Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world. Approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 32,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.
Rotary club membership represents a cross-section of the community’s business and professional men and women. The world’s Rotary clubs meet weekly and are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds.
The main objective of Rotary is service — in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world. Rotarians develop community service projects that address many of today’s most critical issues, such as children at risk, poverty and hunger, the environment, illiteracy, and violence. They also support programs for youth, educational opportunities and international exchanges for students, teachers, and other professionals, and vocational and career development. The Rotary motto is Service Above Self.
Although Rotary clubs develop autonomous service programs, all Rotarians worldwide are united in a campaign for the global eradication of polio. In the 1980s, Rotarians raised US$240 million to immunize the children of the world; by 2005, Rotary’s centenary year the PolioPlus program has contributed US$500 million to this cause. In addition, Rotary has provided an army of volunteers to promote and assist at national immunization days in polio-endemic countries around the world.
The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International is a not-for-profit corporation that promotes world understanding through international humanitarian service programs and educational and cultural exchanges. It is supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and others who share its vision of a better world. Since 1947, the Foundation has awarded more than US$1.1 billion in humanitarian and educational grants, which are initiated and administered by local Rotary clubs and districts.
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.
Rotary International Mission Statement
The mission of Rotary International is to support its member clubs in fulfilling the Object of Rotary by:
1. Fostering unity among member clubs;
2. Strengthening and expanding Rotary around the world;
3. Communicating worldwide the work of Rotary; and
4. Providing a system of international administration.
Five Avenues of Service
Based on the Object of Rotary, the Five Avenues of Service are Rotary’s philosophical cornerstone and the foundation on which club activity is based:
– Club Service focuses on strengthening fellowship and ensuring the effective functioning of the club.
– Vocational Service encourages Rotarians to serve others through their vocations and to practice high ethical standards.
– 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.
– Youth Service recognizes the positive change implemented by youth and young adults through leadership development activities, service projects, and exchange programs.
The Four Way Test
The Rotary 4 Way Test is one of the most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics in the world. It has been translated into more than 100 languages and published in thousands of ways. The message should be known and followed by all Rotarians.
“Of the things we think 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?”