What is Rotary?

The first Rotary Club was organized in Chicago in 1905 by attorney, Paul P. Harris. This club of five young men met in rotation at their respective offices -- thus the name, Rotary!

Motto: Service Above Self

Mission:

We provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through our fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.

The Object of Rotary:

The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:

  • FIRST. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
  • SECOND. High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian's occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
  • THIRD. The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian's personal, business, and community life;
  • FOURTH. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.

The Four-Way Test:

Of the things we think, say or do

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Diversity and Rotary:

Rotary at a Glance

Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders who dedicate their time and talent to tackle the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members from more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. Rotary also offers expanded service opportunities including:

  • Interact: A service organization organized and sponsored by Rotary clubs for young people aged 12-18. There are more than 12,300 Interact clubs in 133 countries.
  • Rotaract: Groups organized by Rotary clubs to promote leadership, professional development, and service among young adults aged 18-30. There are more than 8,000 Rotaract clubs in 167 countries.
  • Rotary Community Corps (RCCs): Groups of non-Rotary members who work to improve their communities. There are more than 7,500 RCCs in 80 countries, all organized and sponsored by Rotary clubs.

Membership Snapshot

Who: Rotary brings together the kind of people who step forward to take on important issues in communities worldwide. Rotary members hail from a range of professional backgrounds; doctors, artists, small business owners, corporate executives and public servants. Rotary connects these unique perspectives, and helps leverage its members’ expertise to improve lives everywhere.

Where: From Haiti and Greenland to Nigeria and Singapore, Rotary unites a truly diverse set of leaders from across the world. Currently, the countries with the most Rotary clubs are the United States, India, Japan and Brazil. The fastest growing Rotary regions include Southeast Asia and Africa.

What: Rotary members contribute their time, energy and passion to sustainable, long-term projects in local communities worldwide. Projects focus on important issues like peace and conflict resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy and economic and community development.

Rotary International recognizes the value of diversity within individual clubs. Rotary encourages clubs to assess those in their communities who are eligible for membership, under existing membership guidelines, and to endeavor to include the appropriate range of individuals in their clubs. A club that reflects its community with regard to professional and business classification, gender, age, religion, and ethnicity is a club with the key to its future.  As of June, 2015:

Rotary International

  • Members: 1.2 Million
  • Clubs: 34,216
  • Districts: 538
  • Countries: 200
  • District 5100: 4000 members and 75 Clubs
  • Sherwood Club Membership:  29

Rotaract is organized by Rotary clubs to promote leadership, professional development, and service among young adults ages 18-30.

  • Members: 204,102*
  • Clubs: 8,000
  • Countries: 167

Interact is a service organization organized and sponsored by Rotary clubs for youth ages 12-18.

  • Members: 315,836*
  • Clubs: 12,300*
  • Countries: 133

Rotary Community Corps (RCC) are groups of non-Rotarians who work to improve their communities.

  • Members: 165,807*
  • Corps: 7,500*
  • Countries: 80

Avenues of Service:

For years, Rotary’s commitment to SERVICE ABOVE SELF has been channeled through the Avenues of Service, which form the foundation of club activity.

  • Club Service focuses on strengthening fellowship and ensuring the effective functioning of the club.
  • Vocational Service encourages Rotarians to serve others through their vocations and to practice high ethical standards.

Rotary Code of Conduct

As a Rotarian, I will

  1. Exemplify the core value of integrity in all behaviors and activities
  2. Use my vocational experience and talents to serve in Rotary
  3. Conduct all of my personal, business, and professional affairs ethically, encouraging and fostering high ethical standards as an example to others
  4. Be fair in all dealings with others and treat them with the respect due to them as fellow human beings
  5. Promote recognition and respect for all occupations which are useful to society
  6. Offer my vocational talents: to provide opportunities for young people, to work for the relief of the special needs of others, and to improve the quality of life in my community
  7. Honor the trust that Rotary and fellow Rotarians provide and not do anything that will bring disfavor or reflect adversely on Rotary or fellow Rotarians
  8. Not seek from a fellow Rotarian a privilege or advantage not normally accorded others in a business or professional relationship
  • Community Service covers the projects and activities the club undertakes to improve life in its community.
  • International Service encompasses actions taken to expand Rotary’s humanitarian reach around the globe and to promote world understanding and peace. Rotarians can support International Service by sponsoring a project in another country, seeking international project partners to support projects in their own communities, or by personally volunteering at an international project site.
  • New Generations Service recognizes the positive change implemented by youth and young adults through leadership development activities as RYLA , Rotaract and Interact , service projects, and creating international understanding with Rotary Youth Exchange

The Rotary Foundation (TRF):

TRF is a not-for-profit corporation that supports the efforts of Rotary International to achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational, and cultural exchange programs.

Rotary Foundation's Humanitarian Programs fund international Rotary club and district projects to improve the quality of life, providing health care, clean water, food, education, and other essential needs primarily in the developing world. One of the major Humanitarian Programs is PolioPlus, which seeks to eradicate the polio virus worldwide. Through its Educational Programs, the Foundation provides funding for some 1,200 students to study abroad each year. Former participants in the Foundation's programs have the opportunity to continue their affiliation with Rotary as Foundation Alumni. The Rotary Foundation is supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world. Included in this section is information pertaining to the history of The Rotary Foundation, its financial support, its Alumni programs, training and resources, and the SHARE system.

International Events:

Rotary International Conference held each year.