Rotary Club of New Berlin, New Berlin Rotary Club, Rick Debe, Rotary water projects
Rick Debe reviews Rotary International's grant programs.
Rotary grants improve lives all over the world
Rotary International is best known for its efforts to eradicate polio. Understandably so. Since establishing that goal in 1985, Rotary and its partners have reduced the incidence of polio an estimated 99.99%. In 2017, there were only 22 reported cases in the world. Polio is endemic in just three countries: Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. 
Gains such as this are possible due to grants issued by The Rotary Foundation. We learned more about Rotary grants during our Oct. 23 meeting. Rick Debe, District Water & Sanitation Chair, reviewed the grant processes as well as several international water projects local Rotarians are involved in.
The Rotary Foundation is structured to be self-sustaining. Donations are invested, with interest used to cover administration costs. Some 97-98% of donations are returned in the form of grants. This type of performance has earned the Foundation an "outstanding recommendation" by Charity Navigator, Debe says. 
Debe, International Service Chair at his home club, Mukwonago Rotary, said that in 2017:
· Rotarians donated $140.1 million to the Foundation
· Rotary issued 1,260 Global Grants
· Rotary dispersed $111.5 million in humanitarian grants worldwide
Guatemala communities benefit from Rotary grants
A hands-on kind of person, Debe has been involved in several projects in Guatemala that were funded partly by Rotary grants. The projects occurred in these communities:
La Laguna: Bring potable water to the community of 550 residents. Grant total of $51,545.
Joyabaj: Filter river water to serve 25,000 residents. Grant was $40,000.
Joyabaj Bridges Projects: Three foot bridges in and near Joyabaj. Rotary provided grants of nearly $12,000 for each bridge.
Planned for next year is the Chupoj Water Project. It's an extensive project that will provide clean water for about 600 residents.
Its budget is $164,000, of which $64,000 has been raised in Guatemala. District and Foundation grants are expected to total about $32,000. The Rotary Club of Milwaukee has pledged $20,000. Organizers to raise the rest through Rotary Club donations and further matching grants from the Rotary Foundation.

Debe encourages Rotarians to "get out of their box" and volunteer internationally. "It's such a life-changing experience," he says, adding that "this is not a travel club. You will be working every day."
District Gov. Kola Alayande, Phd addresses the Rotary Club of New Berlin.
Membership growth possible with right strategy
Building membership is a hot topic in Rotary and elsewhere today. Chambers of commerce and other professional organizations are challenged to add and retain members. Rotary clubs are no different. Some are doing well -- actually growing -- while others are in the rebuilding stage. Such is the case with the Rotary Club of New Berlin.
We were fortunate to have our district governor, Kola Alayande, talk with us during our Oct. 9 meeting. Alayande, a member of the Mequon-Milwaukee Afterhours club, shared his ideas for building membership. While he was speaking directly to us, his suggestions apply to any club or organization.
First, don't make assumptions about people. Even though they work full time and have families, they might be interested. "We're telling ourselves not to talk with them," Alayande says. Approach anyway. Talk about the good program you're a part of, and get their feedback.
Then, set modest goals for growth. Each member of his club is to recruit one new member during the year. They tell themselves, "All I want to do is find one person in 365 days." Don't put the burden on club leadership. "It's everyone's responsibility," he says.
He won't accept the excuse of "I'm busy." Alayande attended five Rotary meetings on the day he visited us. That was after running two errands and holding two online courses. 
Alayande recommends talking with 10 to 20 people. You may get three who express interest, and one who joins. Understand that club personality plays a big part. A given prospect may not be a good fit for your club. "Does the club culture fit the person?" he wonders.
As for prospective members, "it's not about age. It's about commitment." He knows of Rotarians in their 80s who are "gung ho." Alayande looks for people across the spectrum who would make good Rotarians. And not just professionals, either. Alayande suggests searching for people from other job classifications.
What about the excuse, "I'm too busy"? "We're all busy," Alayande reminds us. "It's about priorities. I put Rotary in one of my priorities. If you commit to something, you do it."
Encourage networking among your members. Rotary started as a networking group. Each of us has connections, and "what young professionals need are warm contacts. If you subscribe to the Four-Way Test, you are an honorable man or woman." Young professionals seek that sort of culture.
But don't forget your existing members. If you don't take good care of the members you have, you'll be too involved in chasing new ones.
His "most important" tip: Ask people. Don't assume, and don't judge. "There is no perfect way to solve the problem with membership," Alayande says. "We can only do our best."
Rotary: Doing good all around the world

The Rotary Foundation supports ongoing efforts to eradicate polio (now found in just three countries in the world!), bring clean water and sanitation services to impoverished communities, and build schools and other structures, to name just a few.
This video offers just a glimpse of the important work Rotary International does for the needy everywhere.
Club Information

Welcome to Rotary Club of New Berlin!

New Berlin Rotary Club

2nd and 4th Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m.
New Berlin Community Center
14750 W Cleveland Ave
New Berlin, WI  53151
United States
District Site
Venue Map
The Four-Way Test
Of the things we think,
say or do:
1)    Is it the TRUTH?
2)    Is it FAIR to all concerned?
3)    Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
4)    Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
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To contact any of our directors, click on the person's name. That will launch the contact form.
Articles discussing our past meetings and events can be found by clicking on the Archive tab above.
The Rotary District 6270 website has information about our district, as well as a list of other Rotary clubs in the district.
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Interested in doing some volunteering? Click on any of these links to learn more.

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If you are a speaker and have a topic you think would be of interest to our members, contact president Pat McLaughlin. You can reach him through the link above.

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Do your deals benefit all parties involved? 

Adhering to high business ethics not just right, it's also good business practice.
Rotary clubs follow the Four-Way Test, which is shown on the left side of this page. For more on the value of incorporating the Four-Way Test in your business, read this article from the BizTimes of Milwaukee: