Many of us already know what to do during official visits by the District Governor (DG) or Assistant Governor (AG) but with our leadership changing ever year in Rotary it isn’t always safe to assume that everyone knows. So I borrowed the following Visit Protocols (and made some modifications to them) from one of our neighboring districts. No point in reinventing the wheel as this is very close to how things work in our district.
Rotary District Governor’s Visit Protocol
Once a year, the District Governor makes an official visit to each club in the district, between July 1st and December 31st.
The purpose of the visit:
- To allow the District Governor to communicate directly with all Rotarian’s in our District.
- To listen to the Club Leadership and gain better understanding of their club.
- To provide helpful and friendly advice to club officers as requested and to answer questions about Rotary International and the District.
- To serve as a catalyst to help strengthen the programs of Rotary.
- To meet the requirements that Rotary International sets for serving in the office of District Governor.
Prior to the District Governor’s visit (preferably prior to July 1st), Assistant Governors (AGs) will meet with the club officers to review the club’s Summary of the Club Plans and Objectives (see Official Visits by AG’s on last page). The AG will meet with District Governor prior to his/her official visit to each club in that area. Additionally, the Assistant Governor for the area will work with the club leadership to confirm the meeting and accommodation arrangements.
- Reconfirm at least one month in advance of the District Governor visit to resolve any questions as to the information, format of the visit and special requirements.
- The District Governor is a guest of your club when making an official visit. Most importantly, communicate any special plans you have to the Governor and AG so as to be sure it fits in with his/her other plans. Contact the District Governor and AG well ahead of time to confirm times and places to avoid confusion.
The District Governor, while serving as District Governor Elect, attends a week-long training seminar and has the opportunity to receive information from the RI President Elect. Values, vision and programs are reviewed at this time. During the Official Visit, the District Governor is required to share with all clubs in the district, the programs and their purpose.
- The District Governor and spouse are guests of your club for the Rotary meeting. You are encouraged to include the spouses of the members at this special meeting, or perhaps have an evening meeting, which will include them.
- The Governor’s presentation is the program for the club meeting and it is not appropriate to schedule any other program that day. You should allow the DG a minimum of 20 minutes for the presentation.
- The Governor’s visit is a very special occasion and an opportunity for potential members, and members of the family of Rotary to learn more about Rotary. You are encouraged to invite spouses or other business leaders.
- Encourage members to plan arriving early for the meeting and staying late in order to meet with the District Governor.
Presentations of Paul Harris Fellowships, inductions of new members and other honors are especially appropriate during the District Governor’s visit and the District Governor should be asked to participate in such events.
Clubs are requested to discuss any contemplated changes for the official visits or the format with the District Governor so questions can be resolved early.
The District Governor will wish to meet with the Club Board and Committee Chairs before or after the Club meeting. The meeting is open to any member of the Club who wishes to attend. Please allow up to one hour for this meeting.
The Club President Introduces the Assistant Governor (AG), then the AG introduces the District Governor (DG) to the club. The DG’s bio should be used.
Special Events and Fund-raisers
If you wish to invite the District Governor and spouse to special events such as Club Anniversaries, club fund raising events, or changeover meetings, please consider them as your guests. The District Governor and spouse enjoy sharing in club activities. The District provides for their travel expenses.
Official visits by your Assistant Governor
The role of the Assistant Governor is to assist you and direct you to District Teams or Rotary International information. This person is to be regarded a friendly adviser and liaison.
Your Assistant Governor (AG) will be meeting with Club Officers and Boards prior to the start of or early in the Rotary year.
Arrangements for these meeting should be a mutual agreement between the AG and Club President.
A recommendation is to generally follow this format:
- The agreed meeting should provide about one – two hours when the AG will meet with the club President, President-elect, Secretary, Treasurer, members of the Board of Directors and Committee Chairs.
- During this meeting the Summary of Club Plans and Objectives should be discussed.
- The use of the District Directory – Resource Guide is recommended as a guideline for the discussion and information exchange.
- In the District Leadership Plan your AG is expected to visit your club in an official capacity at least once every three months over the year to provide support and information. Your Club President will be notified when your AG is planning a visit to ensure that it is convenient for the club. The District assists with the costs of travel to the clubs but there is no budget to cover the cost of meals. Please consider your AG your guest at the Club meetings.