This is an exciting time for New Generations! We are in the process of revising our Rotaract and Interact handbooks. We have a new Rotaract promotional postcard that will replace our brochure. We also have a recent publication, An Introduction to New Generations Service, that shares how clubs can promote Rotary programs to youth, engage current members through this Avenue of Service, and cross-promote the programs to young participants. As you know, Rotary’s four New Generations programs are designed to fit together seamlessly. Each program builds upon the others to bring youth, young adults, and Rotarians together as partners in service. That gives young leaders the chance to develop their skills through other New Generations programs as they stay connected to Rotary.
RI encourages districts to become leaders in the fifth Avenue of Service by ensuring that all four structured programs are active in their schools and communities. When all programs are active, your clubs have the best chance to keep young people engaged in Rotary experiences from age 12 through young adulthood. If your clubs need specific strategies or ideas, they can find them on our newly revised Alumni page on the RI website. That section includes program-specific tips to help Rotarians connect with former program participants and other alumni. There are also "tip cards" that you can print and share with your district's Rotarians.
We see a special place in districts for community-based Rotaract clubs. Since community-based clubs draw on a greater range of ages and backgrounds than university-based clubs, they have a more active, stable, and diverse membership. Their members can take on more challenging service projects, fundraisers, and events. In addition, these community-based clubs offer their members a Rotary-like experience even as they develop Rotaractors into qualified members. Community-based Rotaract clubs can be the missing piece between district youth activities and Rotary and help districts turn New Generations into the Next Generation of Rotarians!
The New Generations team has also started offering webinars to support this Avenue of Service. You can hear our first webinar here (in English and Spanish) and register for our second webinar here. Rotarians can also sign up for the New Generations e-newsletter (in English) as well as connect with New Generations online through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn (in my signature block.) We're having our first Rotaract "twitter chat" in December. This year marks the third annual video contest on YouTube for Interactors, and more than 15 years of our annual Rotaract Outstanding Project Award.
I hope this gives you a sense of what is new for clubs around the fifth Avenue of Service. Please let me know if you have any additional questions about Rotary's New Generations programs.
All the best,
Angela M. Forfia
New Generations Supervisor
Ongoing discussions regarding RI and TRF alumni continue at the Board and Trustee level. Several RI committees have recommended that a joint approach be developed, and R.I is working towards that goal. As of today however, there are no formalized RI alumni activities, and we are missing things like a specific definition. R.I. does encourage clubs and districts to maintain relationships with their former program participants, and has recently launched a campaign that provides specific suggestions. See some samples with electronic postcards for each program that focus on remaining engaged with participants. R.I.’s communications in this regard will be further refined and developed as they work towards a more unified approach.
At the club and district level, Rotarians could approach alumni of any and all RI and Foundation programs in the way that works best for them locally.
With respect to the specific definition of alumni within The Foundation and the impact of Future Vision, I would need to refer you to Foundation staff who can share with you the plans for this transition. Jennifer Willbanks manages the alumni program and share more information with you.