What should the Rotary Club of Milwaukee do next?
 
In keeping with our legacy of initiating enduring projects in our community— the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum, the Milwaukee Rotary Amphitheater at Pier Wisconsin, Second Harvest—the RCM Board of directors has decided that the time is right for yet another significant contribution to the community. But what should it be? 
 
 
That is for the Rotarians in our club to recommend. The RCM Board is putting out a “call” to club members to identify potential projects that match the needs in our community with the philanthropic interests of our members and strengths of our club.
 
 
We ask members of our club to propose projects that:
 
1. Match the needs in the community (locally or globally) with the philanthropic interests of our members and strengths of our club.
2. Indicate high expected buy-in by club members-- a good match of community needs and member interests.
3. Include multi-faceted opportunities to engage many Rotarians in different ways, i.e. cash donations, hands on volunteering. 
4. Build upon RCM’s current strengths and programs. 
5. Offer a name recognition opportunity for Rotary, good visibility in the community and a lasting identity (This does not need to have a bricks and mortar component.)
6. Have been well vetted by the community and other funding partners so there is a high likelihood that the project will be completed as proposed. Although the project can be de nova, partnerships with existing community organizations are welcome.
7. Have a sustainable financial model for continued success.
 
 
Regarding financial parameters, we suggest $250,000 as a target that would be paid for between 2017 and 2020. Some portion of these funds could come from the RCM Community Trust but we will also ask for personal contributions from our members.  This is intended to be a guide—projects of higher value will be considered but the proposers must have a plan for raising the additional funds. 
 
 
President Nancy Sennett has asked President-President Dan Vliet to chair a committee that will oversee the project selection process. This committee, named the 2020 Project Committee, will ultimately present a final project recommendation to the RCM Board.   
 
 
The timeline for the 2020 Project Committee selection process follows:
 
 
• Club members and committees are encouraged to identify potential projects that meet the above criteria.  Project proposals should be submitted to the Rotary office by October 31, 2016.
 
 
• Each proposed project should have a minimum of six Rotarian-endorsers, with at least two lead or project co-chairs.  This group of individuals will have responsibility for completing the project proposal application; advocating for the selection of the project; and serving as coordinators for the project implementation and fundraising if the project is selected by the club.
 
 
• The project co-chairs will prepare a two page narrative description (the maximum length is two pages) of the project and the population will serve and identify the ways it meets the suggested criteria. If the project will be completed in partnership with another organization, one additional page should be added to describe the collaborating organization.
 
 
The 2020 Project Committee will review the proposals and select no more than three projects for additional consideration. The first round selection will be made by December 15th.  The Rotarians who proposed the selected projects will then complete the application form (available through the Rotary Office) by February 17th and prepare a ten minute presentation to be made to the club on March 7th. The Committee will make a final recommendation by March 31st for presentation to the RCM Board at the April Board meeting.  The Board will vote at its May meeting.