By Stephanie A. Urchick, RI Director and Former Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee

When we began developing a new strategic plan for Rotary over two years ago, we started by taking a look in the mirror. We asked hard questions as we performed a thorough self-assessment, all the while acknowledging the changing world around us. Once we identified gaps between who we are and who we need and want to be, we looked to you. We asked more than a million people from across the world to share their input with our Strategic Planning Committee through focus groups and surveys. Each goal in our plan is based on feedback from leaders, members, and Rotary participants who want the organization to achieve its vision. Thank you for sharing your passion and insight—we heard you!

Our new strategic plan is different from our past plans. This will be our Action Plan—our organization’s call to action to work together to build a stronger future. This plan will help us realize what’s truly possible when People of Action unite, connect with others who share our values, and commit to creating change in the world and within ourselves.

Our Action Plan is not about wiping away our tradition or tried-and-true core principles. It’s about making our organization stronger so that our values will last for years to come. It’s about using effective tactics to strengthen the organization at all levels. It’s about ensuring that every person who engages with us has a meaningful, valuable and fulfilling experience. It’s about changing more lives and communities for the better.

We are committing ourselves to increasing our impact on the world, expanding our reach, enhancing the experiences and engagement of Rotary participants, and increasing our ability to adapt and be innovative. Over the next several years, we will be exploring, implementing and refining a series of initiatives designed to achieve these goals. While the Action Plan focuses on Rotary International and the corporate-level activities that will drive us toward our vision, much of it also translates to a club and district level.

What does this mean for you? Each club should have the same priorities as the Action Plan. What can you do to help reach these goals? Take into consideration the priorities and ideas in this plan. How can you make your club and the experiences of its members the best it can be?

After considering how your club can have the most impact, use the strategic planning guide as your toolkit. Use the priorities and tips to develop your own plan of action, align with our priorities and support our shared goals. Tailor your plan so that it is the most effective for your club and engages your members and the members of your community. We will be audacious and innovative in how we implement Rotary’s Action Plan and we encourage you to be the same.

You helped build this Action Plan and we will use it to strengthen Rotary so that together, we can act boldly to help make the world better for generations to come.