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Have a look at the Leadership Opportunities and Programs supported by District 5580. Then contact the District Office at and inform us about where you might like to serve. There is something for everyone in Rotary!



D5580 is divided into 14 areas, and the incoming District Governor appoints an Assistant District Governor (ADG) for each area. An ADG is given a specified number of clubs (4-6), depending upon geographic location. The ADG is responsible for lending support to the club leaders throughout the year, assisting with completion of any required forms, visiting the clubs at least quarterly, and making sure that club leaders are informed of District events. Many ADG’s schedule quarterly meetings with their club presidents, presidents-elect, and other officers to discuss club plans and projects, and/or to educate the leaders on various aspects of Rotary and club leadership. The District reimburses ADG’s for the expense of mileage and will also reimburse ADG’s for the expense of overnight lodging if that is required due to club location. All ADG’s must have served as Club President for a full term, and will receive necessary training from the District Trainer and District Office. ADG’s are asked to attend the Board Meeting (and Club Meeting if possible) for their Clubs when the District Governor makes his/her Official Club Visit. Each year, 5 ADG’s are appointed to serve on the Executive and Finance Committee. See Executive and Finance Committee section for more information about this committee and requirements. Serving as an ADG is a great way to get acquainted with Rotarians in other clubs, and the District is highly dependent upon these individuals who serve as a liaison between the clubs and the District Governor. ADG’s are asked to serve a 3-year term. For additional information about serving as an Assistant District Governor, please refer to Article IV of the D5580 Bylaws.


The following Section deals with standing Committees in D5580. Committee Chairs are asked to serve a 3-year term. Committee members may serve for up to 5 years. These terms are in place to provide training for a committee member to possibly serve as Chair after becoming more familiar with the workings of a particular committee. Exceptions to terms of service are noted, if applicable. Each Committee operates under a budget that is generated by combining input from the current Committee Chair, examination of the previous year’s committee expenses, and anticipation of required

increases or decreases based upon available information at the time the District Budget is prepared. Committee Chair/Member expenses are reimbursed to them in accordance with the District 5580 Expense Reimbursement Policy.


AWARDS Committee:

The Awards Committee is responsible for judging all awards submitted by Rotary Clubs in D5580. All forms are now placed on the District Website in the form of “surveys”, making it easier for clubs to enter. The Committee can meet via teleconference call and by email. The deadline for submission is April 1 each year, at which time the committee’s work begins. Often, the awards are divided into categories with a few committee members responsible for a “group” of awards. The Awards Chair tabulates the committee’s score sheets, and the Chair is then responsible for purchasing and completing all certificates and other gifts given to the winning clubs.


BYLAWS Committee:

The Bylaws Committee is responsible for annually reviewing the District Bylaws to determine whether changes are needed in order for the District to function in an effective manner. Service on this committee requires that an individual have knowledge of Parliamentary procedure and general District operations. Clubs and/or individual Rotarians are asked to submit proposed amendments to the District Bylaws by a given date. The District Office then forwards these proposed amendments to the Bylaws committee for review and to make certain that the proposed amendment does not conflict with the RI Bylaws, as set forth in the RI Manual of Procedure. The committee is also permitted to make any grammatical changes and edit the proposed amendment without changing the content. The committee than prepares a document containing all proposed amendments and submits it to the Executive and Finance Committee at its mid-winter meeting. Following the approved recommendation of the Executive and Finance Committee, the proposed Bylaw amendments are then submitted to the clubs for review. Proposed Bylaw Amendments are voted on by the delegates at the Annual Meeting of the District Conference. The Bylaws Committee meets via teleconference and email.



The Communications committee is divided into 3 sections. (1) Website; (2) Newsletter; and (3) General Communications. The Communications Chair oversees the activities of the 3 sub-committees listed, and also handles any general inquiries or work necessary for the smooth operation of District Communications.



The District Webmaster is responsible for posting information to the District Website at, and for keeping all information current as requested by the District Leadership and District Office. This requires a few hours per month, depending upon what activities are happening in the District within a given month. The District Office assists with updates to the site. (Note: The website for the District Grants Subcommittee is maintained separately by other Rotarians.)



The District Newsletter is published monthly. The editor is responsible for putting the document together after receipt of articles and photos from clubs, the Governor’s message, and any information submitted by the District Office. The purpose of the newsletter is to keep all Rotarians engaged and informed as to what is and will be happening in the District, and for making this publication attractive and useful to all members. Upon completion, the Newsletter is sent to the District Office for distribution to all Rotarians in D5580. The time involved for this office can be 4-8 hours per month, depending upon content.


General Communications:

All general communications are handled through the District Office by the D5580 Admin. Secretary. The majority of communications are handled via email. The Admin. Secretary serves to keep all Club and District leadership informed as to current events and programs. (Note: There is no General Communications Committee and this explanation is for informational purposes only.)



The Executive and Finance Committee oversees the administration and financial operations of the District with the assistance of the District Office. The committee is composed of the following Rotarians: District Governor, Governor-Elect, Governor-Nominee, the two most recent Past District Governors, Treasurer, Foundation Chair, Trainer, Communications Chair, 2 Past District Governors selected by the PDG Council, and 5 Assistant District Governors appointed by the District Governor. The make-up of this committee changes each year because of the current leadership changes. However, an ADG asked to serve on the committee may be re-appointed each year by the Governor, and is allowed to serve as long as he/she remains as an ADG. This committee meets face-to-face 3 times each year (August, late January and usually the Thursday

prior to the start of the District Conference). Members of the committee are reimbursed for mileage to and from these meetings, as well as lodging and some meals, except for the meeting immediately preceding the District Conference, for which a flat stipend is given to each member attending. Meeting locations are determined by the District Governor and set up accordingly by the District Office. Due to the geographic size of the District, every effort is made to hold these meetings in a centrally accessible location within the District. (Note: The makeup of this Committee is established by the D5580 Bylaws and the above overview is for informational purposes only.)



The D5580 Foundation Committee is made up of 8 Sub-committees, and each function independently from the other. The 8 Sub-committees are overseen by the District Rotary Foundation Chair (DRFC) who reports to the District Governor. The DRFC is appointed by the District Governor, in cooperation with the Governor-Elect and Governor-Nominee, and serves a 3-year term. The DRFC must be a Past District Governor. The DRFC, District Governor, Governor-Elect and Governor-Nominee are all voting members of each Sub-committee. There is one (1) face-to-face meeting of the Sub-committee Chairs and Grants Sub-committee each year at a centralized location within the District. Any other required meetings are held via teleconference or webinar. The Foundation Sub-committees and their responsibilities are defined as follows:



The Alumni Committee is responsible for keeping an up-to-date database of all D5580 Alumni. Alumni consist of former GSE Team Members, Ambassadorial Scholarship

recipients and Peace Fellows. The committee has also assisted with preparation of documents and materials to help with orientation and rebound procedures. The Chair is required to attend the face-to-face meeting of Foundation Sub-committee Chairs as specified above.


Annual Fund:

The Annual Programs Fund(APF) Committee is responsible for overseeing the foundation giving to the Annual Programs Fund by D5580 Rotarians and Clubs to The Rotary Foundation (TRF). Committee members are assigned specified clubs in their geographic area of the District, and they are responsible for encouraging clubs to meet their annual giving goals to TRF and promote submission of funds in a timely manner. The AP Chair and committee members are available to answer questions regarding donations and matching points, provide assistance as needed, and speak to clubs upon

request. The Chair is required to attend the face-to-face meeting of Foundation Sub-committee Chairs as specified above.



The Grants Committee is responsible for review of all grant applications submitted by Rotary Clubs in the District. The Committee currently meets 4 times/year (3 by teleconference and one face-to-face meeting), and each teleconference meeting last from 2-3 hours, during which time the members discuss each application and determine if it meets the proper qualifications. Committee members receive the applications from the District Office approximately 3 weeks in advance of the next meeting, and then each member has an opportunity to review them. The Chair also reviews the applications immediately upon receipt to determine whether any of them need more detail, checking to see that proper signatures are in place, and that all financial information is documented for the club’s project. The committee also reviews the status of pending projects and follows up with clubs needing to submit interim and final reports. The Chair handles follow-up with the clubs receiving approved applications to make sure that all requirements are met prior to having funds released by the District Treasurer. The Chair also follows up with clubs whose applications were denied or tabled by the committee requesting additional information or documentation so the application can be re-submitted. Of all Foundation Sub-committees, this one requires the largest time commitment, and it is one of the District’s primary committees due to the volume of International and Community Projects conducted by our clubs. Members of the Grants Sub-committee are required to attend all teleconference meetings, if possible, and the one (1) face-to-face meeting of the committee. The Chair is also required to attend the face-to-face meeting of Sub-committee Chairs referenced above. The District reimburses the members for their mileage, lodging as required, and some meals for the face-to-face meetings. The District also handles the expense of all teleconference meetings. The Grants Website is linked to the District Website and is maintained separately from the District Website.


Group Study Exchange:

The Group Study Exchange (GSE) committee is responsible for promoting and soliciting applications for Team Leader/Team Members during the current year’s exchange. Following receipt of applications, the committee arranges and meets face-to-face for an Interview Session for all applicants, prepares the questions for the interview session, and makes the

final selection of the D5580 Outbound Team. The committee is responsible for making sure that the Team Leader/Team Members and their Alternates are fully prepared for the exchange, and strives to select individuals who will represent D5580 and Rotary in the most excellent manner as ambassadors of friendship and goodwill. The committee plans and conducts the 3 orientation sessions for the selected Leader/Members prior to the Team’s departure, and committee members are asked to participate in these sessions on site. The Chair makes every effort to select Orientation sites that are geographically central and convenient to the members and the team. Team Leader/Members and Alternates, as well as GSE Committee members are reimbursed for expenses in connection with this travel, in accordance with the GSE Reimbursement Policy located on the GSE Site page of the District Website. The GSE Committee also works to arrange for host homes/club visits for the visiting (inbound) GSE Team Members throughout their stay, and sets the suggested criteria for their vocational experience in D5580. The GSE Committee also coordinates the presentation by both the inbound and outbound teams at the District Conference. The GSE Chair is also required to attend the face-to-face meeting of Foundation Sub-committee Chairs as referenced above.


Paul Harris Society:

The Paul Harris Society (PHS) Chair is responsible for encouraging Rotarians who wish to donate to the Annual or Polio Program funds by giving $1,000/year to The Rotary Foundation for life. Upon notification by a Rotarian that he/she wishes to become a member of the PHS, the Chair provides an application and prepares a Certificate of Appreciation and special medallion for presentation to the new PHS member at a club meeting. The PHS Chair is required to attend the face-to-face meeting of Foundation Sub-committee Chairs as referenced above.


6. Permanent Fund:

The Permanent Fund (PF) Committee is responsible for encouraging Rotarians to donate to the Permanent Fund of The Rotary Foundation through either outright contributions, estate planning or life insurance. The Chair will also provide educational materials to clubs about restricted giving, the Benefactor and Bequest Society programs, and the proper forms to accomplish this. The Permanent Fund Chair is required to attend the face-to-face meeting of Foundation Sub-committee Chairs as referenced above.


7. PolioPlus:

The PolioPlus Committee is responsible for encouraging clubs to donate to the Polio Eradication Program that is a goal set by The Rotary Foundation. The committee works to provide ideas for fund-raising projects and reviews the status of club contributions on a regular basis. The committee also works with club leadership to encourage them to reach the goal set for Polio donations at the beginning of the Rotary year. The Chair is required to attend the face-to-face meeting of Foundation Sub-committee Chairs as referenced above.



The Scholarship Committee is composed of a dedicated group of Rotarians who work to select the best possible applicants as recipients of both Ambassadorial Scholarships and Peace Fellowships. The committee prepares promotional materials for distribution to the clubs each year. Following receipt of applications, the committee meets face-to-face at a previously determined location to interview potential scholars and make its selection. The District reimburses the committee members for mileage, required lodging and meals during the Interview session. This meeting is generally 1 or 2 days in length, depending upon the number of applications submitted. Following the interview session, the Chair is responsible for forwarding the application(s) for the selected scholar(s) to the District Office for processing and submission to TRF by the required deadline for final approval. The Chair notifies all applicants as to whether or not they were selected, and provides instruction to the selected scholar(s) regarding the required Orientation session. The Chair also handles all follow-up with the sponsoring clubs. The Chair of this committee is required to attend the face-to-face meeting of Foundation Sub-committee Chairs as referenced above.



This committee is responsible for the promotion and solicitation of essays by high school students from the clubs in D5580. The Chair works with the District Office regarding preparation of letters to the clubs, entry forms, posters and other promotional materials. Committee members read and judge the essays to determine the regional and overall winners, and the Chair makes arrangements with the District Treasurer for the cash awards to each winner. If the winner is required to attend the District Conference for purposes of presenting the winning essay (this is requested by the DG and based upon his/her Conference Agenda), the Chair is responsible for contacting the sponsoring club to assist with travel arrangements and lodging for the student. All committee work is

handled via email and no meetings are required.



This committee is responsible for the promotion and coordination of a Friendship Exchange by Rotarians and spouses who wish to travel to another District for purposes of fellowship and to learn more about another culture. The Chair works with his/her counterpart from the hosting District with travel arrangements, itineraries and details of the exchange, and also works with the Rotarians participating in the exchange. The Chair accompanies those Rotarians in their travel. Likewise, the Chair and committee also assist with host plans when the other District’s Friendship Exchange arrives in D5580, making sure that itineraries are in place, as well as host homes and tours. Expenses for travel are paid by the individual Rotarians participating, but generally host homes, meals and tours are provided for the time of stay within the hosting District. Participating in a Friendship Exchange is totally voluntary, but the Chair and committee will look after every detail and make sure that a good time is had by all.



This committee is responsible for the general overview and protection of all Interact and Rotaract Clubs within D5580. Although the sponsoring clubs are the main source of responsibility for these clubs, the Chair maintains a database of all Interact/Rotaract club liaisons and advisor contacts. The committee also promotes and encourages the formation of new Interact/Rotaract Clubs within the District, and works with clubs wishing to sponsor them. The Chair makes sure that all proper documentation is provided to the District Governor, the District Office and Rotary International. No meetings of the Interact/Rotaract Committee are required. Communications are handled by email.


US-Inter-Country Committee:

The US ICC is responsible for encouraging contacts between Clubs and Rotarians in two or more countries, thus developing an understanding between and promoting fellowship among the peoples of different nations. The mission of the US-ICC consists of encouraging Rotarians to visit each other’s countries and homes, strengthening friendships and projects by encouraging Clubs and Districts to connect with those in other countries, and contributing to world peace.


LITERACY Committee:

The Literacy committee promotes and encourages clubs in D5580 to engage in literacy projects during the year, and maintains a list of projects being conducted by the clubs to share with others. The committee also promotes the

RI, Zone and District Literacy Awards Program and urges clubs to participate in this program. The Chair is requested to supply information to the District Office for inclusion in the District Newsletter and on the Website, and the committee is responsible for the presentation of Literacy Awards to clubs at the District Conference.



This committee’s focus is on the increase and retention of membership and to periodically review the demographics of D5580 to determine where new clubs might be formed. The Chair and committee are responsible for providing clubs with materials and resources that will help clubs grow their membership, to speak at club meetings upon request, and to encourage use of the Club Visioning Program by D5580 clubs. The Chair and committee members are also requested to work with clubs that are intending to form new Rotary Clubs by providing information on club charter requirements and other guidelines as set by Rotary International. The Chair and committee have also conducted Membership sessions at the District Assembly and Conference.



The D5580 Nominating Committee is responsible for the selection of the District Governor, and this is done approximately 2-1/2 years prior to the start of the nominee’s service as DG. Example: the DG for 2013-14 is currently selected in January 2011, and would begin the term of DG on July 1, 2013. Currently, the committee is composed of the 5 most recent Past District Governors and 3 members-at-large appointed by the current District Governor. Generally, the most recent Past District Governor serves as Chair. The Nominating Committee Members receive copies of DG applications from the District Office in early January, and the committee meets once a year, face-to-face, usually in late January at the same site and following the Executive and Finance Committee Meeting. The District reimburses members of the Nominating Committee for expenses relating to mileage, lodging and meals in connection with their service at the Interview Session. The committee is responsible for reviewing the applications of all potential District Governors, and at the Interview Session in late January, each candidate is interviewed by the committee. Following the Interview Session, the committee makes its selection and notifies the District Office, District Governor and the selected nominee. With the exception of the Interviews, the District Office assists with the complete nomination process and provides all materials required by this committee, along with subsequent follow up with Rotary International.


The Public Relations committee is responsible for the promotion of Rotary throughout the District by the use of media. The Chair is encouraged to apply for an RI Public Relations Grant, should one be offered, and to create an ad campaign that focuses on the benefits of belonging to Rotary. The committee looks at demographics from various areas of the District and determines what types of media would be the most beneficial, i.e. radio, magazines and publications, mailings, and various forms of electronic media. If D5580 is awarded a PR Grant, the Chair is responsible for using the grant moneys in the most beneficial manner and to document and file the final grant report documents as required by RI. The Public Relations committee is composed of Rotarians who are experienced in media technology and media coverage and would welcome new committee members with background experience in Public Relations. This committee would be called upon to be the District’s voice in the event of a crisis that would involve or require any discussions with the media, and for this reason, the Chair and committee members serve as a members of the D5580 Crisis Management Team.



RYLA is a week-long camp for students in their last 2 years of high school, and has traditionally been held for 1 week at the U of M Crookston Campus. The Chair and committee are responsible for coordination and implementation of the Camp. This is one of the District’s most successful programs with responsibilities that can be more easily defined by the District Bylaws and by discussions with the Committee Chair or the Crookston Rotary Club.



The responsibility of this committee is to determine what D5580 should look like in 3, 5, and more years, and to utilize information available on the RI Website and other resources to help make D5580 a better District. This committee solicits information from clubs and members regarding the use and importance of current programs, and also seeks input regarding what the membership would like to see happening in the District. Surveys are often used to generate feedback, and the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) uses that feedback to make recommendations to the Executive and Finance Committee regarding implementation of suggestions. The current committee structure includes the District Governor, Governor-Elect, Governor-Nominee, 2 Past District Governors, 2 current or past Assistant District Governors, and two District members at-large, one each appointed by the Governor and Governor-Elect. The SPC currently meets 3 times/year at the same location and generally preceding the Executive and Finance Committee meeting. The District reimburses members of this committee for mileage, lodging and meals involved with attending such

meetings, except for the one immediately preceding the start of District Conference. SPC members receive a flat stipend for the final meeting.





This committee is responsible for encouraging clubs to conduct water/sanitation projects on an International level, and for the promotion of existing projects that clubs in D5580 are doing. The committee is encouraged to educate clubs on the importance of clean water and sanitation in third world countries, and to help clubs know how they can engage in activities that will bring about this most important need. The Chair is responsible for receiving and providing copies of water and sanitation newsletters and other promotional materials to the District Office for distribution to clubs, to prepare articles for inclusion in the District Newsletter and to provide the District Office with information for posting on the District Website. Committee members may be asked to speak to clubs within their area and are encouraged to do so.



This committee is responsible for the complete implementation of our District’s very important and successful Youth Exchange (YE) program. In addition to the Chair and/or Co-Chair of this committee, there are several Sub-Chairs that are designated Coordinators in the areas of Inbound Students, Outbound Students, Rebound Students and Child Protection in the US and CAN. The Chris is responsible for attending the Central States Rotary Youth Exchange Meeting held annually in Grand Rapids, Michigan, or another designated Midwestern state. Much more is involved than can be outlined in a short summary. The duties and responsibilities of this committee and coordinators are more totally defined in the District Bylaws, or by speaking with the individual Chairs and Coordinators. You may also visit the Youth Exchange Site Page located on the HOME page of the District Website. New committee members are welcome and needed, and provides an excellent opportunity to help the students in our District experience the full benefit of this outstanding program.


Additional Information:


Please remember that ALL Leadership Positions and Appointments are made by the incoming District Governor for his/her year of leadership. The above is intended to provide a “general overview” of the various committees that are working within D5580. If you are interested in specific area of District Leadership, we would like to hear from you, and the District Governor, Governor-Elect, Governor-Nominee or District Office will be glad to answer any additional

questions you might have.


Specific leadership offices NOT covered in this overview include those of:

District Governor

District Governor-Elect

District Governor-Nominee

District Treasurer

District Trainer

District Foundation Chair


The above positions are specific in nature and have definite criteria in place. They are described in greater detail in the District Bylaws. To access the District Bylaws, go to On the HOME page, left-hand column, click on District Bylaws. The Bylaws will also provide specific information as to those Committees listed in this document.