I just got back from attending my second Rotary Leadership Institute class. As an officer of the Boyertown Rotary, I feel it is my duty to learn as much about Rotary International as possible.
Note: Many of the tips in this Search Engine Optimization (SEO) post could apply to any non-profit or company site.
What is Rotary?
Rotary International is a non-profit service organization. There are clubs all over the world, and there is probably one or more Rotary Clubs near you. Many towns have multiple Rotary clubs.
Each Rotary Club operates a little differently, although most meetings have many of the same elements such as sharing info, doing service projects, and networking.
Service projects vary from doing local community projects like student mentoring, park development, or projects that are unique and needed in each clubs town.
In my town, one of the service projects done by the Rotary was a “playground for everyone” which is a playground that is handicapped accessible.
But Rotary is much more than service..if you are lucky enough to be asked to join, check it out, you’ll be glad you did.
Why do Rotary Club Websites Need SEO?
When I search for a town’s Rotary, I expect it to come up. Often times, I am looking for a town’s Rotary to see when and where it meets, and I can not find the chapter or any info about it. Or even worse, I find an out of date site that is from 2005.
Additionally, I think the Rotary Websites should be optimized so that when someone searches for the club’s town name, the club should be on the search engine results page right at the top of the list. So if I was to optimize my club site fully, it would show up for terms like “Boyertown, PA” ‘Boyertown Service organization” in addition to “Boyertown Rotary”.
Lastly, if the site were to truly become an authority in the town, it would make selling advertising to reputable businesses with the town so much easier. What club wouldn’t love to bring in some extra revenue for service projects?
How Can Rotary Clubs Optimize their Sites?
First, they can use content management systems that are SEO friendly and which can be updated easily and regularly. ClubRunner, the system we currently use is not SEO friendly, but it does have a ton of features that make it good for Rotary clubs and it is pretty easily updated. I am thinking about doing a blog post that compares different platforms for Rotary Clubs. I believe providing platforms for Rotary Club websites is a huge niche that a web development company could do well in. My small club pays maybe $35 a month for the site. There is a club in almost every small town, and in some towns there are multiple Rotary Clubs. Additionally, Clubrunner charges more if your club has more members. But I digress…
The second thing that Rotary Clubs can do to optimize their sites, is to integrate their sites with Social Media. Having social media widgets for your Social Media profiles does affect search rankings.
The third and most important thing that Rotary Clubs should do is to undergo a club link building campaign. This can be as simple as getting each club member to comment on one blog per month, and drop their club’s site url into the website field. Additionally, if the members have websites of their own, they can link to the club on their site. One way links are what it’s all about.
Easy Rotary SEO
These three tips are not a complete SEO strategy, but they are a start. If your club is in a competitive market like Las Vegas or New York, to show up at the top in the search engines, it may take a bit more work. If you need some help, let me know by dropping a comment with your contact info.
Rotarians: Drop your club or district’s url in to the web page field in the comments section to get a link to your site.
From July 28th to August 7th, a group of 5 from my church, which includes my friend Dave who was in the video on the older post, and his two oldest kids along with my step-daughter and I, will be building a cinder block house for a family that previously had a corn stalk house.
Corn stalk houses vs Cinder Block Houses
Corn stalk houses are not very secure and can be easily destroyed by the tropical weather. The cinder block houses can not be easily destroyed, and have a tin roof that keeps out mother nature.
The corn stalk houses also are easily broken into by animals and other unwanted guests. The cinder block houses have doors and windows that can be secured. Additionally, each house is equipped with bunk beds, a stove, and some shelves.
The cinder block houses we are building are not very luxurious compared to our homes in the States, but compared to the corn stalk houses, they are a huge improvement.
Fund-raising for Guatemala
My daughter and I need to raise $3777.00 for the trip, so we are ramping up my fund-raising efforts. I would like you the reader to to donate $10 usd to help me with our trip. For your donation, not only will I be grateful, but I will add you and your site url to the donors page that I will have on this site as well as All-Travel-sites.com Guatemala Donation page.
In addition to donating, I also have some advertising specials available which will result in up to 100% of the proceeds going to the trip. Check out the advertising for Guatemala post for info about the advertising options. If you are interested in some other advertising that is not included, or if you have suggestions, please let me know in a comment.
Additionally, until July 15th, all directory submission review fees will be applied to the trip 100%. This includes submissions to the following directories:
I had an idea that kept me from sleeping..well if that darn cat had not woke me up at 415am to be let out, I probably would not have had the idea.
The idea was spurned by the morning news yesterday when I heard an actor(oh, Lizzie says it was Al Roker of the Today Show) talking about a campaign to reduce “food insecurity” and hunger.
What is Food Insecurity?
If you go to the previous link and check out the page on Frac.org (Food Research and Action Center) you can find out more about the political terms used to describe hunger in countries such as the United States.
In the United States and other developed countries, people generally don’t starve death, but homes that are food insecure, where there is just not enough to eat, do exist. This isn’t like I didn’t have enough time to get to the store, its more like, I don’t have enough money for the bills on a regular basis, and my family is frequently with out food.
Who are the Hungry?
the continually growing number of unemployed.
Being with out food, and having to skip meals on a regular basis, can seriously affect a persons emotional and mental well being. Don’t believe it, why don’t you fast for a day, and see how you feel?
As a former teacher, I know that kids who don’t get the proper nutrition, are prone to lower academic achievement, not to mention affects on their physical growth milestones.
What can I do about hunger and Food Insecurity?
I was thinking of some ways that I could raise funds or food that could be donated to the local food bank. These include:
weekly donations to the food bank at church.
when we have a party or get together, have guests bring a can of food to donate, this will be brought to either the local food bank, or to church the following week to be added to my weekly food donation.
Here is where my idea starts..When we go out to eat(Thegrubhound and FatladySingz eat out a lot) I will start donating either a fixed amount like 5-10$ or a fixed percent like 10% of the bill. If I can give a wait staff 20% then, why not add 10% for the hungry?
So how do I go about getting the money to the food bank. Sure I can keep a tally of the amounts on my phone, and then purchase a grocery store shopping card for the amount next week. Or….
An App to Make Donating to Food Banks Simple
What if there was an app that let me donate a designated amount to the local food bank. The Food Bank App would be like a directory of all the food banks across this globe. When I pay my bill, I can send the 10% right to the account of a local participating food bank.
The App could be made social, maybe even partner with Social Sites like FourSquare, Facebook, Twitter, and the like.
So I when I donate, a tweet or post could go out that a patron of Joe’s Tavern, made a donation to the abc food bank…Possible App Customizations:
The app could be customized to update social sites or to not update them.
Users could set it up to donate via a set amount or a percent.
Restaurants could have pages and the total amounts that were donated by patrons could be listed.
Users could also keep track of their donations, and donation receipts for tax purposes could be issued from it as well.
Like FourSquare, users could earn awards or badges for how much they donate.
Those wishing to donate anonymously could opt to not get rewards and to not check in on social sites.
Lizzie and others have said an option to enable restaurants to match donations could be added.
So what do you think about the Food Bank App idea? How do I proceed?
Unless you are living under a rock, or spending way to much time online, then you are aware of the earthquake that hit Hati the other day. With close to 500,000 dead, and countless wounded, this poor country will need lots of assistance to move beyond the devistation.
If you feel so inclinded to donate, you can text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 to Red Cross relief efforts in #haiti.
I was just on the RedCross Facebook page and they have recieved $3million in donations as of 750am this morning.
Poverty is something which I really don’t know a thing about. I have the priviledge of living in a country that has one of the highest standards of living of any country. At periods in my life, I had very little money, but I still had the resources of those around me which enabled me to maintain a somewhat comfortable lifestyle.
In spite of living in one of the richest nations on Earth, as the post “Mommy are we Poverty?” illustrates, poverty still exists here in the USA.
Below is a little video I made for the Blog Action Day post.
How can you help fight poverty?
Give to the homeless. I don’t mean give money to the panhandlers you see on the street, but give stuff that the homeless need to survive, like blankets, jackets, can openers and even food.
Sponsor some children. There are lots of charities that allow you to do this, and it doesn’t cost a tremendous amount. For the cost of a cup of coffee in the morning you can sponsor a child in any of the third world countries. I am sure you can also sponsor a needy child in your own country as well. Check out the post I did on WorldVision which is the organization that I use for sponsorship of several kids.
Use your power as a consumer to influence companies to not contribute to poverty. How often do you buy goods manufactured in a sweatshop?
Give to Kiva.org, which is an organization that funds entrepreneurs in developing countries.
Well these are just a few suggestions for fighting poverty. As many other people believe, I also believe that poverty is something that we can prevent. With all the knowledge and wealth in this world, people do not need to die of hunger. Everyone deserves to live in a clean, safe environment that allows them to flourish.
So what about you, what do you do to fight poverty?
The Viola’s, friends of ours just left for Guatemala on a missions trip with From Houses to Homes an organization that makes homes for the poor of Guatemala. Kate and Dave and their three kids are making the trip for the second time. Last year however, they did not take their youngest, but are taking her this year.
Check out the Viola’s video below, and if you think you would like to help the Viola’s out, visit the Fromhousestohomes.org site to find out how you can either become part of next years missions trip to build some homes for the poor of Guatemala or how you can make a tax deductible donation to help out this years trip.
Be part of a service team and come to Guatemala to help build a new home for a needy family. No experience necessary. We ask that you donate $500.00 per person plus pay for your own airfare and living expense. We can make arrangements for you to live with a Guatemalan host family or stay at a hotel.
For a donation of $1,500: Build one new home and affix a plaque with your name on the home honoring your donation.
Maybe next year I will be able to go.
How about you, does a missions trip to help out the less fortunate interest you?
The Violas had a good trip, I will be encouraging them to make another video to share their experience. We had dinner with Kate the other night, and her stories were amazing. Here is the a link to a video I made about our dinner with Kate and her daughter.