In this Rotatorial a cause is defined as a social principle, aim, or movement that, because of a deep commitment, the organization is prepared to advocate.
Is it possible that R.I. has recognized that it is not a cause; that it is, in fact, a business? These graphics seem to indicate a change in that direction. If so, a vitally important, perhaps organization saving, regeneration may be taking place.
Causes, over the last several centuries, have helped, and continue to help, the world to become a better, safer place. Polio Eradication, Rotary's worldwide service project, could be considered a cause. Businesses support causes in many ways, but successful ones recognize the importance of keeping their business healthy. Otherwise, neither the business nor its associates will be able to indefinitely support desired causes.
Successful businesses know their customers' value; the direct value that each brings to the business and the indirect value that retained customers whose staying power authenticates the value delivered and attracts new customers. If R.I. has recognized that it is a business, it must understand the business it is in, who its customers are and what they value so it can prioritize and deliver value through everything it does.
The Angry Rotarian is trying to smile because it does seem that R.I. is trying to acknowledge that its customers are present and future Rotarians. But then up pops this statement on R.I.'s About Rotary web page: "We are 1.2 million neighbors, friends, and community leaders who come together to create positive, lasting change in our communities and around the world." Well meaning definition but does it differentiate Rotarians from millions of other people who are striving to do the same thing? Does it encourage Rotary's constitutionally identified potential customers, most of whom who are active or retired leaders that are already making lasting changes in their communities, to consider investigating membership in a local Rotary club?