Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What is Rotary?
A: Rotary is a 1.2 million member service organization comprised of neighbors, friends, and community leaders who come together to create positive, lasting change in our communities and around the world. You may have seen the Rotary wheel before! As an organization, Rotary has been around for over a hundred years and exists in over 180 countries. Every Rotary club operates differently from the next one.
Our club is a Rotary club that holds weekly meetings online, but meets up in-person for service projects and socials. Think of us as a progressive hybrid club, catering to busy working professionals and travelers. If you haven’t yet, please come check out one of our meetings by clicking on the “Attend Meeting” button on the top of this website! You can also read more about Rotary Clubs around the world by visiting our official international website at rotary.org.
Q: What is the difference between the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley and traditional brick-and-mortar Rotary Clubs?
A: Every Rotary Club has its own culture, created by its members. Traditional Rotary Clubs meet in-person at a brick-and-mortar shop (i.e. restaurant or bar) on a regular basis. Our eClub holds its regular meetings online via the website you’re reading right now. Our meetings read like a blog and are structured just like a traditional Rotary Club meeting, with the meeting starting off with the president’s message, going through a joke of the week, inspirational thoughts, upcoming events, what’s going on in our Rotary District, happy dollars, and then our program for the week. Our programs are guest speakers we have recorded 1 to 3 weeks in advance online over Zoom Video Conferencing. Our own leaders and members work hard to find the speakers and preside over the program recording that we produce. The program is uploaded as a video to Youtube, which we end up embedding at the bottom of each of our weekly meetings for anyone to watch during the week.
Because you can start, pause, and complete our weekly meetings at your own leisure anytime you want during the week, this makes the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley one of the most practical clubs to join for any individual with a busy schedule or for anyone who would have trouble making a scheduled meeting every week. There is a new meeting every Monday morning (San Francisco time). We have meetings every week of the year, making our meetings a perfect opportunity for any Rotarian to do a meeting makeup by completing our meeting. No login is required, and if you want attendance credit, you just submit the attendance form at the bottom of the meeting and leave a comment.
Our eClub also allows for members outside of the Silicon Valley to apply and become members. While the majority of our members are based in the Silicon Valley, we have members in Canada, South Africa, Japan, Costa Rica, Brazil, Australia, and throughout the United States.
Just like your traditional brick & mortar Rotary clubs, we also sponsor an Interact Club, send them to their annual district leadership training, and send them to Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) camp every year. We also have in-person service projects and social events in the Silicon Valley every month, as well as annually fundraisers. Our club also elects its leaders the same way many traditional Rotary clubs do, and we also participate at district and regional Rotary events.
We believe that every Rotary club (whether a traditional brick & mortar Rotary club or an online Rotary eClub) is different from the next. If you’re interested in joining Rotary, we always recommend that you shop around and visit multiple clubs. If you’re interested in joining our club, we’d love to chat with you! Reach out to us at i[email protected]
Q: How do your members connect with each other if you don’t meet in-person every week?
A: We have members local in the Silicon Valley and as far as Africa, Japan, Australia, and Brazil. Our membership is also diverse in age and profession. This means that having everyone meet up every week isn’t always possible. Instead, our members take advantage of technology to connect with one and another. In addition to our weekly online meetings, our club also holds in-person service projects and socials in the San Francisco bay area every month. We also have online social opportunities for our members to network together. Although our club was only chartered in the beginning of 2015, we continue to make improvements to grow as a club and to become more active in every aspect from service hours to fundraising to member services.
Q: How much are your membership dues?
A: Every Rotary club has different dues. Our membership dues are USD$150 every 6 months or USD$28 per month if you opt into our monthly installment plan. About half of the membership dues we collect every year goes directly to Rotary International and to our local Rotary District. The remaining amount goes to fund member benefits (such as leadership development grants and service min-e grants) and club operations (such as Zoom, web hosting, sponsoring Interact, RYLA).
Q: What are the benefits of joining your club instead of just lurking and viewing your meetings?
A: We understand that in today’s world there are hundreds of different organizations and forces that pull you in multiple directions. Membership to our club is all about working to empower our members to become more active citizens in their communities. Beyond our club meetings being open to the public and providing inspirational content on a weekly basis, we provide exclusive networking opportunities and grants to our members.
For example, our club members are eligible annually for a Leadership Development Grant and a Min-E Grant. The Leadership Development Grant provides up to USD$150 per member per year as a reimbursement to cover registration for leadership development conferences that the member wants to attend, such as Rotary Conferences or Rotary Conventions. The Min-E Grants are matching service grants of up to USD$250 that members can apply for from our club and receive. Min-E Grants are meant to give members who want to help lead a local service project in their community the resources they need to succeed. If you’re doing the math, you’ll notice that an actively engaged member can receive more money from grants than their annual membership dues. We believe that having a positive return on your investment is one of the reasons why it makes sense to pay for membership dues.
In addition to the grants, there are member only networking opportunities with other members. We also offer assistance connecting members with other Rotarians around the world when you are traveling. It’s a great way to meet locals wherever you end up traveling to. Our members also receive a monthly print magazine called The Rotarian Magazine, as well as access to hundreds of different discounts with merchants like Hilton, Disneyland, Hertz, and many more!
Q: How can I join? What are the requirements?
A: Once you have completed at least four of our online meetings (and submitted attendance forms for each one) within a two month period, you are eligible to apply for membership! You can apply at www.siliconvalleyrotary.com/join. Please note we strongly recommend that you attend at least four weeks of meetings in a row to make sure you are comfortable with attending our online meetings. All further requirements are listed on our join page. If you are interested in becoming a member, you can email [email protected] with any questions, or to just let us know you’re interested in applying!
Q: My question isn’t answered! How can I contact you?
A: You can reach our leadership team by emailing [email protected]