By Gianna Consalvo, Rotary Service and Engagement staff
Do you know there is a Rotary Fellowship for surfing, wine appreciation, LGBT+, photographers, and Italian culture? Rotary Fellowships are internationally organized affinity groups that unite Rotary members and friends around a shared hobby, identity, vocation, or culture. Rotary’s 100+ Fellowships offer our members and their friends meaningful experiences by providing fun and diverse ways of participating in Rotary and offering them opportunities for connection with like-minded individuals through in-person and online experiences.
Rotary Fellowships exemplify Rotary’s inclusivity by welcoming any interested individual regardless of their Rotary affiliation and showcasing the many vocations, cultures, identities, and interests represented by the Rotary family.
Last year, 107 Rotary Fellowships engaged more than 57,000 people across 150 countries in building communities around shared passions and identities. Of the 57,000 reported participants, 82 % were Rotarians, 4% were Rotaractors, and 14 % were non-Rotary members. Fellowships also offer leadership opportunities to our members and participants. Last year, Fellowships engaged 2,954 individuals in leadership roles. Among those, 1,113 were women.
Over the past year, Rotary Fellowships continued to offer its members various opportunities for meaningful connections. 68% of Fellowships organized recreational activities, 40% offered professional development opportunities, and 31 % offered opportunities for service activities. Here are example activities shared by different groups:
- The Bird Watching Fellowship hosted a Bird Walk in Melbourne after the 2023 Rotary International Convention.
- The Magna Graecia Fellowship hosted visits to museums, monuments, and archaeological excavations.
- The Jazz Fellowship participated in charity concerts.
- The Urban Gardening Fellowship planted trees, exchanged seeds, and participated in a beekeeping project.
Being part of a Fellowship is a fun way to make friends around the world, explore a hobby, culture, or profession, and enhance your Rotary experience. Share the Rotary Fellowships Annual highlights with your fellow club members and encourage them to get involved. Promote this incredible program at your club and district events and newsletters using the Fellowships video, PowerPoint presentation, and other resources available on Rotary’s Fellowships page. You can also visit that page to find the right Fellowship for you. With over 100 different active Fellowships, there’s a group for every interest!