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  • Writer's pictureRotary Club of Palm Beach


A thorough project plan sets your project up for success. Clearly assign



Collaboration is essential to developing your project plan. The

sponsoring clubs should work together and agree on how to manage each

part of the project and how to follow Rotary’s global grant guidelines. At

the very least, your plan should document:

• The impact you wish to have on the community

• Measurable goals and outcomes of the project

• Actions needed to implement each step of the project

• Assignment of responsibilities so that all work is covered

• Ongoing monitoring and data collection in the benefiting community

• Possible alternative approaches if activities do not yield the desired


Involve community members early in the planning process by including

them in the community assessment. Then they can create the project

plan with you or review it and provide feedback. The most successful

plans allow Rotarians and community members to take action together.

That collaboration — and the active involvement of Rotarians — should

be clearly visible to anyone who sees your project plan.


With so many tasks and responsibilities to keep in mind, a timeline helps

you make sure that everything is done in a timely manner and no tasks

are forgotten. Think about how much time is needed for each step of your

project’s planning, implementation, and follow-up. Include events and

tasks such as:

• Community assessment

• Project committee meetings

• Training

• Major meetings with the benefiting community and cooperating


• Follow-up on meetings, conversations, and agreements

• Scheduled communications to sponsors, beneficiaries, cooperating

organizations, and any other stakeholders

• Project implementation milestones and benchmarks

• Ongoing monitoring throughout the project

• Evaluation in the middle and at the end of the project

Work as a Team

The host and international sponsors each have a project committee of at

least three Rotary members. Having a project committee ensures that

you have team support of your project. You all know the details of the

project. You make decisions together. And you make sure you’re meeting

your goals and following your budget.

Each sponsor designates one primary contact to be responsible for all

grant-related correspondence with Rotary. Also make a communication

plan to keep your clubs informed. Ultimately, clubs, not individuals, are

responsible for the outcome of a project.

Plan for continuity

Every Rotary year, your club’s leadership changes. When you form your

committee, identify leaders who are committed to the project and expect

to be able to stay involved through the life of the grant. At times, project

committee members become unable to serve, so establish a process for

replacing them if necessary.

Decide who will do what

Now that you have your project leaders in place, divide the key tasks from

the project plan among them and others. Assign them to members of your

team, cooperating organizations, community members, and others. For

instance, if your plan includes managing local volunteers, make someone

responsible for finding volunteers, greeting them at the site, providing

meals and snacks, and thanking them for their work. Other essential

responsibilities include community outreach, maintaining a good public

image, and promoting the project using social media. Document those

responsibilities and ask the assigned person to take ownership of each

task. By assigning responsibilities at the beginning, you can save time

later, ensure the jobs are done, and let your project committee focus on

the overall outcome of your grant-funded project.

Avoid conflicts of interest

Rotary members are leaders within their communities. They may be

members of the board of a hospital or owners of a shipping company.

While it’s important to have community leaders involved in your project,

no one who would gain financially or personally may serve on your

project committee. Even the appearance of a conflict of interest can

interfere with the success of a project. Ask committee members if they

have any interest in the project and disclose all potential conflicts of

interest on your application.

Get expert advice

Rotary members have professional expertise. We apply that knowledge

to look at challenges in new ways. We also know when we need to call in

an expert. Sponsor project committees could look to any of the following

groups for expert advice:

• Qualified club members (e.g., consult a civil engineer for a water


• Cooperating organizations that have the technical expertise and

resources to help you develop and implement the project

• District international service chairs, who can connect you with

members who have Rotary grants expertise in your project’s areas of


• A Rotarian Action Group (RAG) related to your project

• Regional grants officers, who can advise you on project design and

assess grant ideas for eligibility

• Rotary’s staff area of focus managers, who can help you craft granteligible

project plans and offer guidance on best practices in the areas

of focus

• The Cadre of Technical Advisers can offer technical expertise and

they evaluate larger grant-funded projects for The Rotary Foundation


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