About the Program

Information for Prospective Member Districts

What Is The Rotary Leadership Institute International?

RLI is a grassroots coalition of Rotary districts implementing a leadership development program for “potential” leaders of Rotary CLUBS. Established in 1992, RLI has become a worldwide organization with divisions in every Continent of the world. While it is an unofficial program of Rotary International, it has substantial support of a number of past Rotary International Presidents and current, past and incoming R.I. Directors. (See Senior Leaders Advisory Board under Organizational Information). The R.I. Board has adopted a resolution recommending RLI or similar programs to the districts and the Council on Legislation has twice recommended RLI to the Board.

RLI believes that excellent CLUB leadership (all types of club leaders) is essential to the future of Rotary in a complex and fast changing world. Most Rotarians have not been exposed to the great scope of Rotary around the world and have not considered what leadership skills are necessary to move Rotary forward.
RLI strongly believes that a good Rotary Club leader must know the evolution of Rotary, its current status and activities in the world and have a vision for what Rotary can be in the future. Therefore, RLI provides a three day non-consecutive basic course in both Rotary knowledge and leadership skills, especially for voluntary organizations. In addition to the specific leadership skills sessions, all the RLI sessions have a leadership component.

In addition to the basic three day course, RLI holds in-depth seminars on important Rotary subjects, including leadership, for the “graduates” of the basic course.

The mission of RLI is to have the clubs in the member districts identify those with the potential for future club leadership and send them to RLI courses at club expense. All member clubs may send any club Rotarian to RLI courses and any Rotarian may attend any course at his/her own initiative.

The overriding goal of the courses for club Rotarians is to create ENTHUSIASM for Rotary by opening up to them the world of Rotary outside of their own clubs and also showing them the great potential of Rotary service for the benefit of the world that can be furthered with excellent leadership in our clubs.

RLI is a general education program, while most Rotary International training programs are “job-specific”; that is R.I. trains Rotarians for specific positions. RLI is not a PETS or any other district training program, but graduates of RLI bring a greatly enhanced background in Rotary when they later attend job-specific programs.

The Handbook for Prospective Divisions, set forth on this Website, is a good source of information for all those considering RLI membership.

Current Recommended Curriculum

RLI recommends a curriculum and provides all outlines, etc. to all its divisions. The curriculum has been continually revised and upgraded over the years. Because of the growth of RLI, it is expected that major revisions will be recommended every three years in order to give divisions a sufficient opportunity to orient their faculty members and to provide translations where necessary. All important changes of R.I. or the Foundation are provided annually to all divisions. All curriculum materials and all available translations are posted on the RLI materials website available to all members.

The RLI Curriculum Committee meets annually and all divisions are requested to provide suggestions for revision and improvement based on their own experiences. Any division may send representatives to the meetings of the Curriculum Committee.

The current recommended curriculum for 2021-23 has the following course sessions:


Insights Into Leadership
My Rotary World
Ethics-Vocation Service
Foundation I: Our Foundation
Engaging Members
Creating Service Projects


Strategic Planning & Analysis
Attracting Members
Club Communication
Team Building
Foundation II: Targeted Service


Rotary Opportunities
Effective Leadership Strategies
Foundation III: International Service
Public Image & Public Relations
Building A Stronger Club
Making A Difference

How To Start A Division

In order to provide effective grassroots administration of RLI and to deal with regional variations, RLI created the division system in 2002. A “division” is created by an agreement signed by the District Governor(s) of the first member district(s) and a representative of the umbrella organization of RLI, the International RLI or just RLI. The form of Agreement to Form a Division is included in this section (see Index) as is the form of Agreement for a District to Join an Existing Division.

Those interested in initiating a division of RLI should contact the International Chair or an International Regional Vice-Chair. An interested party may also use “Contact Us” on the Home Page.

Each division pays to the umbrella international organization annual dues determined by the number of districts within the division. The current dues are US $100.00 per member district per year. The dues plus contributions over and above the dues are used to defray administrative and promotional expenses for the International RLI and provide faculty orientation programs for new divisions. The annual financial statement is posted on this Website.

After an agreement is signed, a division completes its organization, adopts bylaws, elects officers and begins planning for the first faculty orientation sessions and the first Part I course(s). Arrangements are made with the International Training Team to visit the Division to conduct the first faculty orientation program. At the faculty orientation sessions, the training team also meets with division leaders to discuss organization, planning courses, etc.

The International RLI:

Assigns the trainers (usually two) and pays for the transportation of the team to the first site in the Division. The trainers provide the agenda, the PowerPoint or overhead slides used in the training, RLI pins and certificates (although certificates can be downloaded from the materials website.)

The Division:

Arranges for the meeting site and audiovisual equipment, etc., provides airport transfers for the team to and from the designated hotel, and provides hotel accommodations for the team, meals, etc. during their stay,-usually two-three days or as arranged between RLI and the Division. The Division copies the materials for the faculty members as agreed with the RLI team.

Full information is provided to the Division in advance of the team visit.

The Division leadership recruits the faculty members who should be knowledgeable Rotarians, usually past governors or directors and sometimes well qualified past club presidents. Faculty members should be able to lead a lively discussion group without lecturing. The number of faculty members to be trained should be discussed by the Division leaders with the RLI training team.

Those trained to be faculty members (discussion leaders for course sessions) will conduct the first Part I course(s). It is recommended that courses be held within a month or two after the faculty orientation sessions. Further faculty orientations are either conducted by division trainers or members of the International Training Team whose names and language abilities will be communicated to the division.

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