FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions


  1. How often does the club hold meetings?
  2. What is the timing of the weekly meetings?
  3. What are the membership costs?
  4. What is the classification system?
  5. Who can join our Rotary Club?
  6. What is Rotary?
  7. Why Join the Rotary Club of Madison?
  8. How is a new member proposed for the club?
  9. Can I send a mailing to the entire membership?
  10. How are speakers scheduled?
  11. What is scooting?
  12. What is the fiscal year for our Rotary Club?
  13. What is the attendance requirement?
  14. What is an E-Club Make-up?
  15. How do you sign up for committees and/or fellowship groups?
  16. How are board members selected?
  17. How is the club president selected each year?
  18. Can I bring a guest to a Rotary luncheon?
  19. What are the Meal Options at Rotary?
  20. What is the difference between Madison Rotary Foundation and Rotary International Foundation?

How often does the club hold meetings?

We hold meetings every Wednesday, from 12:30 – 1:25 pm, and the normal meeting location is Inn on the Park on the Capitol Square. Members are required to attend 50% of the meetings in each six-month period.

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What is the timing of the weekly meetings?

Our official meeting time runs from 12:30 p.m. to 1:25 p.m. every Wednesday. We make an attempt to be finished early, and some weeks have fuller agendas than others. Our speaker is guaranteed at least 30 minutes of the meeting time.

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What are the membership costs?

  • Current membership dues and meals combined are just over $1,189.50/year ($332 dues and $857.50 meals for regular paying members).
    Meal cost at the door for exempt members or guests is $18/meal
  • In addition to membership dues/meals, members are asked to support our Madison Rotary Foundation with an annual Fund Drive gift (average gift is $290)
  • Donation during your birthday week equal to your age and a suggestion to round up your gift to $100 to support our Synergy Scholarship Fund
  • Support The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International ($100 suggested gift per year)

Membership dues/meals are billed semi-annually, and the billings are emailed to each member. Payment is due within 30 days of the beginning of the six-month period.

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What is the classification system?

Each member is given a classification to be categorized in the member’s business, profession, or type of community service. The classification describes the principal and recognized activity of the firm, company, or institution with which the member is connected or that which describes the member’s principal and recognized business or professional activity or that which describes the nature of the member’s community service activity. The club can have up to 10% of its membership in any one classification. (Members retired shall not be included in the total). Current classification listing can be found in the back of the membership roster.

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Who can join our Rotary Club?

A club shall be composed of active members who are adult persons of good character and good business, professional and/or community reputation:

  • Engaged as a proprietor, partner, corporate officer, or manager of any worthy and recognized
    business or profession; or
  • Holding any important position in any worthy and recognized business or profession or any
    branch or agency thereof and having executive capacity with discretionary authority; or
  • Having retired from any position listed in sub-subsection (1) or (2) of this subsection; or
  • Being a community leader who has demonstrated through personal involvement in community
    affairs a commitment to service and the Object of Rotary; or
  • Having the status of Rotary Foundation alumnus as defined by the board

A note about holders of public office: Because it is asked frequently, it should be noted that persons elected or appointed to public office for a specified time shall not be eligible to active membership in this club under the classification of such office, nor shall any staff members of partisan positions be eligible for active membership. This restriction shall also apply to employees of such elected or appointed public officials, but shall not apply to persons appointed to a nonpartisan position by a board or committee of such officials. This restriction shall not apply to persons holding positions or offices in schools, colleges or other institutions of learning or to persons who are elected or appointed to the judiciary. For the entire listing of classification policies, refer to the club’s policy manual.

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What is Rotary?

Rotary is an international service organization that brings together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.

The Rotary Club of Madison, with 500 members, is one of the top 10 largest in the world of 34,000 Rotary Clubs. Rotary International is the oldest service club in the United States. The Rotary Club of Madison celebrated its 100th anniversary in June of 2013.

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Why join the Rotary Club of Madison?

Joining the Rotary Club of Madison provides you with a regular opportunity to join with other leaders in the community in which you may not otherwise meet. Service should be your primary reason for joining, and a secondary benefit is the networking component.

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How is a new member proposed for the club?

Membership in our club is by invitation by a current member. A second proposer is required as well. The member submitting the proposal should review the membership criteria to ensure the person qualifies. If so, complete a membership proposal form (can be found on the club’s website in the downloadable forms section) and return it to the Rotary office along with a copy of the person’s resume or biographical sheet. Linked In printout can work well for this purpose.

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Can I send a mailing to the entire membership?

The club board of directors set a policy that there shall not be any direct mailings or emails sent to our members by any member or anyone outside of Rotary. Our membership information is shared among members for Rotary related purposes only.

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How are speakers scheduled?

Our Rotary Club has a Program Committee that schedules our weekly speakers. If you have a suggestion for a program, you can complete a Program Suggestion Form which is available in the downloadable forms section of our website or by contacting our Rotary office.

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What is scooting?

On occasion, a member must leave one of the weekly meetings early, and this is called scooting. Regular scooting is discouraged. We encourage members to mark their calendars with Rotary each week so you can enjoy the full 55-minute meeting experience. If you are short on time, consider arriving closer to the 12:30 p.m. start time. Even if you arrive late, the hotel staff will be happy to accommodate you with a meal.

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What is the fiscal year for our Rotary Club?

Our Rotary club’s year is from July 1 to June 30.

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What is the attendance requirement?

A member must maintain 50% attendance for each six-month period. If you are not able to attend 50% of the regular meetings, you can attend another Rotary club meeting or a club committee or fellowship group meeting or outside Rotary event for a make-up 14 days before or after a missed regular meeting.

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What is an E-Club Make-up?

An E-club make-up is an online Rotary Club make-up. There are currently a number of online Rotary Clubs around the world. If you visit one of their websites and read articles on the site for at least 20 minutes, it can count as a make-up 14 days before or after a missed regular meeting. You can find E-club listings on the Rotary International website – www.rotary.org and click on Club Locator on the home page. Follow the instructions on the website and make sure you add our club’s email address to the make-up form to ensure that you receive a make-up credit. Note: Giving a donation is optional. This is an independent Rotary Club and not associated with our local Rotary Club.

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How do you sign up for committees and/or fellowship groups?

Committee and fellowship group assignments are typically for one year (July 1 – June 30). All members are sent new committee and fellowship group sign-up forms each March so they can sign up for committees and fellowship groups of interest for the upcoming Rotary year.

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How are board members selected?

Annually, a Director Nominating Committee selects 12 members to serve in nomination for the 6 openings available. The Director Nominating Committee is comprised of the past, current and incoming presidents plus one board member and one member at large. The committee reviews the current membership listing as well as activity on committees, attendance, etc., as they prepare the listing of 12 nominees. Members are encouraged to suggest members each year, and those suggestions can be submitted to the Rotary office. The membership selects six new directors during the second Rotary luncheon each November.

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How is the club president selected each year?

The vice president (who becomes president the following year) is selected from the current and incoming board members each year (total of 19 eligible candidates). The Club Board of Directors uses an advisory ballot which gives an opportunity for board members not interested in serving to remove their name from consideration. An Officer Nominating Committee, comprised of the current president, past president and a member at large, uses the advisory ballot information and selects the candidates for the ballot. The nominating committee also selects members for other officer positions. The current club directors and directors-elect are eligible to vote, and the election takes place in early to mid-December each year.

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Can I bring a guest to a Rotary luncheon?

You are welcome to bring guests to our weekly luncheons. If you plan to bring a guest to a Rotary luncheon, here is the procedure to follow:

  • Send an email or call the Rotary office (rotaryoffice@rotarymadison.org or 255-9164) in advance regarding the number of guests you plan to bring. You need only give the number of guests you are bringing and do not need to provide the name/s. If you can let us know by Tuesday noon before the Wednesday meeting, that is preferable.
  • When you arrive at the meeting, you will fill out a guest name badge at the registration table.
  • The lunch cost is $16 cost per person, payable at the registration table Make checks payable to Rotary Club of Madison. Sorry, we do not accept credit card payments.
  • If your guest is a potential new member, let the Rotary office know that information and then also provide the name. We provide one complimentary lunch for any potential new member. If it is a potential new member, a name badge and meal ticket will be prepared and will be ready for pick-up at the registration table.

By advising the Rotary office in advance about guest plans, we can better accommodate seating for everyone during our Rotary luncheon.

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What are the Meal Options at Rotary?

The Inn on the Park provides four options for meals during our weekly luncheons:

  • Regular entrée
  • Cobb Salad (the hotel staff makes a limited number of these salads each week which can be picked up at a designated table on a first come, first served basis)
  • Salad plate which includes a baked potato and wild rice (request one from server)

In addition, there is one “breakfast table.” Members seated at this table can make a sandwich from the patter of cold cuts and bread, and there is also a variety of breakfast cereals available.

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What is the difference between Madison Rotary Foundation and Rotary International Foundation?

MADISON ROTARY FOUNDATION: The activities of the local Madison Rotary Foundation are directed primarily to projects and programs within the Madison area. Annually, our Foundation provides grants to worthy local organizations; a small amount for international projects, including our signature project near Cusco, Peru; supports an ethics symposium for area high school students; funds a fitness program for older adults in the community and honors area students with youth award recognitions. Our annual fund drive runs November 1 through January 15. Members receive a separate solicitation letter each November.

ROTARY INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION: The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International (RIF), also supported by Madison Rotarians through a voluntary contribution on the semi-annual dues billing, supports sustainable projects that fit within six focus areas as follows: Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution, Disease Prevention and Treatment; Water and Sanitation; Maternal and Child Health; Basic Education and Literacy and Economic and Community Development. These programs are funded through the combined efforts of Rotarians worldwide. The Paul Harris Fellow program is an important element of fundraising for the International Foundation, and members contributing at least $50 per semi-annual dues billing can achieve the Paul Harris Fellow recognition level in ten years or whenever the level reaches the $1000 level. Note that contributions made with the semi-annual dues billing will be sent to RIF at the end of the six-month period, and Rotarians will receive a receipt directly from RIF at the end of the six-month period. Members can support this Foundation through the voluntary check-off item on semi-annual dues billing.

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