Rotary District 5370 Update
January 17, 2021

In this issue:

From the Rotary International District 5370 News blog: Stay interviews—a proactive approach to member retention

Upcoming Rotary International, District and club events and announcements: DG Jim’s ShelterBox Challenge; President-Elect training (January 19); Rotarian Youth Advisors needed;  District Office closed; Starting an ECO club (January 19);  and District 5370 Fall Learning Series recordings; District 2232 (Belarus & Ukraine) Rotary Vocational Forum (January 30); and PolioPlus Update and Conversation (January 26)

Club Fundraising: Rotary Club of Edmonton's 2nd annual Robert Burns luncheon (January 25) and raffle and Dogs with Wings 50/50 raffle (Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona)

A Foundation Moment: What is the Goal of Rotary Foundation Grants?  (Part 1 of 3)

Membership Matters: The Power of Connection with Diverse Communities webinar 

Deadline for submissions for the January 24 issue of the District 5370 CONNECTIONS is noon on Friday, January 22. Send your submission to

DG Jim's ShelterBox Challenge

Tess Widdifield of ShelterBox Canada and District 5370 Governor Jim Ferguson challenge the District's Rotary, Rotaract and Interact clubs to support ShelterBox, enabling ShelterBox and Rotary can carry on with much need international help. 


• As an individual, give a gift in someone’s name to ShelterboxCanada for those in need. See District 5370 individual Rotarians Stock-a-Box campaign.

• As a club, contribute $1,200 now to be a Shelterbox Hero Rotary Club in 2020-21.  (Let’s increase from 40 per cent last year to 50 per cent the number of District 5370 clubs who support ShelterBox Canada.)

• Commit to undertaking a small fundraising campaign for ShelterBox. Check out these fundraising ideas

Contact Bernie Kreiner (RC of Hinton), ShelterBox Canada ambassador in D5370 if you want a club presentation. Email ( or call (780-865-9355)

Recent Posts to:

Ask them why they joined and many Rotarians respond, “Because someone asked me.”

And why do members leave? “Because nobody asked me.”

That is, nobody asked them about their Rotary experience until questions were asked during an exit interview, after the decision had been made to leave the club. In other words, they were not asked until it was too late.

Exit interviews can be a tool to improve member retention, but these conversation occur only after someone has decided to leave. You may discover how you could have closed the gate, but that horse has already left the barn and is disappearing over the horizon. 

Reasons for leaving will be different for each former Rotarian, which makes it difficult to generalize from what is learned from individual exit interviews to develop a member- retention strategy. 

There may be common themes in what departing members say, but before these patterns emerge, it would be necessary to conduct several exit interviews, which hopefully would not be the case. 

It would be too late to save these people. They have already made their decision. They are out the door.

There is another approach--a proactive tool employed by business to improve staff retention that can be applied to membership retention.



The Power of Connection with Diverse Communities webinar

As part of Rotary’s ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) Rotary is hosting a series of webinars focusing on actions we can take to be an inclusive organization and ensure our clubs reflect our community. The most recent webinar, The Power of Connection with Diverse Communities, focuses on the importance of building authentic and lasting connections to demonstrate we mean what we say about:

  • Acknowledging our unconscious bias
  • Championing the value and benefits of connecting with diverse communities
  • Learning to build authentic relationships, especially when it comes to volunteering


Sessions from the District 5370 Fall Learning Series and other Learning and Development programs were recorded and are available for viewing in the Virtual Learning Library on the District website.


Tuesday, Jan 19 5:00-5:30 p.m. MST

Click here to register.


Rotarian youth advisors needed for RYLE (Rotary Youth Leadership Experience) and RYPEN (Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment)and RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards).  

Are you interested in mentoring Rotaractors, who will create leadership and growth opportunities for high school students? We are seeking Rotarians to empower and support the RYLE, RYPEN and RYLA teams. Rotarian Youth Advisors will join the committees of these programs and assist the planning of the programs by guiding and sharing their experiences. 

The reward? Watching these dynamic young Rotarians succeed and promote future Rotaractors, Interactors and Rotarians. A Vulnerable Persons Records Check is required.  

Please send an email to to express interest or to pose any questions.


District 2232 (Belarus & Ukraine) Rotary Vocational Forum

Saturday, January 30

January is Vocational Service Month on the Rotary calendar. This is a good time to strengthen the network of Rotary professional connections. Since being founded as a business networking organization, Rotary has emphasized the importance of bringing together business and professional leaders for the purpose of exchanging ideas, developing relationships and improving communities. 

This event is planned to strengthen Rotary relations and create a platform for connections between Rotarians as professionals from different countries. Each participant will find something interesting in plenary sessions, during breakout sessions in the Session Zone, at professional booths in the Expo Zone, or during personal communication one-to-one in the Network Zone.

Click here for more information and to register.


District Office closed

Due to new pandemic-related restrictions introduced by the Alberta governments, including a work-from-home mandate, the Rotary District 5370 is closed, but is still operational and available by phone (780-482-5370) and email (


The first of five sessions to prepare presidents-elect to lead their clubs during 2021-2022 is scheduled for Tuesday, January 19, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. MST. Topics to be covered during this session, which will be led by DGE Donna Barrett and PDG Ingrid Neitsch, are planning your year, leading Rotarians, leadership styles and Rotary Learning Centre. 

Click here to register for this session.

Future PE training sessions are planned for February 9, March 9, April 13 and May 11.


PolioPlus Update and Conversation with PDG and District Foundation chair Tim Schilds on Tuesday, January 26, 8:00-9:00 MST.

The evening will include information on the history of polio, Rotary’s efforts to eradicate the disease, where we are now and how you can help in our efforts. Come ready to exchange ideas about what your club is doing to help eradicate polio as there will be at least one breakout session. 

If you have any specific areas you would like to have discussed, please contact Tim at and he will do his best to add it in.

Click here to register 

The Rotary Club of Edmonton is hosting its 2nd annual Robert Burns luncheon via Zoom at noon on Monday, January 25, the 262nd anniversary of the famous Scottish poet’s birth. During his short, 37-year life, Burns wrote hundreds of poems and more than 300 songs, including the ubiquitous New Year’s Eve favourite, “Auld Lang Syne.”  Today, annual Burns dinner celebrations in his memory are held all over the world.

The meeting will feature bagpipes, Burns poems and music, and Scottish door prizes from the Robert Burns World Federation gift shop. The keynote presentation will be given by Alex Thomson, the current “bard” of the Edmonton Burns Club and a native of Ayrshire, Scotland, the home of Robert Burns.

In connection with this meeting, the club is selling raffle tickets for three baskets of Scotch whisky and wine, with proceeds going to the Edmonton Food Bank.

1st Prize: Scotch and Wine Basket valued at $600 

2nd Prize: Scotch and Wine Basket valued at $400 

3rd Prize: Scotch and Wine Basket valued at $200

Ticket sales end January 28.


Win up to $10,000 while supporting Dogs with Wings (DWW)  

Dogs with Wings (DWW) is a leader in the international community of assistance-dog training schools. They breed, raise, train and place service dogs, autism service dogs, companion dogs and facility dogs.

Proceeds from the Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona’s virtual 50/50 fundraiser will go to DWW to ensure the continuation of the dog training programs. The cost  to DWW to breed, raise, train and place one dog is approximately $40,000 but the cost to its clients is only $1.00. 

Ticket sales end March 1.


Regarding Raffles Sponsored by Alberta-Based Rotary Clubs

Due to provincial regulations, only Alberta residents, aged 18+ may purchase raffle tickets.


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