About Rotary:

Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders. Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.

There are 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. As signified by the motto Service Above Self, Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world.


Rotary is the world's first service club. The first Rotary Club was founded in Chicago, Illinois, USA on February 23, 1905. The club was started by a young lawyer, Paul P. Harris, and three of his friends. He wished to recapture the friendly spirit he had felt among business people in the small town where he had grown up. Their weekly meetings "rotated" among their offices, providing the new service club with its name. 

Rotary is some 1.2 million service-minded men and women belonging to more than 32,000 clubs in virtually every nation in the world. 

For more information on Rotary International, please visit the official site: 
www.rotary.org


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.

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. 

The Four-Way Test

The test, which has been translated into more than 100 languages, asks the following questions:

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?

Mission

The mission of Rotary International is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders. See the RI Strategic Plan.

Diversity and Rotary

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.

The Rotary Foundation:

The Rotary Foundation 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. It is supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world. 

The Foundation was created in 1917 by Rotary International's sixth president, Arch C. Klumph, as an endowment fund for Rotary "to do good in the world." It has grown from an initial contribution of US$26.50 from the Rotary Club of Kansas City, MO (Club#13) to more than US$162 million contributed in 2008-2009. An additional $398 million has been committed to this endowed fund. Its event-filled history is a story of Rotarians learning the value of service to humanity.
 

                                                                                 

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. 

  • Rotary Motto:

    Service Above Self
    He Profits Most Who Serves Best

    The first motto of Rotary International, "He Profits Most Who Serves Best," was approved at the second Rotary Convention, held in Portland, Oregon, in August 1911. The phrase was first stated by a Chicago Rotarian, Art Sheldon, who made a speech in 1910 that included the remark, "He profits most who serves his fellows best." At about the same time, Ben Collins, president of the Rotary Club of Minneapolis, Minnesota, commented that the proper way to organize a Rotary Club was through the principle his club had adopted - "Service, Not Self." These two slogans, slightly modified, were formally approved to be the official mottoes of Rotary at the 1950 Convention in Detroit - "He Profits Most Who Serves Best" and "Service Above Self." The 1989 Council on Legislation established "Service Above Self" as the principal motto of Rotary, since it best explains the philosophy of unselfish volunteer service.
     


    Rotary Themes:

    Each Year the current Rotary International President selects the Rotary International Theme. The theme is of paramount importance to the implementation of service throughout each Rotary year. The following are the themes from past years with a link to their explanation. 

    Click here to view the Rotary International site.


    Download Center:

    All of the publications and forms that Rotary International makes available for download can be found in the RI Download Center located within their website. This includes Membership materials, RI Foundation materials, RI Programs, Events, Club Support, Training, and Graphics materials. 

    Click here to view the RI download center.