Dear District 6630 fellow Rotarians and Friends:
 
It is hard to believe that we are now well into the second half of the Rotary year—All Ohio PETS is less than a month away and spring will soon be here! In the past, many of our families engaged in “spring cleaning” to get our homes in order for the spring and summer seasons. A similar “spring cleaning” is a good idea for a Rotary club.
 
A Rotary club spring-cleaning should include making sure the “administrative” and “governance” rooms in your house are in good order. Transition to a new leadership team is not that far away and it will be helpful to existing and incoming leaders that these important details have been looked after effectively.
 
A checklist of governance items could be long and rather tedious. But it is important to focus on at least a few basics. My list is in part based on my experience in traveling the District these past few months and meeting with club leaders. From time to time I have come across a few administrative items that need attention.
 
First, on a “spring cleaning” checklist would be a review of club finances and club financial procedures. All clubs, regardless of size, handle money for a wide variety of reasons whether it is collecting dues, administering fundraisers, and even collecting “happy dollars.” These activities raise a number of questions. Does your club have an effective system in place to handle these monies? Is there a Finance Committee? Does your Treasurer provide regular reporting to the club’s Board and/or Finance Committee? Good governance requires a significant financial review and periodic audit, such as when changing Treasurers. Does your club operate in that fashion? Of course, there are a number of basic accounting procedures that need to be followed, such as term limits for Treasurers, double signature requirements for check, and the like. Does your club follow these procedures? If you have not reviewed these questions, now would be a good time to do so.
 
Another area that suggests “spring cleaning” tasks is your club’s Form 990. The Form 990 filed with the IRS asks a series of questions about policies that your club does or does not have. While the list is somewhat long, a few are relevant to every club. For instance, does your club have a conflict of interest policy? Does your club have a document retention policy? Basic good governance strongly suggests that all clubs should have these basic policies in place, as well as others that are appropriate to individual clubs and their individual circumstances.
 
Assistant Governors have been circulating the new Rotary International Policy on Adult Harassment. As all of you know by now, this policy in an effective form, must be adopted by all clubs in the District. In addition to adopting the policy, all clubs in the District must also be prepared to implement it effectively. If your club has not taken active steps to meet these requirements, I ask that you do so. If you need assistance, please reach out to your Assistant Governor for support, input, and reference to further help should you need it.
 
Good governance is not always “exciting,” but it is critical to an effective Rotary club and to attracting and keeping good members. Good Rotary members are rarely interested in remaining with an organization that is not effectively run.
 
On a different note, there are sure signs of spring popping up all around us. As I prepare this article, the Cleveland Indians are only a few days away from their first spring training game in Arizona. The days are getting longer, and as noted, All Ohio PETS (AOP) is less than a month away. AOP is scheduled at the Renaissance Columbus on March 13 and 14, 2020. District Governor-Elect Pat Myers and her classmates have been busy assembling an extremely impressive list of speakers, including Mike DeWine, the Governor of the state of Ohio, Holger Knaack, Rotary International President-Elect, Rob Raylman, CEO, Gift of Life International, and David Brown, Founder/CEO of the Harmony Project. The opportunities presented by these speakers are amazing.
 
In addition, Pat and her classmates, together with Steve Zabor and Alison Frye, have been working on creating an excellent curriculum for both Presidents-Elect and Assistant Governors. Of course, President-Elect Knaack will be commissioning club presidents on Saturday evening, March 14, 2020. This ceremony is not to be missed.
 
If you have not registered, please do so today (click here). The opportunity to learn with the best is available to you and I look forward to seeing you there.
 
Yours in Rotary Service,
 
John Reyes
Rotary District 6630 Governor 2019-2020

Tel: 330.258.6469
Email: jreyes@bdblaw.com