Q – Why a Passport Club?
Passport clubs are a relatively new ‘model’ of Rotary offering members a great deal of flexibility and the chance to work with other Rotary clubs and non- profit organisations.
Q – How do they differ from traditional Rotary clubs?
Passport Rotary clubs determine how they want to operate – less meetings, a focus on service and social activities, encouraging participation
Q – I thought Rotary Clubs have to meet weekly?
NO – there is no requirement to meet weekly. Historically, weekly meetings were very much part of the Rotary tradition. There was and is often an obligation to pay for meals, making membership expensive as the biggest cost is those meeting charges. While it is changing, only a small percentage of Rotary clubs have adopted a more flexible policy.
Q – So what about club meetings?
Sunshine Coast Passport Rotary (Provisional) meetings take place twice every month. They may take the form of a social event, an online event, or more formally. Families are welcome to attend social events, so bring some food, wine and cheese if you want.
The Club’s Board will meet every other month to make strategic decisions for the club’s development and approve projects and expenditure.
Q – What topics will be covered at member meetings?
Meetings – in whatever form – are an opportunity to discuss service projects, volunteering opportunities, and objectives to maintain progress and hear committee feedback. Those organisations that the club would like to help will also be discussed, and other ideas kicked around.
Q – Is there an expectation to attend meetings?
NO, members are not judged by how many meetings they attend. Sunshine Coast Passport Rotary is a service club first and foremost.
Q – What are the expectations then?
Simply to help out when you can and achieve 30 hours a year volunteering minimum; this is reduced to 20 hours a year for members under the age of 30. You will enjoy it so much that you will want to do a lot more. After all, it’s why you joined Rotary to make a difference – you choose how much you can participate.
Q – What about fundraising?
A good question, Sunshine Coast Passport Rotary’s focus is to collaborate with other clubs and non–profits on their service projects. The plan is to offer club members to provide leadership, passion and integrity rather than taking on fundraising events that raise money to give to others. Rotary has a long tradition of raising millions of dollars for many good causes, passport club members assist in this process with other clubs and also work directly in the community with not for profit groups to help them raise funds. Actually taking part serving the community is highly rewarding and engaging. Fundraising events for the club will be necessary from time to time but only to support a specific project that we are working on – or to support Rotary’s charity, The Rotary Foundation.
Q – No guest speakers, really?
YES – just to clarify, Sunshine Coast Passport Rotary will not have guest speakers for entertainment, any speaker will only be asked to attend for the benefit of the club – to discuss a project and the club’s involvement, report back on a project etc. One of Rotary’s key mottos is “Service Above Self” and in all our dealings we will always try and adopt that thinking.
Q – How is the club funded?
Each member pays fees (see here) to cover the club’s obligations to Rotary International and our Rotary District 9600 (including for insurance) plus a small additional amount towards the club’s operating costs. We also need a joining fee to cover some purchases on your behalf. It’s generally considerably cheaper than most traditional Rotary club as we have no charge for meetings.
ALL OUR MEETINGS ARE FREE.
Q – What other sources increase club funds?
Sunshine Coast Passport Rotary puts a high value on partnerships with other organisations, and working with local schools, charities and businesses. This will enable the seeking of sponsorship and sharing opportunities. As a measure of how important we consider this our organisation structure includes a Partnership Director. Grant opportunities are also available for non-profit organisations.
Q – Isn’t Rotary an organisation for retirees and people over 50?
It is fair to say that only 12% of members are under 50 but this is rapidly changing through the new Rotary club models being introduced.
New Rotary clubs – like the passport version – offer the flexibility and focus to attract young people. Some of Rotary’s passport clubs have an average age of 35. Sunshine Coast Passport Rotary is aiming to achieve a balance of experience and drive taking in many different age groups – people who value productivity and want to make an effective use of their time. The average age of our members currently is 52.
Q How do I join?
A – Look at it as “how do I invest my time and energy in Service”!
A minimum of 20 members will be needed to charter a new club, but we would like to initially have 22- 25. Our members will come from any walk of life, past Rotary members, present and past Rotaractors, business people, students, families and so on. If you genuinely want to make a difference and have the flexibility to volunteer when you want, Sunshine Coast Passport Rotary is for you. You may work with any other Rotary club in the world that needs help. There is enough work in our own Rotary District to keep you busy if you want to stay local.