Rotary is service-driven. Belonging to a Rotary club gives men and women an organized outlet for contributing to their community.
Founded in 1905, Rotary is the world’s first service organization. The Rotary motto is “Service Above Self” – Rotary concerns itself with truth, fairness, improved relations between people and world peace. The avenues of Rotary service include community and international volunteerism through club activity and the promotion of ethics in all vocations.
Rotary has a global network of 1.2 million members in more than 29,000 clubs in 160 countries.
Rotary members meet weekly to plan service. Rotary clubs are autonomous and determine their own service projects based on local needs and the interests and abilities of members.
Rotary clubs are non-religious, nongovernmental and open to every race, culture and creed. Club membership represents a cross-section of local business and professional leaders
Rotarians are professional men and women who work as volunteers to improve the quality of life in their home and world community.
Club membership represents a cross-section of local business and professional leaders. Membership is open to all cultures, races, and creeds. There are nearly 2,000 women club presidents and women are rapidly assuming regional leadership roles.
The world’s Rotary clubs meet weekly and are non-political, non-religious. There are approximately 1.2 million Rotarians working in some 29,000 Rotary clubs in 160 countries and 35 geographical regions worldwide.
New Membership Information
Rotarians are business and professional leaders who take an active role in their communities while greatly enriching their personal and professional lives. A Rotary club contains a diverse group of professional leaders from the community that the club serves.
Membership in a Rotary club offers a number of benefits including: effecting change within the community; advancing business and professional contacts; developing leadership skills; gaining an understanding of, and having an impact on, international humanitarian issues.
Through Rotary International’s service programs, a Rotary club can have a significant effect on the quality of life in its community. Rotary Foundation provides opportunities to form international partnerships that help people in need worldwide.
One of the prime projects with Rotary International is the eradication of Polio throughout the world. This objective has been almost achieved.
To learn more about the Rotary club in your community and around the world, go the the Rotary.org web site. There’s lots of resources there.
About Rotary International
Origins of Rotary
Over ninety-nine years ago, there lived in the city of Chicago, a young lawyer who had only a few friends and acquaintances and who felt the pangs of loneliness. His name was Paul Harris. Desiring to extend his circle of acquaintances, he conceived the plan of calling together a few men engaged in different lines of business and explained to them an idea which was forming in his mind.
His idea was that man is friendly by nature and that the necessity of earning a livelihood under modern economic conditions conditions should not compel a person to sacrifice their natural instinct to have friends and be friendly. That it should be possible for the person in the city to have business and professional friends as does the person in the small town. Friendship should be, and in reality is, the fundamental basis of a person’s business relations with their fellowmen.
Paul Harris invited three men of acquaintance to meet at his office in the Unity Building, Chicago, on the evening of February 23, 1905. Those invited were Silvester A. Schiele, a coal dealer, H. E. Shorey, a merchant tailor, and Gus H. Loehr, a mining operator. The meeting was informal, and Paul Harris explained his idea of the formation of a club composed of people each from a different line of business or profession. It was agreed to meet again a week later in the office of Paul Harris.
At the second meeting several other gentlemen were present by invitation and the formation of a club was completed.
The name of “Rotary” was suggested by Paul Harris for the reason that it was decided to hold the meetings in rotation at the offices of the different members.
In the fall of 1905, the first dinner meeting of the club was held in the old Sherman House. So came into existence Rotary, and Club No. 1 in Chicago.
The Heart of Rotary
One of the most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics in the world is the Rotary 4-Way Test. It was created by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor in 1932 when he was asked to take charge of a company that was facing bankruptcy. Taylor looked for a way to save the struggling company mired in depression-caused financial difficulties. He drew up a 24-word code of ethics for all employees to follow in their business and professional lives. The 4-Way Test became the guide for sales, production, advertising and all relations with dealers and customers, and the survival of the company is credited to this simple philosophy.
The 4-Way Test was adopted by Rotary in 1943 and has been translated into more than a hundred languages and published in thousands of ways. Herb Taylor became president of Rotary International in 1954-55.
The 4-Way Test of the things we think, say, and 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?
The Rotary Club
Meets once each week for breakfast, luncheon or dinner.
Membership is formed on the unique plan of one active and representative person from each line of business and profession in the community.
Objects of Rotary
- The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service.
- High ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying by each Rotarian of their occupation as an opportunity to serve society.
- The application of the ideal of service by every Rotarian to their personal, business, and community life.
- The advancement of international understanding, good will, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional people united in the ideal of service.
Benefits of Rotary
Making the acquaintance of people you ought to know.
Genuine, wholesome good fellowship.
Developing true and helpful friends.
Enlightenment as to other people’s work, problems and successes.
Education in methods that increase efficiency.
Stimulation of your desire to be of service to your fellow men, women and society in general.
Obligations of Rotarians
To attend meetings regularly.
To pay dues promptly.
To do my part when called upon.
To be a big-hearted, broad-minded person – a person of energy and action – a Rotarian.
Declaration of Rotarians in Businesses and Professions
The Declaration of Rotarians in Businesses and Professions was adopted by the Rotary International Council on Legislation in 1989 to provide more specific guidelines for the high ethical standards called for in the Object of Rotary:
As a Rotarian engaged in a business or profession, I am expected to:
- Consider my vocation to be another opportunity to serve;
- Be faithful to the letter and to the spirit of the ethical codes of my vocation, to the laws of my country, and to the moral standards of my community;
- Do all in my power to dignify my vocation and to promote the highest ethical standards in my chosen vocation;
- Be fair to my employer, employees, associates, competitors, customers, the public and all those with whom I have a business or professional relationship;
- Recognize the honor and respect due to all occupations which are useful to society;
- 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;
- Adhere to honesty in my advertising and in all representations to the public concerning my business or profession;
- Neither seek from nor grant to a fellow Rotarian a privilege or advantage not normally accorded others in a business or professional relationship.
The Rotary Club shall have four kinds of memberships, namely; Active, Senior Active, Past Service and Honourary.
Each active member of the Club shall be classified in accordance with the member’s business or profession. The active membership shall consist of but one person from each classification, excepting the religion, news media and diplomatic services and excepting the provision for additional active members.
The 4-Way Test is fundamental to Rotary.
20 Answers to the Question: Why Join Rotary?
In an increasingly complex world, Rotary provides one of the most basic human needs; the need for friends and fellowship. It is one of the two reasons why Rotary began in 1905.
The second original reason for Rotary’s beginning. Everyone needs to network. Rotary consists of a cross section of every business community. Its members come from all walks of life. Rotarians help one another, and collectively help others.
Personal Growth and Develpopment
Membership in Rotary continues one’s growth and education in human relations and personal development.
Rotary is an organization of leaders and successful people. Serving in Rotary positions is like a college education in Leadership: learning how to motivate, influence and lead leaders.
Citizenship in the Community
Membership in a Rotary club makes one a better community citizen. The average Rotary club consists of the most active citizens of any community.
Each week a Rotary there is a program designed to keep one informed as to what is going on in the community, nation and world. Different speakers, different topics.
Rotary is fun. A lot of fun. Each meeting is fun. The club projects are fun. Social activities are fun. And the service is fun.
Public Speaking Skills
Many an individual who joined Rotary was afraid to speak in public. Rotary develops confidence and skill in public communication. And opportunity.
Citizenship in the World
Every Rotarian wears a pin that says: “Rotary International”. And every Rotarians is welcome – even encouraged to attend – at 28,000 clubs in 188 nations and geographical regions. There are few places on the globe, which do not have a Rotary club. Instant friends in both one’s own community and in the world community.
Assistance When Travelling
Because there are Rotary clubs everywhere, many a Rotarian who has needed a doctor, lawyer, hotel, dentist, advice, etc…, while traveling has found same quickly through Rotary.
Every Rotary Club and district has parties and activities, which provide diversion in one’s business life. Rotary has conferences, conventions, assemblies and institute which provide entertainment in addition to Rotary information, education and service.
The Development of Social Skills
Every week and at various events and functions, Rotary develops one’s personality, social and people skills. Rotary is for people who like people, or who want to.
Rotary provides one of the world’s largest youth exchange programs; high school and college clubs for future Rotarians; spouse clubs and programs, and a host of activities designed to assist family members in growth and the development of family values.
Every Rotarian is expected to take a part in the growth and development of his or her own profession or vocation; to serve on committees and to teach youth about one’s job or vocation. Rotary helps to make one a better doctor, lawyer, teacher (or whatever one does for a living) etc.
The Development of Ethics
Rotarians practice a 4-Way Test which governs one’s ethical standards. Rotarians are expected to be ethical in business and personal relationships.
Around the world, practically every religion, country, culture, race, creed, political persuasion, language, color and ethnic identity is found in Rotary. It is a cross section of the world’s most prominent citizens from every background. Rotarians become aware of other cultures and learn to live and work with people everywhere. They become better citizens of their countries in the process.
Rotary members are prominent people; leaders of business, the professions, art, government, sports, military, religion and all disciplines. Rotary is the oldest and most prestigious service club in the world. Its ranks are executives, managers, professionals; people who make decisions and influence policy. Not everyone is invited to join Rotary.
Rotarians above all are nice people; the nicest people on the face of the earth. They are important people who adhere to the policy that while it is nice to be important, it is more important to be nice.
The Absence of ‘Offical Creed’
– Rotary has no secret handshake, no secret policy, no official creed, no secret meeting or rituals. It is an open society – of men and women who simply believe in helping others.
- The Opportunity to Serve
Rotary is a service club. Its business is mankind; its product is service. Rotarians provide community service – to both the local and international communities. This is the best reason perhaps for becoming a Rotarian; the chance to do something for somebody else. And to sense the self-fulfillment which comes in the process. And the return to one’s own life. Rotarians believe in service above self, it is richly rewarding.
“He profits most who serves the best”.