About Rethink Rotary


Meet Katie Coard

Rotarian, Online Content Manager and Educator

Let’s face it Rotary is struggling. Rotary is losing its relevancy in today’s modern world especially when the average age of a Rotarian is 58 years old. The organisation has struggled to adapt to fit into changing generational expectations.As the world’s leading service organisation, Rotary needs to be at the cutting edge. It needs to retain the core Rotary values but show the world how professional development, volunteering, leadership and networking can be achieved through one flexible, acessible, engaged and active organisation.How do we make Rotary relevant again? We have to Rethink Rotary starting at the club level. I found myself spending a lot of time pondering this dilemma, so I decided to take action. Rethink Rotary was created with the vision of providing a space where we can have a conversation on how to make clubs and ultimately Rotary more relevant and engaged.

Learning the ropes in Rotaract

Originally from England, I got involved with Rotary through Rotaract when I moved to Canada to attend University. During my time with the Rotaract Club of Victoria, I served as co-president and chaired various committees. When I wasn’t active with the Rotaract club, I was working hard towards a BSc in Linguistics. I graduated with honours and a presidential citation in 2013.

What do I do now?

After graduating, I faced the question that many graduates ask themselves: “What do I do now?”. Passionate about nonprofits and Rotary, I realised that I always approached these amazing organisations from the standpoint of how can they market themselves better or how can they increase their online content to become more successful. It seemed perfectly logical especially with my linguistic background, to develop my skills as an online content manager and brand marketing advisor for nonprofits and small companies. My work includes developing websites, creating and managing social media accounts and co-ordinating marketing strategies. This includes understanding how social media works and what makes a post stand out against others.

Hang on, something isn’t right here!

In 2014, while still active in Rotaract as past-president I started thinking about my future in Rotary. I noticed a big problem, there were plenty of Rotaractors who, once they graduated or felt too old to continue in Rotaract, just left the Rotary family never to return. Why weren’t they joining established Rotary clubs? Why was there such a disconnect between these clubs and younger potential members? So along with a fellow Rotaractor, I decided to start a new Rotary club; one which focused on being flexible, economical, active and accessible for all who wanted to join Rotary. I was able to use my expertise to develop a new look Rotary website www.victoriarotary.com for the club which focused on being an advertising tool rather than losing its message by being both a member focused and advertising brochure website.

Rethink Rotary is formed

During my time creating and tackling the reasoning behind creating the club, I felt the need to be documenting my experiences and research just to preserve it for any Rotarians out there who might be interested in working on changing their clubs. Using my expertise with online content management and brand marketing, I created Rethink Rotary. First, came Twitter @rethinkrotary where tweets are based on encouraging all Rotary clubs and Rotarians to start a conversation by questioning how they and their clubs do Rotary. It has been a fantastic way to engage with other Rotarians and clubs who are questioning, challenging and implementing changes. Through twitter exchanges and emails with Rotarians and Rotary clubs all over the world, it appeared that people were looking for help but didn’t know where to turn for the right Rotary specific advice. To be of more service, I decided to launch a Rethink Rotary blog where I can use my knowledge and expertise to provide a go to site for Rotarians and Rotary clubs looking for advice about changing how their club works, improving their online content and brand marketing.

Reach out

I love to hear from Rotarians and Rotary clubs. Reach out to me personally for a chat, engage with a Rethink Rotary blog/tweet or ask about the services I provide. Contact me either via rethinkrotary@gmail.com or use my contact form. For us to work to make Rotary relevant to the world we live in, we have to start a conversation. Now’s the time!