Resources for New Members
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Rotary International, the world’s first service organization, is made up of over 33,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Its members form a global network of business, professional and community leaders who volunteer their time and talents to serve their communities and the world.
Rotary's motto, Service Above Self, exemplifies the humanitarian spirit of the organization's more than 1.2 million members. Strong fellowship among Rotarians and meaningful community and international service projects characterize Rotary worldwide.
Rotary enjoys a rich and sometimes complex tradition and organizational structure, with many programs that can be confusing to new and even not-so-new members. This website offers a basic Rotary education — the fundamental knowledge that will make every member better informed about Rotary and proud to be a Rotarian.
The Four-Way Test
Followed by Rotarians worldwide in their business and professional lives, The Four-Way Test was created by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor in 1932. It has since been translated into more than 100 languages and is used by organizations and individuals throughout the world.
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
Object of Rotary
First formulated in 1910 and adapted through the years as Rotary’s mission expanded, the Object of Rotary provides a succinct definition of the organization’s purpose as well as the club member’s responsibilities.
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.
By assigning each member a classification based on his or her business or profession, this system ensures that the club’s membership reflects the business and professional composition of its community. The number of members holding a particular classification is limited according to the size of the club. The goal is professional diversity, which enlivens the club’s social atmosphere and provides a rich resource of occupational expertise to carry out service projects and provide club leadership.
Avenues of Service
Based on the Object of Rotary, the 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.
- New Generations Service recognizes the positive change implemented by youth and young adults through leadership development activities, service projects, and exchange programs.