by Antoinette Tuscano , Rotary International News

Try something different in 2012 to attract new members and keep existing ones. Here are a few ideas to help you do more with Rotary in the new year.

Be part of Rotary’s efforts to End Polio Now

Consider planning a fundraiser for polio eradication, or having your club or district light up a landmark as part of Rotary’s anniversary celebration on 23 February. Rotarians have made great progress in the push to end the disease, but the job isn’t finished yet. As little as US$0.60 can help immunize a child against the incurable disease. Contribute to PolioPlus, and learn more about Rotary’s eradication efforts.

Think strategically and set club goals

A new online assessment tool will be launched in July to help clubs set goals and track their accomplishments, such as contributions to The Rotary Foundation. Available in Member Access, it will replace paper-based tracking methods and help RI measure Rotary’s global impact. Help your club work more efficiently by using the tool to set and measure club goals.

Help the Foundation fulfill its mission

Make a resolution to donate to the Foundation’s Annual Fund in 2012. Skip one latte a week, and you’d have US$100 or more to contribute to your club’s Every Rotarian, Every Year effort. You can make a one-time contribution or a recurring gift. Learn how your club or district can make a difference in one of Rotary’s six areas of focus with a Foundation grant.

Get inspired at the RI Convention

The 2012 RI Convention in Bangkok, Thailand, 6-9 May, will feature speakers including Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus and Global Poverty Project CEO Hugh Evans. And, along with thousands of your fellow Rotarians from around the world, you’ll be able to attend workshops on topics such as membership, leadership, and Future Vision. Register today.

Celebrate 50 years of Interact

Interact will celebrate its 50th year in 2012. Since the first club was established in 1962 at a high school in Melbourne, Florida, USA, thousands of communities worldwide have benefited from Interactors putting Service Above Self. The program has helped countless youth develop leadership skills, meet new friends, and become more familiar with Rotary. Rotary clubs that sponsor an Interact club gain fresh insight into service and help develop future Rotarians. If your club isn’t already involved in Interact, consider sponsoring a club.

Publicize your good work

PR grants enable districts to raise Rotary’s profile and promote the global and local work of Rotarians by placing public service announcements on television and radio, in print media and on billboards, and on the Web. Help your district apply for a grant by 4 March. To further promote your club’s signature activities, be sure to update your website with information about your projects and meetings. Also, start a social media page, and follow what Rotary is doing on sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

Connect with alumni

Rotary Foundation alumni can be effective speakers at club meetings, and many are potential club members. Reach out to them.