What is Rotary?

   Published: Monday, 11 February 2008

What is Rotary?

Rotary is the world's oldest and most important service organisation with over 1,200,000 members in more than 30,000 clubs spread throughout 160 countries. Rotary provides clean water to those without it, feeds the hungry, battles crippling, debilitating and disfiguring diseases and helps people learn to read and write so they can compete in the modern workplace.

Rotarians are business and professional leaders who aspire to the highest ethical standards in their vocations and who not only help those in need in their own communities but who also seek to advance the cause of peace, understanding and goodwill worldwide through scholarships, youth and adult exchanges and humanitarian projects.

The Object of Rotary

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.

Board Structure

The Board of Directors in the club New Leadership Plan (CNLP) focuses on the following areas:

  • Membership hosting guests, making them feel comfortable and introducing them to members...working on ways to attract new members as well as retain existing members...
  • Administration ensure that members details are up to date, communication is upheld...
  • Foundation this work is with a global body, and requires that the club representative be extraordinarily well qualified and capable to engage with the Foundation.
  • Services this directorship will entail a lot of delegation since there are many committees that will report directly to the Services Director.
  • Public Relations this member will have a talent for communication, style and grace...and the person that fills this position will understand the differences of media (print, tv, radio, outdoor....)  and he/she will understand the importance of using online and off-line channels to tell our story.

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?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

The mission of Rotary International, a worldwide association of Rotary clubs, is to provide service to others, to promote high ethical standards, and to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.

Moving toward the future
In 2001-02, Rotary International began developing a strategic plan to guide the organization as it entered its second century of service. In June 2007, the Board of Directors approved the RI Strategic Plan 2007-10, which identifies seven priorities:

  • Eradicate polio.
  • Advance the internal and external recognition and public image of Rotary. 
  • Increase Rotary’s capacity to provide service to others. 
  • Expand membership globally in both numbers and quality.
  • Emphasize Rotary’s unique vocational service commitment.
  • Optimize the use and development of leadership talents within RI.
  • Fully implement the strategic planning process to ensure continuity and consistency throughout the organization.