Posted by Elaine Thompson on Feb 18, 2019
Gone are the days when all Rotary Clubs met weekly over a meal and attendance was taken and tracked. Over the past decade, flexibility and innovation have become the mantra of Rotary International. And the grassroots have taken up the challenge of creating new ways for clubs to meet the demands of modern society and different cultures.
What follows provides a brief overview of the new form clubs are creating.
  • Meets weekly, usually over a meal – breakfast, lunch or dinner. 
  • Typically start the meeting with the singing of the national anthem and the Rotary prayer.
  • Have a speaker at each meeting.
  • May end the meeting with the singing of God Save the Queen in countries that are or were parts of the British Empire.
  • Meets weekly or every second week,
  • Usually over a meal, with a speaker, but without the singing.
Even Less Traditional:
  • Meets weekly or bi-weekly,
  • club business or social events,
  • meals or drinks optional,
  • no formalities (i.e. no speaker, no singing)
The e-Club:
  • Officially is NOT a separate category of a club from a traditional club
  • meets online
  • has a dedicated website
  • members are responsible for updating the website
  • creates an online platform for hosting meetings using video-conferencing
  • ensures a private section of the website that only members can access to protect their personal data
  • has an online financial transaction system that allows members to pay dues, donate, or process payments
  • lets visiting Rotarians attend your virtual meeting
  • resource:
  • Officially, satellite club members are members of a traditional or semi-traditional club
  • Meet at a different location, different time, with a different format and frequency
  • Have their own executive
  • Functions as a short-term, transitional step on the way to becoming a full, independent Rotary club without meeting the requirement of having at least 20 persons to organize a separate Rotary club
  • Must have at least 8 members at the time they form, no maximum number of members
  • Should have the same name as the sponsor club plus a qualifier that distinguishes it from the sponsor, for  example:
    • If the sponsor and satellite clubs meet at different times
      • Sponsor: Rotary Club of Saskatoon
      • Satellite: Rotary Satellite Club of Saskatoon Evening
    •  If the sponsor and satellite clubs have different meeting locations
      •  Sponsor: Rotary Club of Winnipeg
      • Satellite: Rotary Satellite Club of Winnipeg Pembina
  • Satellite clubs set up their own board and have their own officers, but instead of a president, a satellite club has a chair.
  • Although satellite clubs are intended as a temporary step on the way to becoming a full, independent Rotary club, there is no time limit on the life of a satellite club.
Multiple Satellite Online Hybrid:
  • The Rotary Club of Dryden is now considering creating a new type of club combining features of a traditional club, a satellite club and online club.
  • Using video cameras club meetings will be broadcast live over the Internet and marketed to the communities of Northwestern Ontario.
  • Nine potential satellites have been identified with the potential for three of them to become clubs.
  • The club is establishing procedures to incorporate the features of an e-club to facilitate the criteria necessary to operate by the e-club rules.
  • You may view the proposal at
  • Designed for former Rotary members, youth, alumni and others who find that a traditional club doesn't fit their life.
  • Attract new and returning members to Rotary who have difficulty attending weekly meetings
  • Retain members where the expense is a drawback to joining or continuing Rotary
Examples of Passport Clubs
District 7040
  • Rotary Passport Club only holds a few "in-person" meetings each year.
  • Instead of weekly meetings, members are encouraged to engage in humanitarian service - however that works best for them.
  • There is one online meeting on the last Tuesday of every month.
District 7450
  • Passport Club has only four business meetings/year, once per quarter.
  • During the other 8 months, they will have a meeting with a partner Club.
  • Have a social (i.e. Happy Hour) meeting each month at various locations.
  • Members can also attend any other meeting of any Club in the District that may be convenient for their schedule.
  • Members are REQUIRED to commit to 40 hours of service each year through projects, fundraisers and/or supporting other non-profit organizations.
  • All partner Clubs in the District are requested to email their upcoming projects/fundraisers to the Passport Club President and Secretary. These events will be posted on the Passport Club calendar so all members can pick which projects/events fit their schedules.
  • If the 40-hour service commitment is not feasible due to other personal time commitments, the Passport Club member would consider donating to The Rotary Foundation (TRF) each year (suggested amount is $250).
Passport Club of Pierce County 
  • Multiple service opportunities
  • Monthly social gatherings
  • Quarterly club meetings
  • Affordable annual dues
  • Access to local & global Rotary activities & resources
Rotary District 5240
  • Monthly Socials and Quarterly Meetings - Check Calendar for Dates and Location
  • Will Vary around the Area
Rotary District 5170
  • The Passport Club meets only one Saturday a month for a club meeting and once a month to do either a service project or attend a meeting at any other Rotary Club.
  • Typically there are no meal costs as the Club commonly meets over light refreshments.
  • The dues for the Passport Club are only $180 per year with a one-time admission fee of $15.
Note on the author: Elaine Thompson is the current District Governor of District 5550 and a member of the Rotary Club of Winnipeg Charleswood. 
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