What is Rotary?

Rotary club members meet regularly, get to know each other, and build life long friendships

Through these friendships, Rotary club members get things done in their communities.

We're a leadership organization ... we're made up of local business, professionals, and community leaders


Rotary needs you .... but you probably need Rotary. 




Also see our Rotary Videos


Rotary clubs serve communities around the world, each with unique concerns and needs. Rotarians have continually adapted and improved the way they respond to those needs, taking on a broad range of service projects. The most successful and sustainable Rotary service tends to fall within one of the following six areas of focus: 

  • Peace and conflict prevention/resolution 

  • Disease prevention and treatment 

  • Water and sanitation 

  • Maternal and child health 

  • Basic education and literacy 

  • Economic and community development

Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. In more than 160 countries worldwide, approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 30,000 Rotary clubs.


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 and the target date for the certification of a polio-free world, the PolioPlus program will have 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.


Find out more about Rotary by visiting the Rotary International web site.






Information on this page came from:

The About Rotary and the RI Programs pages on the Rotary International web site

The ABC's of Rotary


Cliff Dochterman

1992-1993 Rotary International President 






These short articles about Rotary were first published in the weekly bulletin of the Rotary Club of North Stockton, California, U.S.A. That was well before their author, Cliff Dochterman, became president of Rotary International for the year 1992-93. Originally called "Did Ya Know?" the pieces were prepared to share interesting facts about Rotary International with members of the North Stockton club. Later, in response to requests from other Rotary clubs, the articles were reprinted in collected form. Now, President Cliff has brought the collection up to date in keeping with one of the emphases of his year in office as R.l. president--to help Rotarians learn more about the colorful history of their organization, its customs and traditions, and the current status of its global programs. The articles may be reprinted in Rotary club bulletins or presented as Rotary information at weekly club meetings.

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