Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace, and around the globe. The 1.2 million Rotarians who make up more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in nearly every country in the world share a dedication to the ideal of Service Above Self.
Rotary clubs are open to people of all cultures and ethnicities and are not affiliated with any political or religious organizations.
Rotary began as an idea more than 100 years ago. Today, Rotary flourishes worldwide with 1.2 million members in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.
Rotary History and Archives is the authority on Rotary’s rich, evolving history. Located in Lincolnwood, Illinois, USA, the History and Archives team continues to update and provide access to its collection of tens of thousands of items from all over the world.
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.
- Club Service focuses on strengthening fellowship and ensuring the effective functioning of the club. Learn about effective club service in Membership and Training .
- Vocational Service encourages Rotarians to serve others through their vocations and to practice high ethical standards. Observed each October, Vocational Service Month spotlights Rotary club projects related to this avenue, offering opportunity for clubs and districts to use their professional skills in service projects.
- An Introduction to Vocational Service
- Model Project Submission Form
- Vocational Service PowerPoint presentation
- Rotary Code of Conduct (formerly called: Declaration of Rotarians in Business and Professions
- Vocational Service Speeches – International Assembly 2003-2011
- Community Service covers the projects and activities the club undertakes to improve life in its community.
- International Service encompasses actions taken to expand Rotary’s humanitarian reach around the globe and to promote world understanding and peace. Rotarians can support International Service by sponsoring a project in another country, seeking international project partners to support projects in their own communities, or by personally volunteering at an international project site. Visit the ProjectLINK database to post a project in need of assistance, find projects to support, or learn about successfully completed projects to replicate.
- New Generations Service recognizes the positive change implemented by youth and young adults through leadership development activities as RYLA , Rotaract and Interact , service projects, and creating international understanding with Rotary Youth Exchange .