Rotary is a global organization of volunteer leaders that works to tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems, such as promoting peace, fighting disease, and improving access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene. The organization was established in 1905 in Chicago and has since grown to a network of over 1.4 million members in more than 200 countries.
Rotary clubs consist of local business leaders, professionals, and community members who come together to exchange ideas, build relationships, and take action to make a positive impact. Members of Rotary clubs donate their time, skills, and resources to support initiatives aimed at promoting education, providing clean water and sanitation, promoting peace, and eradicating disease, especially polio.
Rotary operates as a non-political, non-religious organization, and its members are committed to promoting service, fellowship, and high ethical standards. By working together, members of Rotary clubs create a powerful network dedicated to making a positive impact on the world and leaving a lasting legacy of service and goodwill.
An original goal of Rotary was to allow club members to meet periodically and enlarge their circle of business and professional acquaintances. As members of the oldest service club in the world, Rotarians represent a cross-section of their community’s business owners, executives, managers, political leaders, and professionals – people who make decisions and influence policy.
Club members have many opportunities for humanitarian service, both locally and internationally. Service programs address concerns such as health care, hunger, poverty, illiteracy, and the environment. Rotarians regularly experience the fulfillment that comes from giving back to the community.
Rotary was founded on fellowship, a cornerstone that continues to attract members today. Rotarians enjoy camaraderie with like-minded professionals, and club projects provide opportunities to develop enduring friendships. Club members who travel have friendly contacts in almost every city in the world.
Rotary sponsors some of the world’s largest exchange and educational programs. Rotary clubs provide innovative training opportunities and mentoring for young leaders, and they involve family members in a wide range of social and service activities.
Encouraging high ethical standards and respect for all worthy vocations has been a hallmark of Rotary from its earliest days.
In their business and professional lives, Rotarians abide by The Four-Way Test:
Of the things we think, say or do
- Is it the TRUTH?
- Is it FAIR to all concerned?
- Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
- Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
Rotary is an organization of successful professionals. Team-building, fundraising, public speaking, planning, organization, and communication are just some of the leadership skills that club members can exercise and enhance. Being a Rotary leader provides further experience in motivating, inspiring, and guiding others.