Carl W. Treleaven

President (RY 2023-25) 

Every successful organization – both business and non-profit - offers its customers a unique, compelling value proposition. Rotary is certainly a very successful organization, so what is our value proposition? A common answer I hear is “service”, and we Rotarians are quite invested in serving others, but that is hardly unique. In fact, what makes Rotary unique isn’t that we seek to serve others, it’s in how we do it. Our approach includes the following:

- Serving based on our respective vocations
- Drawing upon our networks to help bring the right resources to bear
- Insisting our high ethical standards in everything we do.

The great insight of Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary, was that such groupings would permit the members to help each other out but also to serve one another and the community. Nearly 120 years later, that same insight has turned into a worldwide network of 1.4 million Rotarians and Rotaractors; and it permits us to solve pretty much any problem in any given community, but then reach across oceans and solve problems just about anywhere. Nobody else can quite offer what we do.
It’s pretty easy to do this at the local level in a Rotary Club. After all, we see our fellow Rotary Club members on a regular basis, and we have pretty deep connections. But once you get beyond your local Rotary Club, connecting with the right resources gets much more difficult. For example, let’s say a Rotarian in India and another Rotarian in Canada both have an idea for a microfinance project in India. They each know a lot of people, but how do they connect with
each other? There isn’t a global Rotary member directory, and while ChatGPT is pretty amazing, I don’t think it can connect these two Rotarians.
In my mind, that’s where Rotary Action Groups (RAGs) come in. Each RAG is a worldwide network of Rotarians and Rotaractors who are passionate about serving others in a particular area. In the case of RAGCED, that’s economic and community development, one of the Rotary Foundation’s 7 Areas of Focus. Here’s how RAGCED helps the average Rotarian, Rotaractor, or Rotary Club. If you want to do projects and programs in economic development, we can help connect you to the right resources to help you accomplish your goal:

- Potential economic development projects
- Clubs that have similar interests to yours
- Advice on how to prepare grants
- People who can review your grant applications prior to submission
- Connections to third-party organizations with specialist resources.

Ever run into a problem with computer software and you just can’t solve it by watching YouTube videos or web searches? Maybe you need to contact the vendors' online support and speak to someone who knows the software inside and out.

That’s the way I like to think of RAGCED: In short, we’re Rotary’s worldwide help desk for all things related to economic development. We don’t know everything, but I’m pretty confident we can help you find the answer.

- Come visit us at to see what resources we can offer
- Contact one of our chapters
- Participate in one of our webinars.

To get the most out of RAGCED, however, we encourage you to join us. Membership costs $ 25 USD/year for Rotarians and $ 10/year for Rotaractors. If you’re in any way interested in economic development, by joining and participating in RAGCED, I’m confident you’ll get far more than $ 10 – 25 USD worth of value from your membership!

Rotary’s unique value proposition is just that – unique; and in the realm of economic development, we can help you achieve your goals of serving others. Visit, find us on social media, or attend one of our educational events to find out how.