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Establishing & Maintaining a Successful Paul Harris Society
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Establishing & Maintaining a Successful Paul Harris Society


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Director-elect Greg Podd and an international group of …

Director-elect Greg Podd and an international group of
panelists are here to discuss what the Paul Harris Society
is and what has changed since it became an official
Foundation recognition program 1 July 2013. Join us as
we discuss what the Paul Harris Society is and how to
start and enhance your district’s society, as well as shared
best practices from around the world. Questions and
answers welcome!

Published in: Government & Nonprofit

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  • Greg Podd
    --Announce title of break out session
    --Introduce himself and Don Cox and Larry Dimmitt (See bio information)

  • Greg Podd
    --Created in 1999 by PDG Wayne Cusick District 5340 San Diego, CA, USA
  • Greg Podd

    --Expanded quickly throughout the world
  • Greg Podd

    --It became so successful that in July, 2013 the Foundation adopted the Paul Harris Society as an official recognition program. As this is the first year of it being officially recognized by the Foundation we are counting all members who join in the 2013-14 Rotary year “Charter Members”-we totally understand many districts have been doing this for years but we wanted to thank and appreciate those who have made a concerted effort to focus on the PHS and say thank you by honoring those with a charter certificate at the districts discretion.

    --Still 26 more days to become a charter member! 
  • Greg Podd
    --Larry, what is the Paul Harris Society?

    Larry Dimmitt
    --A Paul Harris Society member is one who commits to contribute US$1000 every year to
    Annual Fund
    Polio Plus OR
    Approved Foundation Grant
  • Greg Podd
    --How is being a member of the Paul Harris Society different from being a Paul Harris Fellow?

    Larry Dimmitt
    --A Paul Harris Fellow has made cumulative contributions of US$1,000 or has been honored with a contribution of US$1,000 in his or her name. Points can count towards this recognition which can be obtained over a period of years.
    --A member of the Paul Harris Society contributes at least US$1,000 each year to the Annual Fund, PolioPlus, or approved Foundation grants.
  • Greg Podd
    --Review points on slide
  • Greg Podd
    --Larry, how do you join the Paul Harris Society?

    Larry Dimmitt
    --Cover points on slide

    NOTE: You do NOT have to pay at the time that you join. You can contribute any time throughout the year.
  • Larry Dimmitt
    --Here is the 099 form to use to join the Paul Harris Society
  • Larry Dimmitt
    --Use this second page of the form to sign up for the Paul Harris Society.
    --Use this form to designate where you want your contribution to go:
    --Annual Fund
    --PolioPlus, OR
    --Approved Foundation grant

    Choose if it is a one time payment or a recurring contributions of US$85 per month or US$250 per quarter, Rotarians and friends will fulfill their Paul Harris Society commitments and be included as members on PHS reports which brings us to Rotary Direct!

  • Larry Dimmitt
    --An easy way to make your Paul Harris Society contributions is using Rotary Direct, Rotary’s recurring giving program. -You can designate where you want your contribution to go.
    -You can designate how much you want to give and how often, using your credit or debit card.
    -You can do this using the Paul Harris Society 099 form OR you can enroll on line at

    NOTE: Online contributions can be in any of 13 currencies, while preserving local tax benefits in most cases. For example, a Canadian Rotarian can donate via in Canadian dollars and receive a tax receipt from the Canadian Associate Foundation.
    Rotary’s website accepts contributions in the following currencies: Argentine pesos , Australian dollars , British pounds, Canadian dollars, Danish kronen, euros, Japanese yen, New Zealand dollars, Norwegian kronen , South African rand, Swedish kronor, Swiss francs, and United States dollars .

  • Greg Podd
    --Don, you were involved in starting a Paul Harris Society in your district recently. Would you please tell us how you went about doing that.

    Don Cox
    --First we had to plan how we were going to start a Paul Harris Society in our district.
    We had to get a commitment from the district leadership.
    We had to organize a team of Paul Harris Society promoters.
    We scheduled a charter event to celebrate our new society once it was formed.

  • Don Cox
    --Ensure the ongoing promotion of the Paul Harris Society throughout the year is key as is annual follow up to those that are members to thank and appreciate their commitment to our Foundation

    --The Rotary Foundation is working to help support the PHS by providing quarterly thank you letters to new members, as well as a reminders in May to DGEs to appoint a new Paul Harris Society Chair (or re-appoint) as well as a reminder to members that have not yet fulfilled the US$1,000 threshold. These are just a few ways the Foundation is supporting our local work.
  • Don Cox
    --Just like with Paul Harris Fellows, there was some resistance at first because contributing as a Paul Harris Society member seemed like “buying an honor.”

    --This objection was largely overcome as folks became more familiar with the Paul Harris Society.

    POSSIBLE QUESTION FOR THE AUDIENCE- How is Giving to TRF, any different to giving to your church or temple or other charities? It is the giving to an organization that does amazing work that should be the focus, the recognition is additional way to honor others, but the joy in giving should be the same as to any other charity.
  • Greg Podd
    --Rotary Districts are encouraged to appoint a PHS Coordinator. DGs can appoint, it is a one-year term so current DGEs should be appointing their district PHS champion right now. They can reappoint the same person or rotate. It is totally up to each district. As mentioned by Don, PHSCs appointed for 14-15 Rotary year will receive a thumbdrive from The Rotary Foundation with key information and resources to help them in their roles with a great deal of information and resources at their fingertips.

    -In North America it is common for there to be a Zone Paul Harris Coordinator. Larry Dimmitt helped start a Paul Harris Society in his district a few years ago, and is now a Paul Harris Society Coordinator for Zone 27. While not an official Zone level position it has been really effective in encouraging friendly competition and spreading a consistent message!

    NOTE: DGs can appoint a PHS Coordinator on or by contacting the Rotary support center.
  • Larry Dimmitt

    --Describe the DAF Challenge program. (may want to make sure this is specific to the US as DAFs are currently only available in the US—may want to focus as much as possible on the matching as well as the friendly competition in additional to the district champion that went to EVERY club and got over 120 new members!)

    --Over 500 new PHS members were recruited in Zones 21 and 27 from July 2013 – March 2014, raising over US$500,000 in matching funds from a donor advised fund.
    --Larry also describes competition between Zones, Districts and Clubs in Zones 21 and 27
  • Greg Podd

    --Review points on slide
  • Greg Podd

    ---Review points on slide.

    Thank you for trusting Rotary to use your contributions to make a lasting difference.

    Should you be interested in receiving a copy of this powerpoint please email the address above at: Note that with year-end your request may take a few weeks but staff will ensure all who are interested in the powerpoint will receive a copy!

    We’d be glad to address questions and thoughts from the audience.
  • Transcript

    • 1. 2014 ROTARY INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION Establishing and Maintaining a Successful Paul Harris Society
    • 2. When and where was the Paul Harris Society started? PAUL HARRIS SOCIETY BACKGROUND
    • 3. THE ROTARY NETWORK AND THE PAUL HARRIS SOCIETY Expanded quickly to districts throughout the world
    • 4. The Rotary Foundation Trustees adopted the Paul Harris Society as an official program 1 1 July 2013. WHAT CHANGED?
    • 5. WHAT IS THE PAUL HARRIS SOCIETY (PHS)  Annual Fund  PolioPlus  Approved Foundation grants US$1,000 every year
    • 6. • A “Paul Harris Fellow” has made cumulative contributions of US$1,000 or has been honored with a contribution of US$1,000 in his or her name (Recognition Points). • A “Paul Harris Society member” commits to contribute at least US$1,000 outright to the Foundation each year. THE DIFFERENCES IN RECOGNITION PROGRAMS
    • 7. • About 28,000 donors contribute US$1000 or more to the Annual Fund. • Fewer than 3% of Rotarians give at the PHS level. • They contribute about 35% of all Annual Fund giving. PHS FUN FACTS
    • 8. • Notify your district leaders • Fill out PHS Brochure (099) and send to the Foundation • Sign up to contribute through Rotary Direct • Contact Rotary Staff HOW DO YOU JOIN THE PAUL HARRIS SOCIETY?
    • 9. ROTARY DIRECT Recurring giving  Choose your designation  Set amount & frequency  Monthly  Quarterly  Annually  Enroll online:
    • 10. • Get commitment from District leadership • Organize team of PHS promoters • Schedule a charter event STARTING A PAUL HARRIS SOCIETY
    • 11. • Promote PHS – At District events – At clubs by Assistant Governors – On website • Thank PHS members • Remind PHS members of their annual commitment KEEPING YOUR PHS GOING
    • 12. • “Buying an Honor?” – Overcoming this concern • How is giving to our Foundation different from giving to any other charity? • Focus on joy of giving PUSHBACK AND OBJECTIONS
    • 13. • Appoint a PHS Coordinator – Promotion – Administration – Education – Point person – Subject Matter Expert – to promote and administer the Paul Harris Society • Some regions have a Zone PHS “Champion” to assist WHAT IS A PAUL HARRIS SOCIETY COORDINATOR?
    • 14. • In Zones 21 and 27 new PHS member contributions were matched beginning 1 July 2013 • Zone, district and club competitions • Inclusion in thank you events • Other best practices out there? BEST PRACTICES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
    • 15. THE IMPACT OF YOUR ROTARY FOUNDATION CONTRIBUTION The impact of your Rotary Foundation contribution: • Training for teachers • Providing clean water • Scholarships • Preventing Malaria • Peace Studies • Ending Polio
    • 16. • Contact your District PHS Coordinator • Zone Leaders • • Rotary Staff • Email: RESOURCES & THANK YOU!