a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change-across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves
Rotary started with the vision of one man – Paul Harris. The Chicago attorney formed the Rotary Club of Chicago on 23 February 1905, so professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships.
Over time, Rotary’s reach and vision gradually extended to humanitarian service. Members have a long track record of addressing challenges in their communities and around the world.
“Whatever Rotary may mean to us, to the world it will be known by the results it achieves. ” – Paul Harris, Rotary Founder
Rotary is made up of three parts: Our Clubs, Rotary International, and The Rotary Foundation. Together, we work to make lasting change in our communities and around the world.
We provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through our fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.
Together we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change across the globe in our communities and in ourselves.
OUR CORE VALUES
Our values are an increasingly important component in strategic planning because they drive the intent and direction of the organization’s leadership.
These core values are:
1. Fellowship and Global Understanding – we build lifelong relationships.
2. Ethics and Integrity – we honor our commitments.
3. Diversity – we connect diverse perspectives.
4. Vocational Expertise, Service, and Leadership – we apply our leadership and expertise to solve social issues.
WHAT WE DO
Rotary members believe that we have a shared responsibility to take action on our world’s most persistent issues. Our 35,000+ clubs work together to:
1. Promote peace;
2. Fight disease;
3. Provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene;
4. Save mothers and children;
5. Support education; and
6. Grow local economies.
These principles have been developed over the years to provide Rotarians with a strong, common purpose and direction. They serve as a foundation for our relationships with each other and the action we take in the world:
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:
1. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
2. 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;
3. The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life; and
4. 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
The Four-Way Test is a nonpartisan and nonsectarian ethical guide for Rotarians to use for their personal and professional relationships. The test has been translated into more than 100 languages, and Rotarians recite it at club meetings:
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?
AVENUES OF SERVICE
We channel our commitment to service at home and abroad through five Avenues of Service, which are the foundation of club activity:
1. Club Service focuses on making clubs strong. A thriving club is anchored by strong relationships and an active membership development plan;
2. Vocational Service calls on every Rotarian to work with integrity and contribute their expertise to the problems and needs of society;
3. Community Service encourages every Rotarian to find ways to improve the quality of life for people in their communities and to serve the public interest;
4. International Service exemplifies our global reach in promoting peace and understanding. We support this service avenue by sponsoring or volunteering on international projects, seeking partners abroad, and more; and
5. Youth Service recognizes the importance of empowering youth and young professionals through leadership development programs such as Rotaract, Interact, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, and Rotary Youth Exchange.
CODE OF CONDUCT
As a Rotarian, I will:
1. Act with integrity and high ethical standards in my personal and professional life;
2. Deal fairly with others and treat them and their occupations with respect;
3. Use my professional skills through Rotary to mentor young people, help those with special needs, and improve people’s quality of life in my community and in the world; and
4. Avoid behavior that reflects adversely on Rotary or other Rotarians.
Solving real problems takes real commitment and vision. For more than 110 years, Rotary’s people of action have used their passion, energy, and intelligence to take action on sustainable projects. From literacy and peace to water and health, we are always working to better our world, and we stay committed to the end.
OUR ONGOING COMMITTMENT
That commitment endures today through an organization that remains truly international. Only 16 years after being founded, Rotary had clubs on six continents. Our members now span the globe, working to solve some of our world’s most challenging problems.
We’re not afraid to dream big and set bold goals. We began our fight against polio in 1979 with a project to immunize 6 million children in the Philippines. Today, polio remains endemic in only three countries — down from 125 in 1988.
he Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world.
Since it was founded more than 100 years ago, the Foundation has spent more than $4 billion on life-changing, sustainable projects.
The Rotary Foundation is organized as a public charity operated exclusively for charitable purposes and governed by a Board of Trustees. The operations of Rotary International, a member organization, are overseen by its Board of Directors.
The headquarters of Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation are in Evanston, Illinois, USA. We have associate foundations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
Your generous contributions to The Rotary Foundation are essential to securing and growing Rotary programs throughout the world.
With your help, we can make lives better in your community and around the world.
STRATEGIC PRIORITIES AND OBJECTIVES
— Increase Our Impact
- Eradicate polio and leverage the legacy
- Focus our programs and offerings
- Improve our ability to achieve and measure impact
— Expand Our Reach
- Grow and diversify our membership and participation.
- Create new channels into Rotary.
- Increase Rotary’s openness and appeal.
- Build awareness of our impact and brand.
— Enhance Participant Engagement
- Support clubs to better engage their members
- Develop a participant-centered approach to deliver value
- Offer new opportunities for personal and professional connection
- Provide leadership development and skills training
— Increase Our Ability To Adapt
- Build a culture of research, innovation, and willingness to take risks.
- Streamline governance, structure, and processes.
- Review governance to foster more diverse perspectives in decision-making.