOR PRIORITY 2 – TAKE ACTION
6. Publicize the role of Rotary and Rotarians in polio eradication.
7. Increase local and international projects by fully utilizing District Designated Funds to fund district grants, global grants, PolioPlus and the Rotary Peace Centers.
8. Increase contributions to the Annual Fund and PolioPlus while building the Endowment Fund to $2.025 billion by 2025.
9. Build awareness of Rotary, and promote the People of Action campaign.

GOALS FOR PRIORITY 3 – INTERNAL/OPERATIONAL MATTERS
10. Analyze the effectiveness of our current volunteer leadership levels.
11. Focus and potentially narrow our program efforts.

  • agreed that committees referenced in Article 17 of the RI Bylaws should not meet during the month of July, the first two weeks of August, and from the fourth Thursday in November through the end of December and requested future RI presidents to authorize meeting times accordingly;
  • in its ongoing review of governance matters in Rotary, established a new, six-person committee to review regional leaders and structure, including the effectiveness of institutes, presidents' representatives, and regional leaders; the regionalization model; volunteer leadership layers between directors and the districts; and district matters, including the ideal number of districts, their size, leadership structure, and duties of the governor;
  • approved a four-year pilot for incorporating young past governors as a resource to the RI Board as a way for including younger perspectives in the Board's decision making process.

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