Loading...
Menu

Tell Your Story in the Local Media: Write about Rotary Partners to Celebrate Vol

 

Tell Your Story in the Local Media

Write about Rotary Partners to Celebrate Volunteer Work

 

 

By Quentin Wodon

 

 

Copyright 2017 Quentin Wodon

 

 

Shakespir Edition, License Notes

 

Thank you for downloading this ebook. This book is available for free through Shakespir but it remains the copyrighted property of the authors, and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends, colleagues, or students to download their own copy from their favorite authorized retailer or at Shakespir. Thank you for your support.

 

***

 

Table of Contents

 

 

Foreword to the Series

Introduction

Chapter 1: Writing for the Local Traditional Media

Chapter 2: Articles Published in the Local Traditional Media

1-Volunteering on the Hill: One World Education

2-Volunteering on the Hill: Tutoring

3-Volunteering on the Hill: Reaching Out to the Homeless

4-Volunteering on the Hill: Teaching Financial Literacy

5-Volunteering on the Hill: Celebrating a Diversity of Volunteering Options

6-Volunteering on the Hill: Preserving the Historic Beauty of Capitol Hill

7-Volunteering on the Hill: Opportunities for the New Year

8-Volunteering on the Hill: Chiarina Brings Music to Life

9-Volunteering on the Hill: Volunteer Capitol Hill 2017 on April 29

10-Volunteering in Capitol Hill

11-Writing Program Helps Give Students a Voice

12-With Winter’s Arrival, Time to Aid Homeless

Conclusion

References

About the Author

Connect with the Author

 

 

FOREWORD to the series

 

 

This ebook is published as part of the Rotarian Economist Short Books series. The books in the series are short, typically at 15,000 words or less. They provide rapid and practical introductions to topics related to volunteer work, service clubs, nonprofits, and the six areas of focus of the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. These areas of focus are promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education, and growing local economies. Other topics will be considered as well.

The book series is associated with the Rotarian Economist Blog launched in October 2014 on World Polio Day. The aim of the blog and its book series is to provide analysis that can help readers make a positive difference in the life of the less fortunate. If you would like to receive email alerts of new posts and resources made available on the blog, please provide your email through the widget at https://rotarianeconomist.com/.

The editor and main author for the book series works at the World Bank. Although some of the books in the series may relate to topics that the author and co-author(s) may occasionally work on at the World Bank, the opinions expressed in the books are solely those of the individual author(s) of each book in the series and do not represent the views of the World Bank, its Executive Directors, or the countries they represent. This book series is not associated in any formal or informal way with the World Bank.

If you would like to contact the author(s) of books in the series for a question or to provide feedback, please do not hesitate to send an email to the editor of the series through the “Contact Me” page of the Rotarian Economist blog.

 

INTRODUCTION

 

 

As is the case for many nonprofits, the success of Rotary clubs and Rotary International depends in part on the image that communities have of the organization. Public image – the term often used in Rotary – matters especially for membership, both to attract new members and to keep the members clubs already have. But it also matters for the ability of Rotary to implement service projects in local communities and internationally. Finally, it matters for fundraising for charitable purposes in order to fund the projects that clubs undertake.

Relationships with the local media, and the way clubs are covered in the local media, are a major factor affecting a club’s public image. This book shares lessons from my experience on behalf of my club in improving the club’s public image by publishing articles in the local traditional media. The hope is that the lessons learned – and the examples of articles written, will be useful to other service clubs as well as other nonprofits that may consider similar endeavors.

In order to set the broader context for the initiative described in this book, while Rotary has a very rich centennial history (Forward, 2003, 2016), it seems fair to say that the organization’s public image is not as good as it could be, at least in the West. Service clubs have had their critics for some time. In 1922, Sinclair Lewis, a Nobel laureate for literature, wrote the novel Babbitt, a satire of middle class American culture, including service clubs. Today, the image of Rotary clubs remains to some extent that of an old (white) men’s club whose members meet for lunch principally to network and occasionally to participate in a service project. This is not the best image an organization could have if it wants to attract younger generations. In part as a result of its image, membership in Rotary (as well as other service clubs) has been declining in the West for some time. By contrast, membership in developing countries has been rising.

The traditional image of Rotary as a (white) men’s networking club does not correspond to what is happening in most clubs today. Consider my club, the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. We have 38 members. The membership is multiracial and it includes members from other countries than the United States. The average age of the membership is at about 45 years old (this is an estimate as we do not ask members about their age). About half of the members are women. Most members are professionals, but not especially wealthy. Beyond meetings (for breakfast), we do quite a bit of service work. As I am writing this book, we just received a Champion Partner Award from One World Education, a great local nonprofit that I will mention in this book because two of the articles I published in the local media are about its work. They gave us the award on the occasion of their 10th anniversary because of our strong support for a half dozen years, not only financially, but also through volunteering. I am not mentioning this to brag on behalf of the club – this would be self-defeating. Simply, I mention this to illustrate that we try to do good service projects in the community, even if I believe that we could – and indeed should – do more.

The traditional image of Rotary may be outdated, but it is sticky. How do we change it? There is no miracle solution. Efforts made at Rotary International to change the image of the organization for the better must be acknowledged. The positioning of the organization as a space where leaders exchange ideas and take action is smart. But at the end of the game, clubs have to take the lead to change Rotary’s public image. This, in turn, requires some effort.

The premise of this book is that clubs should aim to strengthen their public image. In order to do so, clubs should first and foremost make sure they have a strong value proposition for members, as well as strong service projects in the community. Once this is the case, they should improve their public image in part by strengthening their relationship with the local media, considering both traditional media (newspapers, magazine, local TV or radio stations) and social media (online presence including through Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other social media tools). Engaging with the local media is not the only step that clubs should take to improve their public image, but it is an important step.

This premise is informed not only by my own experience as a Rotarian, but also by data that I collected for my district through a membership survey on what Rotarians perceive is working well in their club, and what is not working so well. Essentially, Rotarians rated the performance of their clubs in terms of engagement with the local media at the bottom of the scale in comparison to their perception of their club’s performance in other areas (Wodon et al., 2014).

Until recently, my own club’s engagement with the local media was not much better. We were not well known in the community and had virtually no contacts with the local media. As our membership was declining, we had to make a change in this area as well as in many others. With the aim of increasing our membership after more than five years of decline, we adopted a strategic plan and pilot program for a period of six months. One of the plan’s dimensions was a stronger engagement with the local community including through the local media.

The effort has been successful, at least so far. We doubled our membership in six months (for details, see Wodon, 2017a). We still have some way to go in order to consider ourselves a strong enough club, and we could lose our recent membership gains in the future if we were to lose momentum. But we are now in a better position. Our investment in public image played a role in the revitalization of the club. This was not a financial investment since we did not spend a penny on local advertising. What we did was simply to get to work with the aim of improving the club’s public image in four main practical ways.

First, we used club meetings to invite leaders from local nonprofits to tell us their own story. This is a no brainer, but we were not strategic about this in the past. Between July and December 2016, speakers from more than a half dozen key local nonprofits came to the club – we partnered with several of them for our service work. More importantly, we followed up before or after those invitations to seek partnership opportunities. As just one example, we invited the Vice President of the local community foundation, and later applied from a grant – for the first time in the club’s history – from that foundation. The grant enabled us to organize two training events for local nonprofits with great attendance. This type of follow up and focus is changing the image of the club in the community.

Second, we decided to participate in more community events. We held a stand at the main festival for our community held in September, as well as at the main event for matching volunteers to local nonprofits. We also held a stand at the World Bank Volunteer Day attended by more than a thousand World Bank staff, taking advantage of the fact that several of our members wok at the World Bank. We became members of the local (Capitol Hill) Chamber of Commerce.

Third, we started to organize more public events ourselves. In July we put together a launch event for a pro bono initiative at the main community center for our neighborhood in Washington, DC. In September, for the International Day of Peace, we organized an evening seminar on education for peace and social change at the World Bank featuring great local nonprofits. This was followed by a reception so that we could network afterwards. In February, as just mentioned, we organized two training events for local nonprofits thanks to a grant that we received from the local community foundation.

Fourth, and this is what this book is about, we started to write stories for local media outlets, both traditional and social. As President of my club this year, I led this endeavor. Over a bit less than a year, I published a dozen articles for the local traditional media: two articles for a local weekly newspaper (the Current Newspapers), nine articles for a monthly magazine (Hill Rag), and another article for our community’s annual guide (Fagon). In addition I also wrote a number of contributions for blogs, including the main “hyper local” blog covering the community (the Hill Is Home). In this book however, I will focus only on the local traditional media as the context for social media is a bit different.

The basic idea for this new endeavor was that instead of writing articles about my club, I should write about the great work that local nonprofits, many of which we support in our service work, do in the community. More specifically, I should write about the opportunity for residents of the community to volunteer for great nonprofits and thereby make a difference in the community.

There were four reasons for this choice of topic. First, writing about other nonprofits instead of my club would provide an opportunity to write more articles, and thereby establish a stronger media presence in the community. Second, by documenting the work of local nonprofits and the volunteering opportunities they provide, I would help these nonprofits gain in visibility, which would then almost be a worthwhile service activity in itself for my club. Third, these articles could help my club solidify collaborations with some of the local nonprofits featured in the articles, or open doors for new collaborations. Fourth, by writing stories about nonprofits in action (and mentioning occasionally the role of Rotarians in helping them), I would progressively build an image of our club as an action-oriented agent for positive change in the community. This image would displace the traditional image of Rotary that persists in the mind of many, as noted earlier.

The second motivation just outlined was actually the most important for me – showcasing the great work of local nonprofits to support their work, but all four motivations played a role in defining the approach that I followed.

Having set the stage for what this book is about – the idea that clubs could or should write about their nonprofit partners for the local media, with a focus in this book on traditional media, the structure of the book is as follows.

Chapter 1 explains what I did and why. Why did I chose to write stories myself? Why did I end up focusing most of the stories on volunteering? How did I chose the media outlets to publish in? The chapter answers those questions. It also indirectly provides a few suggestions for how this type of approach could possibly be replicated by other Rotarians and clubs – and perhaps more broadly by staff from nonprofits in their own areas of expertise and engagement in their community. The hope is that my approach can indeed be replicated by others.

Chapter 2 provides the set of articles that I wrote for local traditional media outlets at the time of publishing this book. In just under a year, I published a total of 12 stories, all of which are provided. While these articles may not be in the best prose (I bear responsibility for that), they are illustrative of what can be done by clubs or other nonprofits to celebrate volunteer work.

A brief conclusion follows in which I summarize some key lessons learned and discuss the extent to which this endeavor appears to have paid off or not.

Chapter 1

writing for the local traditional media

 

 

Public image is a broad concept, and there are many initiatives that Rotary clubs, as well as nonprofits more generally, can take to improve their public image in the community. In a separate book in this series, I may consider the issue of public image broadly, including how to use social media. But for this book, the focus is narrow. This book is about opportunities for Rotarians (or more generally for staff from nonprofit organizations) to write articles for the local traditional media, with examples given of such articles prepared for a monthly magazine, an annual guide to the community, and a weekly newspaper.

Three basic questions must be answered if you are aiming to have stories about your club or nonprofit covered in the local traditional media: (1) Should you write yourself or should you contact journalists for them to write about your club or nonprofit?; (2) If you write yourself, which is what I chose to do, what could or should be the topic of your articles?; and (3) Where should you publish these articles? The answers to these three questions depend on the specific context of the communities in which you live and/or work. But as an illustration of what can be done, it is probably useful that I describe the thought process that led me to write a series of articles on local nonprofits for the local traditional media.

 

Should You Write Yourself?

 

A traditional way to get a Rotary or nonprofit event or service project covered in the local media is to contact journalists ahead of time and invite them at the event or project so they can report on it. They may conduct an interview or two and write an article about what they have witnessed. Some clubs may also prepare a press release, which could be picked up by the local media, although I am not a great believer in press releases unless what they are about is unique. Journalists are busy and the likelihood that they will pick up on what is shared in a press release is often low, at least where I live, unless there is real news.

Whether you can get a journalist to come to your event or project and write about it depends on your competition, which itself depends where you live and what else journalists could spend their time writing about. If you have a journalist as a friend, it does not hurt! But in my geographic area, getting a journalist to come to an even or project organized by my club would be a long shot. My club is located in Washington, DC, a major capital city where events, projects, and news worth covering are abundant. The events that my club organizes are not especially newsworthy in that respect, in comparison to other events and news taking place every single day in the city. As for service projects, some of which could possibly be covered in the local media, we again compete with literally thousands of nonprofits based in the Greater Washington, DC, area. These nonprofits have more interesting or compelling stories to tell, in part because they are closer to the end beneficiaries of their projects than we are.

Given the above, I did not try to convince journalists to cover events or service projects organized by my club (well, I tried once, but it did not work). Instead, my strategy has been to write articles for the local traditional media. I thought that this would minimize the burden on local traditional media to get good material that they could publish. I would write for free, and hope that I could place the material. This would also give me more control of what would be published.

 

What Should You Write About?

 

Telling your club’s story in the local traditional media is an important investment for your club’s growth and for improving Rotary’s public image in your community. But which story should you tell? This will again depend on the particular focus and achievements of your club, and the audience you are trying to reach. But what seems clear to me is the fact that if you want to write and publish repeated stories, it will be hard to focus these stories solely on your club.

Once in a while, you may have a great story to tell about your club that a local newspaper or magazine will accept. However, this magazine or newspaper is probably not going to want to repeatedly publish stories on so narrow a topic as your club. This is where talking about other organizations comes into play.

The stories that are provided in chapter 2 of this book are about great nonprofits in my community. Yet in most stories, I also briefly mention my club and how we work with many of these nonprofits. In some cases, I may simply mention the fact that the nonprofits were invited to a club meeting to speak about their work. I try to mention my club in these articles in a light way, but I do want to take the opportunity to plug in the club when I can. I also sign all the stories as President of the club, which again gives the club a bit of additional exposure.

Conceptually, I have written over the last year or so four different types of articles: (1) a monthly column for a magazine on volunteering in Capitol Hill, the neighborhood where my club – the Rotary club of Capitol Hill is located; (2) a single article for a weekly newspaper about the work of a great profit that we have partnered with; (3) a letter to the editor of the same weekly newspaper; and (4) a contribution to the main annual guide for the Capitol Hill Community.

The beauty of the column is that it has given me the opportunity to write multiple articles, thereby providing more sustained exposure for my club as well. This is exactly what I felt was needed for my club to be better known in the community. A column is not a news article, nor a press release about the good works that a club does. It does carry some elements of news (in order to be interesting and current), but in a slightly more personal way than a news article might do. A column though needs to have a clear focus and an audience, as is the case for any news article. The focus I chose is that of volunteering.

Why focusing a column on volunteering? Essentially because volunteering is at the core of the identity of service work in Rotary, and indeed at the core of the work of many nonprofits. About a year ago I contacted the editor of the main monthly magazine for my club’s Capitol Hill neighborhood to pitch the idea of a column. My original idea was to feature great nonprofits for which at least some monitoring and evaluation data were available to “prove” that they were doing impactful work. The editor of the magazine knew better. He suggested instead a focus on volunteering, simply because many residents of Capitol Hill may be interested in volunteering, and thereby the column would fit a need by providing information about opportunities to volunteer. Volunteering also brings in a human element connecting volunteers with beneficiaries that makes for better stories.

Focusing the column on the work of other nonprofits was important to me, and a great way to be able to generate new material each month. I felt that while it could be fine once in a while to promote my club, if I were to do this repeatedly it would not only become unbearable for readers rather quickly, but it would probably also not respect Rotary’s motto, which is “service above self”. Service above self is a tall order. It should first be considered by individual Rotarians. But it should also apply to clubs – simply promoting clubs for the sake of the clubs is not what the Rotary ideal is all about. Clubs should be promoted, I believe, only to the extent that this in turn may help in better serving the community.

So in a nutshell, the monthly column in the main magazine for my club’s community is about the good work done by local nonprofits and the volunteer opportunities that the nonprofits provide to residents of Capitol Hill. A typical article is at about 800 words in length, although a few articles are longer. For example, for one article, the magazine editor asked me to feature a total of three nonprofits, one of which he suggested should be covered and I agreed since they were doing great work. A typical article spells out the mission of the nonprofit being featured, often with a quote from a volunteer and another quote from a beneficiary. The article also provides information on how residents can volunteer with the nonprofit. And when this is appropriate, the article also includes a brief mention of the support given by my Rotary club to the specific nonprofit.

I mentioned above that I also wrote a single “one-time” article for a weekly newspaper about the work of a great nonprofit we have partnered with. The rules here are a bit different. This was a “viewpoint”, which meant that it had to be about an issue encountered in the community (the fact that students do not write well enough in school), and the solution provided by the nonprofit (a great research and writing program implemented in middle and high schools). The article mentioned the contribution of our club in conducting an evaluation of the (positive) impact of the nonprofit’s program on student’s writing skills. That article is written differently because it is a self-contained one-off submission.

Another possibility to publish an article in the local traditional media is to write an open letter to a newspaper. I wrote one such open letter so far for the weekly newspaper that published the article on student writing just mentioned. That open letter, written about homelessness and published in December when the weather turns cold, is also provided in chapter 2 as an illustration of what can be done. The style is again different. The letter is rather brief simply because this was the length that the editor of the newspaper told me cold be accommodated for publication. But it does point to a recurrent issue for our city.

Finally, the last piece that I wrote which is included in chapter 12 is a contribution to the main annual guide for the Capitol Hill Community which is published by the same organization that published the magazine in which I have written the column on volunteering. The piece focuses not surprisingly on a list of opportunities to volunteer and it mentions my club as one of those opportunities. The style is different again, since this is meant to be a reference piece that residents of the community can refer to all year long.

Overall, the approach outlined above has been worthwhile not only to get our club slightly better known in the community, but also and more importantly to give visibility to great nonprofits, often with a focus on nonprofits serving those in need. The nonprofits I have written about have been grateful of the opportunity to be featured. I would say that they deserve the spotlight as they are truly at the frontline in helping the poor and those who are vulnerable in our communities.

Hopefully, this approach of writing about local nonprofits, some of which we partner with for projects, helps them, promotes volunteering in the community, and hints at the positive role that my club plays in the community.

 

Where Should You Publish Your Articles?

 

The last question that I would like to briefly discuss in this chapter is where to publish articles that can give greater visibility to your club or nonprofits.

In my case, this was a no-brainer. As mentioned earlier, Washington, DC, is a crowded media market place. The city has two major daily newspaper: the nationally recognized Washington Post and the Washington Times. These are rather hard to get into, especially in the case of the Washington Post. I will try one day to get my club featured in those daily newspapers, but the question is to find the right angle or story to be pitched, which requires a bit more work.

Rather than targeting major daily newspapers that are hard to get into, I thought I should aim to publish articles in a weekly newspaper. The city has a few weekly newspapers that have major differences in positioning. The weekly newspaper that I targeted for placing articles was the Current Newspapers. There were two reasons for this. The first reason was that this is a free weekly newspaper with a relatively large circulation in many parts of the city (the newspaper has four different editions covering various neighborhoods). But the second reason was that I knew the newspaper’s publisher, which of course does not hurt to get an article or two through (I am very thankful to the publisher for accepting a viewpoint article and a letter to the editor for publication).

Finally, for monthly publications, it was clear to me that I should target Hill Rag, the flagship monthly magazine for the Capitol Hill area of the city published by Capital Community News (the organization also publishes two other monthly magazines covering other parts of the city). I am again very grateful to the editor of Hill Rag for giving me the opportunity to write so far a total of nine articles for the magazine. The magazine has a broad circulation in Capitol Hill with some 15,000 copies printed and distributed throughout the neighborhood. The magazine is well respected in the community and very nicely printed. It includes quite a bit of advertising, but it also features many articles of substance each month, as well as various sections with local news and listings. Most issues of the magazine run at 160 to 180 pages. The magazine has been a fixture of the Capitol Hill community for more than 40 years now. Many of the articles published in print are also featured on the publication’s website, which provides an opportunity for those who missed the print copy to read the stories online.

Finally, as mentioned earlier, Capital Community News also publishes annually the Fagon Community Guide for residents of Capitol Hill. The Guide reaches some 20,000 people. I prepared an article on volunteering for the upcoming edition, and made sure that our club was listed among local nonprofit organizations (we were not listed previously – but the local Kiwanis club was!).

In short, the assessment of which local traditional media I should target in Washington DC was fairly simple. I may target additional outlets in the future, but I have been already very fortunate to be able to place articles in the targets I had identified. In order to illustrate the types of articles that can be written following the approach I have outlined in this chapter, chapter 2 reproduces the dozen articles published following this approach over a period of just under a year.

 

Chapter 2

ARTICLES published in the local traditional media

 

 

In order to illustrate the approach outlined in chapter 1 on how to write articles for the local traditional media as a Rotarian (or a member of another service club or nonprofit), this chapter reproduces 12 stories published over a period of just under a year in the local traditional media for Washington, DC, and especially the Capitol Hill neighborhood in the city. Efforts were also undertaken to strengthen the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill’s public image in social media, but this is not discussed here and could be the topic of another book in this series.

The first nine stories were published in Hill Rag, the main magazine for the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Washington, DC. The tenth story was published in Fagon, the annual guide for Capitol Hill residents and a companion publication of Capital Community News, the organization that also publishes Hill Rag. The focus on Capitol Hill for these two publications (Hill Rag and Fagon) stems from the fact that the author’s Rotary Club is located in Capitol Hill. The last two stories – a viewpoint and a letter to the editor – were published in the Current Newspapers, a weekly with four editions for multiple neighborhoods in the city.

Each story in Hill Rag had one or more pictures in the printed version in the magazine, which makes the stories more attractive to read than the word version only. These pictures are however not included here in order to reduce the size of the ebook file and make the file more easily readable in ebook format.

The hope is that the stories illustrate how service clubs around the world can make themselves better known by showcasing the work of their partners, while also in the process creating visibility for the great work of those partners.

 

List of Stories:

1-Volunteering on the Hill: One World Education

2-Volunteering on the Hill: Tutoring

3-Volunteering on the Hill: Reaching Out to the Homeless

4-Volunteering on the Hill: Teaching Financial Literacy

5-Volunteering on the Hill: Celebrating a Diversity of Volunteering Options

6-Volunteering on the Hill: Preserving the Historic Beauty of Capitol Hill

7-Volunteering on the Hill: Opportunities for the New Year

8-Volunteering on the Hill: Chiarina Brings Music to Life

9-Volunteering on the Hill: Volunteer Capitol Hill 2017 on April 29

10-Volunteering in Capitol Hill

11-Writing Program Helps Give Students a Voice

12-With Winter’s Arrival, Time to Aid Homeless

 

 

1 – Volunteering on the Hill: One World Education

(Published in Hill Rag, May 2016)

 

On April 13, 2016 a dozen seniors proudly received college scholarships for their outstanding work as part of a writing program run by One World Education in local schools, including Eastern High in Capitol Hill. Some of the students who received scholarships were the best in their class. Others simply worked hard and greatly improved their writing.

A total of 2,300 seniors participated in the program last fall and two dozen were selected by their teachers to present their work to a panel of judges at a College and Career Senior Challenge held in December 2015. DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson was the keynote speaker at the event. Among the students who made presentations about their essay, 14 received scholarships for college.

Programs such as One World Education are needed. The United States benefitted for decades from one of the most skilled workforces in the world, but there are concerns that this is not the case anymore. Within the US, despite progress in recent years, DC still ranks towards the bottom of the National Assessment of Educational Progress league tables. There are many reasons for this weak performance, not least of which is the impact of poverty. But efforts by public and charter schools in partnership with local nonprofits are sending the message that gains can be achieved.

 

What Is One World Education?

 

The program was created by two former local DC teachers. Their idea was to use students’ reflective writing as the foundation for what was discussed in the classroom. The model proved successful as students became more engaged and started to develop better research, writing, and analytical thinking skills.

Today the program takes about four weeks for students to complete, in four stages. The first stage is about reading comprehension. Students learn the vocabulary of argumentative writing and its importance for college and career success. The focus of the second stage is research. Students learn to create and implement an in-depth research plan. The next focus is writing. Peer-to-peer and teacher feedback exercises guide students as they improve their paper. The fourth and last stage is presentation. Throughout the program, students practice public speaking skills.

 

How Do We Know That the Program Works?

 

To assess whether the program works, essays from more than 550 students were collected for an independent evaluation. For each student, two essays were scored – one written before the program, and one after. American University writing instructors scored the essays on four standards for argumentative writing: introducing a claim, supplying evidence for the claim and counterclaims, creating cohesion between claims and reasons, and providing a concluding statement. The evaluation demonstrated that students improved in a statistically significant way. What matters as well is that initially weaker students improved the most.

Perceptions from teachers about the program were gathered through a web questionnaire with anonymous responses to avoid bias. Teacher feedback was highly favorable. Virtually all teachers recommended continuing the program next year. Finally, focus groups were held with students who said the especially appreciated that they could write on a topic of their choice, and that they had to conduct their own research. For many students, this was also the first assignment in which they had to consider both claims and counterclaims.

 

Are There Opportunities to Volunteer?

 

What is great with programs such as One World Education is that ordinary citizens can contribute to their success. The program is implemented by teachers. But it also relies on volunteers, whether for mentoring students, serving as a judge in essay competitions, or simply helping where needed. I was fortunate to be one of the judges at the Senior Challenge in December. This was a great experience. I also led on a pro bono basis the evaluation of the program. The Rotary Club of Capitol Hill (of which I am a member) funded scholarships for students. Three other members of the club helped in various ways. One serves on the board of One World Education. There are other ways to volunteer, including to help with marketing, social media, photography, and other tasks.

In the case of One World Education, most volunteering opportunities are for individuals with specific skills. But with some other nonprofits in Capitol Hill, volunteering opportunities are available that do not require specific skills.

 

[_ This story is the first in a series in the Hill Rag on great nonprofits -- and great volunteers in the community. Nonprofits that have demonstrated a positive impact and provide volunteer opportunities for residents will be featured. If there are nonprofits or outstanding volunteers that you feel the series should recognize, please let me know through the Contact Me page of my blog at www.rotarianeconomist.com. _]

 

 

 

2 – Volunteering on the Hill: Tutoring

(Published in Hill Rag, June 2016)

 

“How come you know so much? What kind of a doctor are you?” The child who asked this question to (Dr.) Don Messer is from the Stanton Elementary School in Washington, DC. The school is located in Anacostia, one of the poorest parts of the city. Until recently, few children passed the mathematics and reading tests, but things have improved, in part because of a tutoring program run by Don.

The child who asked this question of Don Messer, Ph.D., was from an elementary school in DC located in one of the poorest parts of the city. Eight years ago, with the help of the school’s principal, teachers, and a half-dozen volunteers, Messer designed a new tutoring program in the school. “I focused on mathematics and reading and questions asked in standardized tests. This was not to teach to the test, but to ensure that children understood the material,” he explains. The program is still running and is having a positive impact on the students being tutored.

Messer decided to tutor students in small groups of three or four to generate interactions and more learning. The groups meet once or twice a week for the entire school year, and classes are held during the school day. The goal is not only to help the students learn, but also to help them understand that there is a future for them. When the child asked Messer what kind of doctor he was, it was because she knew only of medical doctors and not other types of doctoral degrees. “As tutors, in a small way we are opening up a new window to the world for the students,” says Messer.

Tutoring can be creative and fun. Messer mentioned one of the experiments he did with students to estimate the gravitational acceleration force. “The students threw a golf ball in the air in the gymnasium. They recorded the time it took for the ball to fall from apogee to the floor, using a simple stopwatch. They repeated the exercise 25 times. Armed with the right formula they estimated the gravitational acceleration constant within three percent of its value. The experiment helped them understand how repeated approximate values, when averaged, converge to true values.”

There is ample evidence that tutoring can improve learning. That is why so many parents who have the means invest in tutoring. But children from disadvantaged backgrounds do not have such opportunities. Volunteer-based programs are important for these children.

To work well, tutoring sessions should be active, varied, and even fun. They should combine structured and unstructured instruction as well as individual and collective work. They should focus on specific skills relating to what students learn during the regular school day.

Tutoring programs should also provide consistent and sustained instructional time for students. They should not be a one-off investment. Good collaboration among the students, tutors, teachers, and school administrators is also key.

Several programs operating on Capitol Hill and in the District generally have been evaluated rigorously.

In a program run by Higher Achievement, students meet three days a week during the school year. After completing homework with support from teachers and volunteers, they may have dinner and work on a specific subject in small groups with a trained volunteer mentor. This is a rigorous program – overall, students spend 650 hours per year in the program between fifth and eighth grades.

An evaluation of the program compared Higher Achievement students (“scholars”) with a control group of students who applied to the program, met the admissions criteria, but were randomly not selected to participate. The program was shown to have a positive impact after one year on mathematics proficiency and reading comprehension.

Reading Partners is another program that has been evaluated rigorously. As is the case with Higher Achievement, Reading Partners works largely with volunteers, which helps in keeping costs down. The evaluation suggests statistically significant gains in reading proficiency.

There are many opportunities to volunteer with tutoring programs. Apart from Higher Achievement and Reading Partners, Horton’s Kids, Serve Your City, and Jan’s Tutoring House, among others, are active. Information on tutoring opportunities is available online: www.higherachievement.org; www.readingpartners.org; www.hortonskids.org; www.serveyourcitydc.org; www.janstutoringhouse.org.

Messer and his fellow tutors have learned how to connect with the students, keep their attention, and be role models and mentors. At times the children are noisy, sometimes misbehaving and arguing. But they do value the tutoring sessions and they want to come. There is perhaps no better reward than having a fifth-grader say, “You know, Dr. Messer, you’re like my grandpa.”

 

This story is the second in a series in the Hill Rag on great nonprofits – and great volunteers in the community. It features nonprofits that have demonstrated a positive impact and provide volunteer opportunities for residents. Don Messer is a Rotarian with the Rotary Club of Washington, DC. Quentin Wodon is a member of the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill. To contact him please send an email through the “Contact Me” page of the www.rotarianeconomist.com blog.

 

 

3 – Volunteering on the Hill: Reaching Out to the Homeless

(Published in Hill Rag, September 2016)

 

Homelessness remains pervasive in Capitol Hill despite progress to reduce it in the District. Factors leading to homelessness are multiple, and so are the required responses. Capitol Hill Group Ministry (CHGM) is a leader in the community for homelessness prevention and for services to families and individuals who are currently homeless. CHGM is a charitable organization with 501c(3) status and a long history of commitment to the poor. It was founded almost 50 years ago. Despite its name and the fact that CHGM highly values its relationships with congregational partners, it is not itself a faith-based organization.

CHGM operates a suite of programs ranging from a family homelessness prevention program to housing programs for the homeless, community support projects, and Shirley’s Place, a hospitality center that provides access to laundry, light meals, showers, computers, and phones, among others. The great news for those interested in helping out is that CHGM has an innovative program for volunteers called “HART”, which stands for Homeless Assistance Response Team.

Abby Sypek, the coordinator for HART, was a guest speaker at my Rotary club’s bi-monthly meeting this past month. I was impressed by her commitment and engaging personality. She explained that when temperatures are very low, the homeless are at risk of hypothermia, which makes it essential to have teams of volunteers ensuring that all those who need it can access shelter. But the idea behind HART is that beyond winter emergencies, there are benefits from homeless outreach programs throughout the year. HART provides snacks and seasonally appropriate supplies to the homeless all year-long. But even more importantly, it helps to build relationships that can make a lasting difference not only for those who are homeless, but also for the volunteers who help out.

Andrew Anderson, one of the HART volunteer program leaders, explains it well: “Serving our homeless neighbors has changed my perspective towards this vital societal issue. The program has convinced me that homelessness is solvable. At a personal level, getting to know and care for my homeless neighbors has been a transforming experience. The greatest gift I can provide is not a sandwich, granola bar or a cup of hot chocolate— although this does help break the ice. What matters most is that I show that I care by having a conversation, remembering a person’s name, offering her a way to get to warm shelter, and returning the next week to show a consistent, sincere concern for her condition. One homeless neighbor told me, ‘It means so much to me that you care about me. It gives me great hope in the future of this country.’ One of my most rewarding lifetime personal accomplishments will include the experience of helping dozens of homeless neighbors to warm shelter during the coldest nights during the winter.”

HART volunteers are trained in street outreach techniques and processes to be able to help the homeless access shelter. This initial training is typically organized once a month, on the third Tuesday of the month. Once properly trained, volunteers deploy in pairs on evenings year-round. The program focuses on serving chronically homeless individuals who live in Ward 6, including in the Eastern Market neighborhood and around Union Station.

The work done by the HART volunteers is an essential complement to the work of professional case workers who connect homeless individuals with community resources in the areas of mental health care, medical care (with Unity Healthcare), access to food stamps and other welfare benefits, and other services. For many homeless individuals, CHGM’s outreach programs have been instrumental in leading to stable housing.

As part of our Capitol Hill pro bono initiative, my Rotary club is partnering with CHGM to conduct a rapid assessment of the benefits of the HART program for the homeless, for volunteers, and for the city. But from discussions with Abby, it seems clear already that the benefits from this innovative program are likely to large.

If you would like to volunteer with CHGM through the HART program, please contact Abby and her team by sending her an email at [email protected].

 

Quentin Wodon is President of the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill which meets every second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 7:30 AM at the Dubliner on F Street. To contact Quentin, or to learn more about the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill Pro Bono Initiative, please send him an email through the Contact Me page of his blog at www.rotarianeconomist.com.

 

4 – Volunteering on the Hill: Teaching Financial Literacy

(Published in Hill Rag, October 2016)

 

Where in Capitol Hill can disadvantaged middle and high school students go to learn sports such as rowing, tennis, and swimming, while also benefitting from tutoring and even participating in a financial literacy program? The response is: Serve Your City. The nonprofit organization was created five years ago by Maurice Cook, who recently spoke at my Rotary Club.

Cook’s passion is to provide disadvantaged children with the same opportunities that are taken for granted by economically better-off students. For those interested in volunteering on Capitol Hill, Serve Your City is a great resource because of the variety of programs that it runs. If you have a skill or passion, there is a good chance Cook will find a way to put it to good use.

One of the most recent offerings from Serve Your City is a financial literacy program launched last year for high school students together with a team of volunteers from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). There is no doubt that this is needed in DC given that the District is not doing well according to data from the National Report Card on State Efforts to Improve Financial Literacy in High Schools.

Last year the program consisted of 10 afterschool sessions held at the IMF and George Washington University. Each session lasted 90 minutes. A celebration was organized at the IMF at the end of the program and attended by Deputy Managing Director Carla Grasso, who presented each graduate with a certificate. “What I’ve seen here is really wonderful … Take the opportunity to learn. You will be the next ministers, governors, researchers, entrepreneurs, and maybe you will be able to deliver to your children a better world. Everything is possible – believe it is possible. You are young, and this is your time,” Grasso said.

One of the students summarized his experience with the course as follows: “The program taught me many things about dealing with money that I would’ve never learned in school. That is important because I now know how to manage my money and investments at an earlier age compared to if I had waited to be introduced to finance by chance. I believe this initial gain will translate into growth at an earlier age for myself, as well as all other participants.”

More than two dozen volunteers delivered the weekly sessions from March to May 2016. Typically two volunteers co-facilitated each session, and as the topics changed over time there were new volunteers teaching every week. After a brief refresher in mathematics, the topics covered in the sessions included personal finance and budgeting, managing debt, understanding the value of savings and the benefits of compounded interest, planning income, paying taxes on time, reducing financial risks, undertaking insurance, and much more. The volunteers shared information as well as personal anecdotes about potential careers in the banking, insurance, and financial sectors. Throughout the emphasis was on practical skills.

Other organizations with specific expertise were also brought in. As explained by one of these volunteers, “MarketStraddle, a financial technology startup based in DC, enjoyed our partnership with Serve Your City and the International Monetary Fund as part of their financial literacy program. Providing services for underserved DC youth was a privilege, and we hope the workshop we delivered on stock markets and investing has a lasting impact on the students’ interest in finance.”

The course was intended as a pilot for future programs. Both participants and volunteers were surveyed systematically on their experiences. Pre- and post-course student assessments indicated an increase of about one-third in the knowledge of students about the materials covered in the course. In other words, the students learned quite a bit! The volunteers also rated their experience highly, and all of those who completed the survey at the end of the program said that they would be happy to volunteer for the program again. The good news is that the program will continue this year and will probably be expanded in terms of the number of participants.

As part of our Capitol Hill pro bono initiative, my Rotary Club is partnering with Serve Your City to help the organization and its programs. What is clear to us, given Cook’s commitment, is that Serve Your City is here to stay and achieve great things for Capitol Hill students.

If you would like to volunteer with Serve Your City, please contact Cook and his team. The organization’s website is www.serveyourcitydc.org.

 

Quentin Wodon is president of the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill, which meets every second and fourth Tuesday of the month, 7:30 a.m., in the Dubliner at 4 F Street NW. To contact him or learn more about the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill Pro Bono Initiative, please send him an email through the Contact Me page of his blog at www.rotarianeconomist.com.

 

5 – Volunteering on the Hill: Celebrating a Diversity of Volunteering Options!

(Published in Hill Rag, November 2016)

 

Volunteering comes in many shapes and colors. In Capitol Hill, opportunities to volunteer abound, whether you are interested in serving food for those in need, playing music in an orchestra, tutoring a child at any level, or collecting clothes for the homeless. In this installment in the series on volunteering in The Hill, three great local nonprofits are featured to showcase the diversity of opportunities that residents have to give back to the community.

So Others Might Eat (SOME at www.some.org) is a relatively large interfaith and community-based organization working with the poor and the homeless in DC. It provides food, clothing, and health care to those in need, as well as affordable housing, job training, addiction treatment, and counseling. SOME has revenues of $35 million dollar per year. This is large enough to be rated by Charity Navigator. Be reassured: SOME has four stars, the highest possible rating.

I asked SOME to share the experience of one of their beneficiaries. They told me about James who was homeless and suffering from untreated mental health issues. He found his way to SOME for a hot breakfast. “They referred me across the street and my life started to change from there”, James said. Across the street from SOME’s Dining Room, James met with a physician and a social worker. He found safe harbor at Jordan House, SOME’s emergency shelter for adults experiencing a psychiatric crisis. Once ready, he went on to live on his own in SOME’s affordable housing. “I had lost all hope and I don’t feel that way anymore. I’m very blessed for everyone that has helped me to restore my sanity, my health and my hope.”

The concrete difference that you can make in a person’s life is what motivates volunteers to help. SOME offers many types of volunteer opportunities, but one of the most popular is to help prepare and serve food in its dining rooms. In 2015, SOME provided close to 400,000 meals, so they can use your help! Volunteers find the experience rewarding. “You’ll always leave with more than you came. And what that means is you leave with, with optimism about how, you know, one step at a time, one challenge at a time. You can make a difference.” As another volunteer explained it: “I saw firsthand how people in the community benefited directly. This was profoundly rewarding, because in most instances you don’t get the chance to see the beneficiaries of your voluntary efforts faced to face. I have packed food in a food bank, sorted donated clothing, run races, but have never seen the direct results of those efforts. SOME gave me that opportunity, which was both moving and rewarding.”

What if you have a rare talent, such as the ability to play a music instrument very well? The Capital City Symphony (CCS, at www.capitalcitysymphony.org) may be the right fit for you. CCS is a community orchestra and one of the founding arts partners of the Atlas Performing Arts Center. The orchestra was founded in 1967 as the Georgetown Symphony Orchestra, but it relocated in 2005 to H Street NE, providing classical music performances in a part of the city that had long been underserved. The orchestra consists of approximately 100 musicians of all ages, all of them volunteers. In a typical season CCS offers four full orchestral programs (five to six performances), a chamber concert, and a community carol sing (two performances). Their next event is on November 20 with the alluring theme of A Night in Paris.

Eric is a volunteer musician with CCS. He discovered the orchestra a few years after moving to The Hill. “At first, my interest was purely selfish: I love playing orchestral music. Sit in the midst of 80 musicians, totally immersed in sound, and you’ll understand. But in recent years, I’ve come to enjoy watching as other people discover their own appreciation for music. Sometimes it’s a child who has never seen or heard a bassoon before. Or it might be a longtime admirer of Mozart who is unexpectedly moved by an unknown contemporary composer.”

Eric does not really think of himself as a community volunteer, even though he arguably is. As he explains it, “I don’t feed the hungry or fight injustice. I simply play bassoon. But on a good day, I entertain a few hundred people for a couple hours. I hope I am giving something back to the community I live in. And it’s something important, even if I’m not saving lives or righting wrongs. Music is part of a rich cultural life that makes Capitol Hill vibrant and exciting. If you’re bored in The Hill, you’re not trying very hard. Quality of life is a hard thing to measure, but by most yardsticks, The Hill has it. This is a lively place where things are happening. I’m glad to be part of that energy, and to contribute to the richness of our local culture. My involvement with CCS has brought many people, places and events into my life. It’s even pushed my future plans in new directions. All of this makes me keenly aware of my ties to this community.”

As a third example of a great nonprofit with volunteering opportunities in Capitol Hill, especially now that the colder weather is slowly setting in, let me mention Gift to the Homeless (GFTH, at www.gfth.org). GFTH is a volunteer-run organization that serves the homeless in DC in two ways: first through a clothing drive to collect secondhand clothing, blankets, sleeping bags, sheets and towels, as well as travel toiletries, and second by raising funds to purchase essential new items of warm clothing as needed such as coats, long underwear, hats, blankets, gloves, underwear, and socks. GFTH reaches out to more than 70 shelters to serve the homeless and more than 300 volunteers help out (many of whom are from the DC legal community) during their clothing drive which is coming up soon on December 2-3.

I learned about GFTH through Melinda, a young lawyer who is also an active member of my Rotary club (the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill). Most of us in the club volunteer not only with Rotary, but also with other local organizations. I asked Melinda why she volunteers with GFTH. Here was her answer: “Through my work at Gifts for Homeless I am able to help bring the DC legal community together to give back to our neighbors experiencing homelessness in a tangible and direct way. Our clothing drive in early December delivers thousands of bags of clothing each year to shelters around the District. It’s a unique service opportunity where partners from some of the area’s largest law firms work hand-in-hand with community members they serve. I’m proud to be part of such a special organization.”

So here you have it – three different volunteer opportunities that illustrate how you can help the community and grow as a person in doing so. I hope that you will be able to find great volunteer opportunities during the holiday season, which is the perfect time to give back.

 

Quentin Wodon is President of the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill which meets every second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 7:30 AM at the Dubliner on F Street. To contact Quentin, or to learn more about some of the initiatives of his Rotary club, please send him an email through the Contact Me page of his blog at www.rotarianeconomist.com.

 

6 – Volunteering on the Hill: Opportunities for the New Year

(Published in Hill Rag, January 2017)

 

If one of your new year’s resolution is to give back to the community through volunteering, now is the time for action! Each year towards the end of April, the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital holds an annual Volunteer Fair for nonprofits active in Capitol Hill. This past year, some 40 nonprofits participated in the fair.

Many Capitol Hill nonprofits also post opportunities for volunteering on the website of the Capitol Hill Community Foundation (https://www.capitolhillcommunityfoundation.com/volunteer/). While these volunteer opportunities change from time to time, the following have bene listed in recent months:

Animal Welfare: Rural Dog Rescue’s mission is to save the lives of dogs, including stray dogs. They have volunteer opportunities for dog handlers, fosters (to keep the dogs before they go to their forever homes), event volunteers, and many other roles.

Capitol Hill Group Ministry: Several volunteer opportunities are available with this group of congregations and individuals of all faiths serving the spiritual and social needs of the community. Their Homeless Assistance Response Team (HART) is looking for volunteers to hand out food, drinks, and other items to those who are homeless. Another opportunity to volunteer is by preparing meals at Shirley’s Place Hospitality Center.

Hill Center: The Hill Center is looking for volunteers to serve as docents (to conducting tours of the building and grounds), assist with the distribution of postcards and posters to promote events, man the front desk and perform other duties, and gardening, among others.

Hunger and cooking: Several programs help those confronted with hunger – this is the case for Thrive DC and Capitol Hill Group Ministry. But in addition, DC Central Kitchen offers plenty of opportunities to prepare meals for disadvantaged groups and Cooking for Life runs an after school program to teach students and parents how to cook healthy food.

Mentoring: Several programs in Capitol Hill provide mentoring opportunities for youth. Programs that have been listed on the website include Community of Hope and Serve Your City, as well as Te Guio Mentoring Program which serves Latino youth go to college.

Photography: The Capitol Hill Community Foundation is seeking a volunteer photographer to help take pictures of grantee programs at various locations.

Poverty: A Wider Circle provides furniture for low income families. Various types of volunteer opportunities are available.

Rotary Club of Capitol Hill: Members often volunteer for a few hours with various groups, including recently the Salvation Army, DASH, The Moss Foundation, and Gift for the Homeless. They also volunteer their skills through pro bono work with nonprofits to address the challenges they face. Volunteers don’t need to be Rotarians to help. As a lawyer, marketer, social media expert, evaluation specialist, or professional in another field, you can help local nonprofits.

Seniors: Seabury Resources for Aging offers opportunities to bring your talents and enthusiasm to help seniors at residential facilities in Ward 6.

Thrive DC: Thrive DC offers opportunities to help its homeless clients learn computer skills and find jobs. Another opportunity is to serve dinner for the shelter residents. Providing administrative support is another way to volunteer.

Tutoring: One in three students in DC does not graduate from high school. Tutoring can help students who are falling behind in school. Three opportunities to serve as a tutor for students are featured on the website: BEST Kids, Reading partners, Horton’s Kids, and Serve Your City (the later also offers volunteering opportunities under its athletic programs).

Additional opportunities for volunteering are available on other websites, including Serve DC (http://serve.dc.gov/). According to statistics from a survey by the Bureau of labor Statistics, in the US 63 million people volunteered in 2015 through or for an organization at least once. You can be one of them and make a real difference in Capitol Hill.

 

Quentin Wodon is President of the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill which meets every second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 7:30 AM at the Dubliner on F Street. To contact Quentin, or to learn more about the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill Pro Bono Initiative, please send him an email through the Contact Me page of his blog at www.rotarianeconomist.com.

 

7 – Volunteering on the Hill: Preserving the Historic Beauty of Capitol Hill

(Published in Hill Rag, February 2017)

 

One of the largest and oldest civic organization in our neighborhood is the Capitol Hill restoration Society. The Society has close to a thousand members. Founded in 1955, it aims to protect the neighborhood’s historic architectural and residential character. Thanks to the Society’s effort, Capitol Hill was recognized as a historic district in 1976. The historic district designation is provided through the United States Department of Interior under the auspices of the National Park Service. It protects for future generations more than 8,000 historic buildings, some of which might have been destroyed or significantly altered without the designation.

A well-known and fun activity organized by the Society is the annual House and Garden Tour held on Mother’s Day. This is also a primary opportunity to volunteer as a House Tour docent, or to help sell tickets for the tour. Other community events at which the Society participates include the Fourth of July parade and the Barracks Row Festival.

Additional opportunities to volunteer include speaking at the Society’s Cafes and membership meetings, writing for its newsletter, working on its website, or helping out with the Dick Wolf Lecture. Dick Wolf was a tireless advocate for historic preservation and neighborhood development in the Hill. The third annual Dick Wolf Lecture will be held on March 24, 2017 at the Hill Center. Those interested can also apply to serve on the Society’s board. Still another initiative launched for the 60th anniversary of the Society is a photo context on “the Capitol Hill Home”.

The current President of the Society is Elisabeth Nelson. She explained how she joined the Society as follows: “I joined CHRS over a decade ago. There was an illegal sign on our block sporting an offensive anti-gay message and the neighbors couldn’t find anyone in the District government willing to enforce the law and remove the eyesore. The Society stepped in, applied the needed nudge and the sign was taken down. Since then, I’ve volunteered in several different ways, as webmaster, organizing the Preservation Cafes, managing docents for the Mothers’ Day House and Garden Tour. I love The Hill to bits and it gives me a great satisfaction to protect it and preserve it for future generations to enjoy. And it’s a ton of fun to get to work with such lively and committed people.”

Michelle Pilliod Carroll, another volunteer, explained that she “wants to be an active participant in an organization that believes so strongly in preserving the integrity of our great neighborhood. I volunteer each year for various events including the annual house tour, selling advertising and tickets, as well as overseeing the tea/refreshment break. I have served as tour chair in the past, using my professional experience as the owner/operator of a meeting planning company. Helping to put together events such as the House Expo, the CHRS birthday party, various receptions and the Dick Wolf Memorial has been a great joy and pleasure.”

If you would like to get involved, visit the Society’s website at http://chrs.org/ and contact one of their officers. The society accepts donation. Finally, to remain in the loop about what’s happening in the Hill, especially in terms of neighborhood development, don’t forget check out the Society’s newsletter published ten times per year.

 

Quentin Wodon is President of the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill which meets every second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 7:30 AM at the Dubliner on F Street. To contact Quentin, or to learn more about the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill Pro Bono Initiative, please send him an email through the Contact Me page of his blog at www.rotarianeconomist.com.

 

8 – Volunteering on the Hill: Chiarina Brings Music to Life

(Published in Hill Rag, March 2017)

 

On February 18, my wife and I attended a wonderful concert by Chiarina at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church. The concert was entitled “Voyages in Song.” It featured voice and piano, cello and piano, and all three together: Soprano Laura Strickling, cellist Carrie Bean Stute, and pianist Efi Hackmey played works by Robert and Clara Schumann, Frédéric Chopin and André Previn. The concert was well attended and amazingly affordable. The regular price of a ticket for the concert was only $15 through Eventbrite. Wine and other refreshments were even offered at the intermission.

In past installments in this series on volunteering in the Hill, I have emphasized volunteer opportunities with various organizations. In this article, while there are ways to volunteer with Chiarina, I would like to celebrate the great cast of musicians who play for the ensemble, and the work of the two artistic directors, Carrie and Efi, who volunteer their time and talent to run the organization.

Chiarina Chamber Players was founded in 2015 by Efi and Carrie to bring high-quality chamber music to Capitol Hill and Montgomery County in Maryland. The group’s mission is to make live performances of great masterpieces accessible to the community at large, and to connect with audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Chiarina was the nickname of Schumann’s pianist-composer wife Clara. The ensemble recently received two grants from the Capitol Hill Community Foundation for their great work in bringing classical music to life.

This is the second season for the ensemble, with five programs at nine concerts. Past performances this season were held at the Hill Center, Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church, and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington. The finale for the 2016-2017 season, entitled Intimacy and Brilliance, will take place on April 1 at 8:00 PM in the Gaithersburg Arts Barn, and a Capitol Hill performance on April 2, at 7:30 PM at Saint Mark’s. The performance will feature Dvorak’s Piano Quintet, coupled with Rebecca Clarke’s duo sonata. Apart from Efi and Carrie, Domenic Salerni and Derek Powell will play the violin, and Arthur Dibble will play the viola.

I first met Carrie when she came in February to the Rotary Club in Capitol Hill to share her thoughts with our club members about the future of classical music. She explained a number of ways in which musicians are bringing classical music to new audiences across the country. Initiatives range from playing for schools to organizing concerts in unusual venues. During her visit, Carrie played a few short pieces for us as well, to great enjoyment of our membership. Several of our club members told me afterwards how much they had enjoyed the experience. As Carrie told us about her upcoming concert in Saint Mark’s, several of us made sure we would attend. We all recommend attending a Chiarina concert without hesitation.

There are various ways to volunteer with Chiarina and support their organization. You can contact Carrie and Efi through Charina’s website to do so. Their initiative is a wonderful way to bring classical music to life in Capitol Hill.

 

Quentin Wodon is President of the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill which meets every second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 7:30 AM at the Dubliner on F Street. To contact Quentin, or to learn more about the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill Pro Bono Initiative, please send him an email through the Contact Me page of his blog at www.rotarianeconomist.com.

 

9 – Volunteering on the Hill: Volunteer Capitol Hill 2017 on April 29

(To Be Published in Hill Rag, April 2017)

 

 

The Hill Center is a major contributor to Capitol Hill’s vibrancy. Whether you are looking for art expositions, occasional concerts, interesting speakers, or a range of classes and opportunities to learn, there is a good chance that the Hill center has something for you. The building is beautiful, with fourteen foot ceilings in many rooms and a great feeling all around. And if you are hungry, you can pay a visit to the Bayou Bakery, right on the premises in the adjacent small garden.

I can sing the virtues of the Center from experience. Just last month my Rotary club organized at the Center two training events for local nonprofits. The first was on monitoring, evaluation, and cost benefit in the morning. The second in the afternoon was on communications, from websites to power point presentations. We had the CEO of Grameen Foundation as keynote speaker for lunch. The event had great speakers and it was a success. But the Hill center location provided an additional boost. One of the training participants who was wondering around during a coffee break told me that she had always wanted to visit the Center. The training event was a good opportunity to do so. She was thrilled by the building and the art exposition in the gallery near the Lincoln room (the center has actually six exhibition spaces).

Now, there is another great opportunity for you to visit the Hill Center if you haven’t done so yet: the annual Capitol Hill volunteer fair. The fair was first held in 2013 by the Old Naval Hospital Foundation to celebrate the Nicky and Steve Cymrot’s contributions to the Capitol Hill community over many years. Last year some 40 nonprofits participated in the fair and 400 community members attended. Most of the nonprofits that I have featured in this series of articles for Hill Rag on volunteering in the Hill will attend, as well as many others. It would probably be hard for you not to find at least one nonprofit participating in the volunteer fair that works on an issue that you are passionate about. The event benefits from financial support from the Capitol Hill Community Foundation, National Capital Bank, Pettie-Tubbs-Edwards Team at Coldwell Banker, and Riverby Books.

So please mark your calendar: Volunteer Capitol Hill 2017 will be held on Saturday, April 29, from 10 AM to 1 PM at the Hill Center. The organizers promise that it will be festive, with food and entertainment! If you want to meet great nonprofits and find the right volunteer opportunity for you in Capitol Hill, this is the event not to miss.

As this is a column on volunteer opportunities, let me also mention that the Hill Center itself is looking for volunteers. On its website, the center mentions opportunities to help at the reception desk or to serve as docent. Docents conduct tours of the Old Naval Hospital building – this is the building that now houses the Hill Center, as well as the Grounds, and the Carriage House. Hill Center docents are trained so that they know well the history of the place, as well as what the Hill Center is aiming to achieve. Other opportunities to volunteer include serving as a community event assistant or gardening aide. The center also has a “street team” that hangs up posters and drops off promotional materials for its events throughout Capitol Hill and DC. Finally the Center can also benefit from other administrative support from volunteers.

I hope to see you at the Hill Center on April 29. And nobody will object if you wander around to look at the art!

 

Quentin Wodon is President of the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill which now meets (as of April 2017) every second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 7:30 AM at Thompson Markward Hall located at 235 2nd St NE. To contact Quentin, or to learn more about the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill, please send him an email through the Contact Me page of his blog at www.rotarianeconomist.com.

 

10 – Volunteering in Capitol Hill

(To Be Published in Fagon Guide to Capitol Hill, April 2017)

 

Volunteering is a wonderful way to give back to one’s community. The great news for Capitol Hill residents is that opportunities to volunteer abound. Dozens of great nonprofits provide such opportunities in our area, with a selection provided below.

If you are interested in volunteering, please also note that each year towards the end of April, the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital holds an annual Volunteer Fair for nonprofits active in Capitol Hill. The first fair was held in 2013. Last year some 40 nonprofits participated in the fair, and 400 community members attended. The next fair will be held at the Hill Center on Saturday, April 29, from 10 AM to 1 PM – it will be festive, with food and entertainment.

Another source of information on volunteer opportunities is the website of the Capitol Hill Community Foundation (https://www.capitolhillcommunityfoundation.com/volunteer/). And for the District of Columbia as a whole, please check the website of Serve DC (https://serve.dc.gov/).

While volunteer opportunities change from time to time with different organizations, the following are some of the opportunities that I am aware of by type of organization:

Animal Welfare: Rural Dog Rescue’s mission is to save the lives of dogs, including stray dogs. They have volunteer opportunities for dog handlers, fosters (to keep the dogs before they go to their forever homes), event volunteers, and many other roles.

Capitol Hill Group Ministry: Several volunteer opportunities are available with this group of congregations and individuals of all faiths serving the spiritual and social needs of the community. Their Homeless Assistance Response Team (HART) is looking for volunteers to hand out food, drinks, and other items to those who are homeless. Another opportunity to volunteer is by preparing meals at Shirley’s Place Hospitality Center.

Capitol Hill Restoration Society: You can volunteer as a House Tour docent, to help sell tickets for their annual tour of great houses and landmarks, or by speaking at the Society’s Cafes and membership meetings, writing for its newsletter, working on its website, or helping out with the annual Dick Wolf Lecture.

Events held annually in Capitol Hill: Several events are organized each year in Capitol Hill, including the Barracks Row Festival. Typically, event organizers need all the help they can get. The annual Literary Hill BookFest is another event that welcomes volunteers.

Hill Center: The Hill Center is looking for volunteers to serve as docents (to conducting tours of the building and grounds), assist with the distribution of postcards and posters to promote events, man the front desk and perform other duties, and gardening, among others.

Hunger and cooking: Several programs help those confronted with hunger – this is the case for Thrive DC and Capitol Hill Group Ministry. But in addition, DC Central Kitchen offers plenty of opportunities to prepare meals for disadvantaged groups and Cooking for Life runs an after school program to teach students and parents how to cook healthy food.

Mentoring: Several programs in Capitol Hill provide mentoring opportunities for youth. Programs that have been listed on the website include Community of Hope and Serve Your City, as well as Te Guio Mentoring Program which serves Latino youth go to college.

Music: One of the great new nonprofits providing access to classical music in Capitol Hill at low cost through a series of concerts is Chiarina. In addition, for musicians, another great opportunity to volunteer is to be part of the Capital City Symphony.

Photography: The Capitol Hill Community Foundation is seeking a volunteer photographer to help take pictures of grantee programs at various locations.

Poverty: A Wider Circle provides furniture for low income families. Various types of volunteer opportunities are available.

Rotary Club of Capitol Hill: Members often volunteer for a few hours with various groups, including recently the Salvation Army, DASH, The Moss Foundation, and Gift for the Homeless. They also volunteer their skills through pro bono work with nonprofits to address the challenges they face. Recently, the club organized trainings on monitoring and evaluation and on communications for nonprofits. Volunteers don’t need to be Rotarians to help. As a lawyer, marketer, social media expert, evaluation specialist, or professional in another field, you can help.

Seniors: Seabury Resources for Aging offers opportunities to bring your talents and enthusiasm to help seniors at residential facilities in Ward 6.

Thrive DC: Thrive DC offers opportunities to help its homeless clients learn computer skills and find jobs. Another opportunity is to serve dinner for the shelter residents. Providing administrative support is another way to volunteer.

Tutoring: One in three students in DC does not graduate from high school. Tutoring can help students who are falling behind in school. Three opportunities to serve as a tutor for students are featured on the website: BEST Kids, Reading partners, Horton’s Kids, and Serve Your City (the later also offers volunteering opportunities under its athletic programs).

According to statistics from a survey by the Bureau of labor Statistics, in the US 63 million people volunteer at least once each year through or for an organization. You can be one of them and make a real difference in Capitol Hill.

 

Quentin Wodon is President of the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill which meets every second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 7:30 AM at Thompson Markward Hall (new location since April 2017). To contact Quentin, or to learn more about the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill Pro Bono Initiative, please send him an email through the Contact Me page of his blog at www.rotarianeconomist.com.

 

11 – Writing Program Helps Give Students a Voice

(Viewpoint Published in The Current Newspapers, October 2017)

 

 

Consider these topics: School security. Teen depression. Anti-bullying programs. Wage equality for women. America needs aliens. Video games are not bad. Speaking out on stuttering. Banishing the death penalty. Carbon emissions. Urban public schools.

These are the topics of the first 10 essays that show up on a page of student writing on One World Education’s website. The essays were written by D.C. middle and high school students as part of a successful program that strengthens their reading, research, writing and presentation skills. Students select the topic they write about, and many write about issues that deeply affect them on a personal level. This is writing that matters — and writing that gives a voice to students from D.C. public and charter schools, many of whom live in low-income families and have faced hardship.

Last year, more than 5,800 students participated in the program, which operates in both public and charter schools in partnership with D.C. Public Schools and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. In public schools, the program is part of the Cornerstone initiative, which aims to provide rigorous content to students, improved professional development for teachers, and continuity and consistency across grades and subjects.

The One World program (or One World Cornerstone, as it is known in public schools) is organized around four tasks or stages for students: reading comprehension, research, writing and presentation.

Students start by reviewing how to write a strong argumentative essay, including by looking at exemplary essays from students in previous years. Next, they select and research their own topic, looking at claims and counterclaims for their argument from reliable sources. With the framework in place, students then proceed to write their essay. After revising their work, they present their essay to their teacher and classmates to get feedback.

This may sound simple, but the balance for good implementation consists in providing enough structure for students to do well (and for teachers to prepare their lessons), while ensuring that students have enough freedom to pursue their passion and write about what they care the most about.

Teachers select some of the students to present their essays to a panel of judges at a College and Career Senior Challenge organized each year, with the winners receiving scholarships. This past school year, then-Chancellor Kaya Henderson gave the keynote address at the event, and in April more than a dozen students received scholarships for college.

How successful is the program? As part of a pro bono initiative of the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill that works with D.C. nonprofits on their strategic priorities, and in collaboration with a team from American University, a recently completed evaluation of One World Education’s program showed significant improvements in argumentative writing.

The evaluation is based on writing assignments from more than 550 students, with each student writing an essay before and after the program. The data suggest that most students improved their argumentative writing skills in a statistically significant way. Importantly, initially weaker students improved the most. In other words, the program is especially beneficial for students lagging behind. Overall, students improved their writing performance in all participating public and charter schools except one, where performance was flat.

Data on teacher and student perceptions about the program were also collected. Teachers were asked in an online survey to rate the program anonymously and provide recommendations as to whether it should continue this year. On all 13 questions about the program, feedback was favorable and 94 percent of teachers recommended using the One World Cornerstone again this year (none of the teachers recommended not to). Data on student perceptions were obtained through focus groups. Most students found the program beneficial, and they especially appreciated the fact that they could write on a topic of their choice — writing that matters to them! The great news is that thanks to this positive feedback, the program will be implemented again in public and charter schools this year.

Programs such as One World Education are needed in D.C. and in the U.S. more broadly. The country used to have one of the best workforces in the world, but our comparative advantage has been eroded. Within the U.S., despite progress in recent years, D.C. still ranks toward the bottom of national rankings on student learning. Efforts by public and charter schools and partnerships with nonprofits such as One World Education, however, are sending the message that gains can be achieved.

 

Quentin Wodon is president of the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill. He can be reached through the “Contact Me” page at rotarianeconomist.com.

 

 

12 – With Winter’s Arrival, Time to Aid Homeless

(Letter to the Editor Published in The Current Newspapers, December 2017)

 

 

The year 2016 may become the warmest on record, but as winter sets in, the homeless are at risk of hypothermia. To help out, work with D.C. nonprofits. Let me mention three with whom I worked recently through my Rotary Club.

Capitol Hill Group Ministry runs an outreach program whereby volunteers are trained to help the homeless access shelter. Central Union Mission is one of the oldest social service organizations in D.C., with many ways to help including by serving meals. Gifts for the Homeless runs an annual clothing drive. The drive was just completed, but there are ways to donate. Many more D.C. nonprofits do a great job reaching out to our homeless neighbors. This winter, please contact them to see how you can help.

 

Quentin Wodon. President, Rotary Club of Capitol Hill.

 

CONCLUSION

 

 

When I became President of my Rotary club this past year, I suggested to the membership to adopt a number of major changes in how we function as a club. These changes were approved, and they have helped reverse a declining membership (for details, see Wodon, 2017a).In addition, one of my aims was to increase the visibility of the club in the community. This books has told the story of how I have tried to do that by writing articles for the local traditional media.

Rotary is about fellowship, networking, and especially service. Service itself can take many forms (on Rotary’s five avenues of service, see Wodon, 2017b), but it typically involves Rotarians volunteering their time as well as opening their wallet. So a great way for Rotarians to engage with the local traditional media consists in writing articles that celebrate volunteering in the community. This can be done by showcasing the work done in the community by the local nonprofits that Rotary clubs often partner with for their service projects.

This was the simple idea that I pursued as I started to write articles for the local traditional media. Instead of publishing stories about my club, I published stories about some of our partners in the community, while also occasionally mentioning how we work with them. Over the past year or so, I have published nine articles in the main monthly magazine for my club’s community, two articles for the city’s main local free weekly newspaper, and another article for the annual guide to my club’s community. This seems to have been worthwhile to get my club slightly better know and, more importantly, to give visibility to nonprofits serving the community with great dedication. The approach has brought my club some goodwill. Our nonprofit partners are grateful when we write about them. They have also told us how this has helped them in practical ways.

The approach seems to have benefitted my club. As mentioned, after years of declining membership, we doubled our membership in six months. I can’t really say what exact role the articles published in the local traditional media played for this revival; but anecdotal evidence – people contacting me because of the articles – suggests that there has been a positive impact. It seems to me that my club has now gained in stature in the community.

Even if it turns out that the benefit of these articles for my club has been in final analysis small, which could well be the case, engaging with the local traditional media was worth it because of the opportunity it gave me to support the work of local nonprofits I truly respect. In a way, this series of articles was like a small service project that aimed to give visibility to those at the frontline of service work in the community, so that they could recruit more volunteers for their own work. There was a bit of work involved on my part in writing these articles in my free time, but it was really fun, and it has given me a deeper appreciation for the variety of contributions that nonprofits make in the community.

I hope that some of the readers of this book will engage in a similar endeavor, or will be inspired to develop their own particular approach to getting their club featured in the local traditional media in order to build its public image.

From the point of view of a Rotary club, there is however one final thought I need to share. Rotary clubs have the primary responsibility to improve their public image in their community, even if campaigns by Rotary International can help as well. But if you decide to invest in improving or changing your public image, for examples by writing articles as I did, you need to first make sure that what you are projecting corresponds to the identity of your club.

A smart campaign by Rotary International may generate interest in Rotary. But once potential new members or partners visit a club, they can quickly make out whether the club is the right fit for them, and whether the club corresponds (or not) to the image that Rotary International is trying to project. Similarly, at the local level, a club could try to project a new image for itself in the community, but if this image does not match the club’s true identity, the new image will not work.

What I tried to do with this series of articles published in the local traditional media was first and foremost to pay tribute to the work done by local nonprofit in the community. But the bits of information provided in these articles about my Rotary club were consistent with the new positioning adopted by my club in terms of the type of service work we would do for the community. There was alignment between the stories and the strategic plan adopted by my club, for example in terms of the decision we made to provide pro bono strategic advice to local nonprofits, a topic that I will elaborate on in a separate book in this series.

If as a Rotarian reader you engage in a similar (or alternative) approach with the local traditional media, you should probably strive for consistency as well with the positioning of your club in the community. This applies as well to the staff of nonprofits who may also want to write for the local media. Clearly, the potential gains for all concerned are likely to be larger if there is alignment between the image being projected by the writer and the reality on the ground of what a Rotary club or a nonprofit actually does in the community.

In that sense, the hard work for my club remains to be done, which is to live up to the promise of being a trusted and valuable partner for the nonprofits in the community. Only time will tell whether we will succeed in a sustainable way.

 

REFERENCES

 

 

Forward, D. C., 2003, A Century of Service: The Story of Rotary International, Evanston, IL: Rotary International.

 

Forward, D. C., 2016, Doing Good in the World: The Inspiring Story of the Rotary’s Foundation’s First 100 Years, Evanston, IL: Rotary International.

 

Wodon, D., N. Wodon, and Q. Wodon, 2014, Membership in Service Clubs: Rotary’s Experience, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

 

Wodon, Q., 2017a, Double Your Membership in Six Months: Ten Lessons from a Rotary Club Pilot, Washington, DC: Rotarian Economist Short Books.

 

Wodon, Q., 2017b, What Does Service Mean in Rotary? Simple Stories of Inspiring Rotarians, Washington, DC: Rotarian Economist Short Books.

 

 

about the author

 

 

Quentin Wodon is a Lead Economist in the Education Global Practice at the World Bank where he leads work programs among others on equity and inclusion in education, child marriage, out-of-school children, and the wealth of nations. Previously, he managed the World Bank unit on values and development, served as Lead Poverty Specialist for West and Central Africa, and as Economist/Senior Economist in the Latin America region.

Before joining the World Bank, he worked among others as Assistant Brand Manager with Procter & Gamble, volunteer corps member with the International Movement ATD Fourth World, and (tenured) Assistant Professor of Economics with the University of Namur. He has also taught at American University and Georgetown University. A lifelong learner, he holds graduate degrees in Business Engineering, Economics, and Philosophy, as well as PhDs in Economics, Environmental Science, Health Sciences, and Theology and Religious Studies.

Quentin has more than 500 publications. Books published since 2014 include Water and Sanitation in Uganda (World Bank), The Economics of Faith-based Service Delivery (Palgrave Macmillan), Climate Change Adaptation and Social Resilience in the Sundarbans (Routledge), Investing in Early Childhood Development (World Bank), Infrastructure and Poverty in sub-Saharan Africa (Palgrave Macmillan), Education in sub-Saharan Africa (World Bank), Faith-Based Schools in Latin America (World Bank), Climate Change and Migration (World Bank), and Membership in Service Clubs (Palgrave Macmillan).

A recipient of the Prize of Belgium’s Secretary of Foreign Trade, a Fulbright grant, and the Dudley Seers Prize, Quentin has served on several advisory boards for non-profit organizations and university programs, and as Associate Editor for academic journals. A past President of the Society of Government Economists, he is currently serving as President of the Association for Social Economics.

Quentin is actively involved in Rotary with his club (currently serving as President), District (former Evaluation Adviser and Interact Chair, among others), and Rotary International (committee member for the Rotary Foundation and other roles). His father was a Rotarian. His daughters founded the Interact Club of their High School. Quentin launched the Rotarian Economist blog in 2014 on World Polio Day and the Rotarian Economist Short Books series in 2017.

 

Connect with the author

 

 

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/qwodon.

Subscribe to my blog: https://rotarianeconomist.com.

Favorite me at Shakespir: https://www.Shakespir.com/profile/view/Qwodon.

Send me an email through my blog’s Contact Me page.

 

 

 


Tell Your Story in the Local Media: Write about Rotary Partners to Celebrate Vol

As is the case for many nonprofits, the success of Rotary clubs depends in part on the image that communities have of the organization. Public image – the term often used in Rotary – matters especially for membership, both to attract new members and to keep the members clubs already have. But it also matters for the ability of Rotary to implement service projects in local communities and internationally. Finally, it matters for fundraising for charitable purposes in order to fund the projects that clubs undertake. Relationships with the local media, and the way clubs are covered in the local media, are a major factor affecting a club’s public image. This book shares lessons from my experience on behalf of my club in improving the club’s public image by publishing articles in the local traditional media. The hope is that the lessons learned – and the examples of articles written, will be useful to other service clubs as well as other nonprofits that may consider similar endeavors. The premise of this book is that service clubs should aim to strengthen their public image. This premise is informed not only by my own experience as a Rotarian, but also by data that collected for my district through a membership survey on what Rotarians perceive is working well in their club, and what is not working so well. Essentially, Rotarians rated the performance of their clubs in terms of engagement with the local media at the bottom of the scale in comparison to their perception of their club’s performance in other areas. Until recently, my own club’s engagement with the local media was not much better. We were not well known in the community and had virtually no contacts with the local media. As our membership was declining, we had to make a change in this area as well as in many others. With the aim of increasing our membership after years of decline, we adopted a strategic plan and pilot program for a period of six months. One of the plan’s dimensions was a stronger engagement with the local community including through the local media. First, we used club meetings to invite leaders from local nonprofits to tell us their own story. Second, we decided to participate in more community events. Third, we started to organize more public events ourselves. Fourth, and this is what this book is about, we started to write stories for local media outlets, both traditional and social. The basic idea for this new endeavor was that instead of writing articles about our club, we should write about the great work that local nonprofits, many of which we support in our service work, do in the community. More specifically, we should write about the opportunity for residents of the community to volunteer for great nonprofits and thereby make a difference in the community. There were four reasons for this choice of topic. First, writing about other nonprofits instead of our club would provide an opportunity to write more articles, and thereby establish a stronger media presence in the community. Second, by documenting the work of local nonprofits and the volunteering opportunities they provide, we would help these nonprofits gain in visibility, which would then almost be a worthwhile service activity in itself for our club. Third, these articles could help our club solidify collaborations with some of the local nonprofits featured in the articles, or open doors for new collaborations. Fourth, by writing stories about nonprofits in action (and mentioning occasionally the role of Rotarians in helping them), we would build an image of our club as an action-oriented agent for positive change in the community. The first chapter of the book explains what we did and why. The second chapter provides the set of articles that were written for local traditional media outlets at the time of publishing this book. A brief conclusion follows with some key lessons learned.

  • ISBN: 9781946819055
  • Author: Quentin Wodon
  • Published: 2017-03-12 20:35:14
  • Words: 15865
Tell Your Story in the Local Media: Write about Rotary Partners to Celebrate Vol Tell Your Story in the Local Media: Write about Rotary Partners to Celebrate Vol