When asked “What is Rotary?” most people would say that Rotary is a “service club.” But that’s not enough. It’s much, much more.There are 1.2 million neighbors, friends and community leaders from across the world who come together as Rotarians to create positive, lasting change in our communities and around the globe. Whether it’s our international organization’s zeal to wipe out polio or a local club’s efforts to bring clean water to third-world areas, Rotarians see challenges in unique ways, think differently, seek unique solutions, act responsibly and make a difference.Our impact starts with our members—people who work tirelessly with their clubs to solve some of our communities’ toughest challenges. Their efforts are supported by Rotary International, our member association, and The Rotary Foundation, which turns generous donations into grants that fund the work of our members and partners around the world. Rotary is led by our members—responsible leaders who help to carry forward our organization’s mission and values in their elected roles.
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 by each Rotarian of his occupation as an opportunity to serve society.
Third: The application of the ideal of service by every Rotarian to his personal, business and community life.
Fourth: The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional men united in the ideal of service.
By deliberate design of its founder Paul Percy Harris, Rotary membership is a cross-section of people drawn from the professions, financial circles, commerce and industry. Membership is by invitation from a Rotarian.
Each Rotary Club member is “loaned” a classification “which covers the principal and recognized activity of the firm, company or institution with which he is connected, or if he be independently engaged in a business or profession, his classification shall be that which covers his principal and recognized business or professional activity” (Article V Section 2(b) Rotary Club standard constitution).
With its somewhat unique classification system and the requirement that Rotary Club members be executive level people, Rotary probably represents the world’s largest consortium of management level and professional people.