Posted by Carol Toomey on Feb 18, 2019
So you joined rotary? You had a fireside chat or a breakfast with an experienced club member. He or she told you what you needed to know to function as a good club member. Needless to say you did not learn everything about rotary in that hour!
Or, maybe not!!  If you think there is more to learn, like what is Rotary's Manual of Procedure, or just how to learn more about Rotary and what other clubs do, read on.  There are many resources to learn more about this great organization. Just attending meetings and talking to your fellow club members will give you a little bit of knowledge each week. But if you want to know more and faster, there are some ways to get to know more. 
1.     Read your the Rotarian - your Rotary magazine. It comes every month and the subscription is included in your dues. There are articles covering just about everything.
2.     Attend district meetings. You don’t have to be a member of a committee to attend one of their meetings. They are open to all and your help and expertise is always welcome. It’s a great way to learn just how the various committees are helping clubs.  There are numerous committees such as Membership, The Rotary Foundation (helping clubs with grants, scholarships, fundraising, etc.), Youth (Interact, Rotaract, ESSEX, RYLA and Youth Protection), Service (helping clubs create sustainable projects), Public Relations, and more.  If you have an interest, you might want to get involved and bring new ideas to your club!
3.     Check out your club and district website. Go to  The calendar of happenings as well as many informative documents are housed there.
4.     Attend Rotary Leadership Institute ("RLI") (often called Rotary Learning Institute). You will learn more about rotary and get to know Rotarians from other clubs and districts. It really is a fun day.
5.     Go to There is so much information on this website that you could travel the different links over months. Follow the convention news (another way to learn about rotary is to attend convention) and download articles that match your interest.
Now, many people have done all of the above. There is still more. For the deep dive, take a look at the Manual of Procedure ("MOP").  MOP is essentially the book of rules for Rotary members all over the world. (Editor's Comment: The first rule in Rotary is that there are no rules.) Please don’t think that the President of Rotary International or his predecessors wrote this book. YOU and your fellow rotarians have written and continue to write this book. Every three years Rotarians from all over the world gather to discuss the proposed changes in the MOP. When they gather, it is called the Council on Legislation ("COL").  Each Rotary District elects a representative who attends the COL and votes on the various proposals.  These proposals have been written to modernize this 114 year old organization and have been submitted by Rotarians from all over the world.
This April, 535 or so COL representatives from all over the world will meet to vote on these proposals. You can watch for news on this historic meeting at The last COL in 2016 was the most progressive ever and it is expected that this will be a very forward thinking one as well.
Examples of changes proposed:
The word “club” CAN be deleted from a club’s name
The type of clubs will expand such as corporate clubs, satellite clubs, e-clubs, and more
30,000 words will be reduced to 20,000 words will no change in meaning
Dues will increase and many more
After the meeting is over the changes that most effect you will be written about and posted on the district website. If you don’t like something that changed, you can propose to change it back. It will then be voted on in 3 years.
If you are interested in learning more: You can download the 2016 MOP (our current book) <CLICK HERE FOR 2016 MOP> or the proposals for the 2019 MOP <CLICK HERE FOR THE PROPOSED LEGISLATION>
If you have any comments on the proposed legislation, our District COL Representative (and author of this Article) Carol Toomey would love to hear your thoughts.  <CLICK HERE TO EMAIL CAROL>
Maybe next time we will be voting on your proposal. 
Upcoming deadlines for submitting resolutions and legislation follow:
  • 2019 Council on Resolutions: 30 June 2019
  • 2022 Council on Legislation: 31 December 2020