Volunteering and project planning

Successful service projects depend on the commitment and involvement of many people, including Rotarians and their families, Interactors, Rotaractors, Rotary Community Corps members, and others in the community. Volunteers can help you carry out your project more smoothly and efficiently. Whether volunteering in your community, using your professional skills on a project, or serving internationally, hands-on service is the perfect way to demonstrate Rotary’s commitment to Service Above Self.

Community Service

Rotary is a global network of volunteers, but its work begins in the community. Volunteering locally gives visibility to your club, highlighting its accomplishments and contributions. To better accomplish this, your club can encourage all members to participate in a local, hands-on service project during Rotarians at Work Day. Consider partnering with another organization on a joint project or fundraiser.

Vocational Service

Diversity among Rotarians is one of Rotary’s greatest assets. Encourage your club members to

  • Organize a mentoring program that invites young people to shadow club members for a day
  • Create projects using their vocations
  • Meet with microcredit recipients to offer advice on marketing or financial management

International service

International volunteers foster global understanding and goodwill.

To find Rotary club and district projects seeking international volunteers:

  • Visit ProjectLINK .
  • Ask your district Rotary Friendship Exchange chair about opportunities to travel with fellow Rotarians to participate in service activities.
  • Join a Rotarian Action Group or Rotary Fellowship.

In searching for an opportunity that would be right for you, consider skills and language requirements, project duration, living and travel arrangements, and working conditions. It’s important to discuss all expectations and goals for the projects with local project participants.

International volunteers 
Inviting international volunteers to serve on your club’s project can add technical and professional expertise that is not available in your community, foster fellowship, and increase appreciation for different cultures.

Before considering an international volunteer, find out whether a member of your community might be offered the same opportunity. You will often find local people who are eager to help with your project. Also, keep in mind that nonlocal experts can provide highly skilled or technical assistance online or through video and Web conferencing.

When using international volunteers, design a concurrent program for them to train members of the club and community in a needed skill. Building expertise locally will increase the community’s capacity and reduce the need for international volunteers in the future.

Consider holding an event to celebrate United Nations International Volunteer Day on 5 December. Encourage community members to donate a day’s worth of their salary, the cost of a day’s worth of meals, or needed goods for an international Rotary club project.

Disaster relief 
To help those affected by a natural disaster in your community, consider volunteering with a well-established disaster relief organization. These agencies often have the local connections, knowledge, and flexibility to effectively mobilize relief efforts to reach those in need.


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