DG's New Rotary Year Welcome Message DG's New Rotary Year Welcome Message
Greetings Fellow Rotarians of D9211 as we start a new Rotary year.  
Rotary International President (2016-17) John Germ’s theme Rotary Serving Humanity gets back to the basics of Rotary.  He said in his address to the incoming Governors that we all have been given a great opportunity – the opportunity to go and serve our communities and to make them better.  And that is the basis of being a Rotarian – to Serve above Self.
The 2016-17 Rotary year is also a very special year for us – we will be celebrating the Centennial of the formation of The Rotary Foundation.  The then president of RI, Arch Klumph, came up with an idea of starting an endowment to do good in the world.  From that $26.50 starting donation from a club, our foundation has now grown to just under $1 Billion.
And, therefore, our main focus in the coming year will be on the Foundation.  We will support the Foundation not just by giving but by utilizing it as well in the form of Grants.  On the giving side, we will look not only at increasing our regular giving but also other ways like promoting the Bequest Society, Paul Harris Society, etc.  We also need to make sure that every single Rotarian in our district contributes something – even if it is $5 – to the Foundation.  At present, 44% of Rotarians in our district have not contributed at all to the Foundation.
Therefore, our first focus will be the Foundation for the coming year.  But to enable us to do this, we will need to look at our Membership – both in terms of new recruitment as well as, and even more so, retention.  Over the past few years, we have lost nearly 70% of those we had recruited within 2 years.  We need to ask ourselves – why are we losing these members?  Is it because we did not target the right people or is it because we are not giving them value for their time and money?  
So to support our Foundation, we need to retain our members as well as recruit new ones to grow.  In order to do this, we need to build our Brand of Rotary.  We need to make Rotary visible and well known in our communities.  Too often we do great work in our communities and then keep quiet about it.  We need to showcase our achievements and make them widely known.  Rotary should become a brand that would make people want to aspire to be associated with.
Therefore, as we build our Brand of Rotary, we will retain and attract new members and this will enable us to support our Foundation better. 
I look forward to working with you all in the coming year to serve humanity.