Rotary is a “grass roots” organisation that encourages collaborations at either the individual Rotary club or the Rotary district level. This local approach works best because all financial support projects are developed by individual Rotary clubs or districts. Both the leadership team and the funding objectives of all Rotary clubs and districts worldwide change on 1 July of each year. For this reason, it is essential to begin building a relationship with your local Rotary club several months before 1 July, in order to be considered for funding opportunities during the following Rotary year.
First find out if your sail training organisation includes Rotary members, since personal contact is the best way to develop a STAR relationship. If you are a trainee seeking assistance, be sure to find out whether you have Rotary members as family or colleagues.
Alternatively, find a local Rotary club by going to the Rotary International web site at www.rotary.org and using the Club Locator on the home page. Once you have identified a club you can do any of the following:
- Invite club members to visit your vessel for a tour and demonstration of your sail training program. Having youth present during the visit enhances the story.
- Offer to be a program speaker at a Rotary club meeting. Be a Speaker At Rotary Club Meetings.
- Provide information material for club members and/or prepare an article for the club bulletin. A copy of the article Sail Training Does Exactly What It Claims To Do reporting the results of the 2007 University of Edinburgh study, provides independent evidence of the lasting effects of sail training and should be included in your material.
- Offer to host an event such as a dockside vessel tour, a club meeting, a daysail or a wine tasting aboard your vessel to further introduce the club and its members to your organisation and its mission.
- Designate a member of your organisation – staff, member or volunteer – to be the key contact person with your local Rotary club.
- Encourage a member of your organisation to join a local Rotary club on your organization’s behalf, with a Rotary classification of Youth Sail Training.
Regional or national
To increase regional or national awareness and support for a broader STAR initiative, Rotary recommends that you contact the appropriate Rotary International district governor for your area and try to arrange a meeting. Each district governor is a volunteer who oversees the activities of approximately 50 clubs in a geographical area for a term of one Rotary year, beginning on 1 July. District governors are assisted by committees including those dealing with international exchanges and youth programs. Your local Rotary club can help you identify the district governor in your area.