Accelerating Digital Transformation for a Global Non-Profit Organization: Rotary International


Rotary International is a global, not-for-profit membership organization founded in 1905. Bringing together business and professional leaders, they help provide humanitarian services and advance goodwill and peace around the world.

Rotary’s 1.2M members, represented by more than 36,000 local clubs, have been instrumental in the fight to eradicate polio. Their worldwide youth programs are developing the next generation of service-minded community leaders. Rotary’s partnerships with such organizations as UNICEF, the Gates Foundation, and USAID are extending the humanitarian reach of their members on a global scale. Their current activities are focused on disease prevention, literacy, and bringing clean water to the developing world, among others.

Business Challenge

With Rotary’s attention and resources rightly focused on global humanitarian and youth leadership development programs, the recent pace of digital change, coupled with the increasing digital expectations of new generations of members, exceeded their ability to deliver relevant and reliable digital products. It was clear that Rotary needed to rethink how digital strategy supported their mission, and how the organization delivered digital products that better focused on evolving member expectations.

Recognizing the role digital technologies could play in member engagement, Rotary engaged SoftServe to lead them through a Digital Strategy Transformation.

Business Challenge

SoftServe’s Approach

SoftServe’s work with Rotary began with a series of triage efforts to first stabilize their key member support products, so their attention could be better tuned to problem framing and ideation. Next, SoftServe led Rotary through a Digital Maturity Assessment, identifying the specific people, process, and technology issues that required attention and evaluating Rotary’s capacity for transformative change. Findings from the Digital Maturity Assessment then led to a focused, four-month, comprehensive, and multidisciplinary Digital Strategy Transformation engagement designed specifically to help Rotary evolve into a truly member-focused and digitally enabled organization.

Business Value

Rotary and SoftServe’s collaboration led to the development of a comprehensive Digital Strategy Transformation Playbook.

By introducing this playbook, Rotary:

  • Extensively redefined how digital product development will work in the future.
  • Included comprehensive processes, supported by redefined roles and responsibilities for key contributors to the digital processes.
  • Introduced a comprehensive restructuring of the organization.

Rotary’s Digital Transformation Playbook encompassed the following areas:

  • The Digital Strategy Roadmap established clear definitions of digital products and provided a roadmap for establishing teams and skills to implement, innovate, and thrive in a digital-first world.
  • The Rotary Digital Products Manifesto was written in the theme and spirit of the Agile Manifesto. It definitively established Rotary’s digital transformation path based on their mission and culture.
  • Data Strategy is a call-to-action for Rotary to embrace a data-driven culture. It supports and informs Rotary’s overall digital strategy, and thus their organizational strategy, with specific business cases. This includes everything from data-informed participant management to cycles of product strategy validated by Rotary’s millions of participants.
Data Strategy

While a top-to-bottom reorganization of the IT team and rebuilding of product teams could have been expected, the keystone of Rotary’s Digital Strategy Transformation Playbook was a new function focused on strategic Customer 360 concepts.

This Member Experience team drew on Rotary’s established functions in research and business intelligence and coupled them with new focuses on member experiences and service design to create a service organization to support not only digital experiences but also all of Rotary’s real-world membership community and their humanitarian and service missions.

LET'S TALK about how SoftServe can help digitally transform your company processes and effectively scale your digital strategy to the next level.

Let's Talk