About Rotary

Rotary is an organisation 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 members meet regularly to plan service projects, discuss community and international issues and enjoy fellowship. Clubs are non-political and open to every race, culture and creed.

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.

PolioPlus is Rotary's flagship program. By the time polio is eradicated, Rotary club members will have contributed US$850 million and countless volunteer hours to immunize more than two billion children in 122 countries. Rotary is a spearheading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, along with the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, and the U.S Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International  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



Rotary is organized at club, district, and international levels to carry out its program of service. Clubs are grouped into 530 Rotary districts, each led by a district governor who is an officer of Rotary International. A 19-member board of directors, which includes the international president and president-elect, administers Rotary International.

The Object of Rotary


The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;


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;


The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian's personal, business, and community life;


The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.

The 4-Way Test

 One of the world's most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics is The 4-Way Test, which was created in 1932 by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor (who later served as RI president) when he was asked to take charge of a company that was facing bankruptcy. This 24-word code of ethics for employees to follow in their business and professional lives became the guide for sales, production, advertising, and all relations with dealers and customers, and the survival of the company is credited to this simple philosophy. Adopted by Rotary in 1943, The 4-Way Test has been translated into more than a hundred languages and published in thousands of ways. It asks the following four 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?"


Rotary International Mission Statement

The mission of Rotary International is to support its member clubs in fulfilling the Object of Rotary by:

  • Fostering unity among member clubs;
  • Strengthening and expanding Rotary around the world;
  • Communicating worldwide the work of Rotary; and
  • Providing a system of international administration.


Rotary Milestones


First Rotary club organized in Chicago, Illinois, USA


Second club formed in San Francisco, California, USA


First Rotary convention held in Chicago


First Club outside US formed in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


Endowment fund, forerunner of The Rotary Foundation established


4-Way Test formulated by Chicago Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor


Forty-nine Rotarians help draft United Nations Charter in San Francisco


Rotary founder Paul Harris dies: first 18 Rotary Foundation scholarships granted


First Interact Club formed in Melbourne, Florida, USA


Rotary Foundation launches Matching Grants and Group Study Exchange programs


Rotary International's (RI) largest convention, with 39.834 registrants, held in Tokyo


Rotary announces Polio Plus program to immunize all the children of the world against polio


Council on Legislation opens Rotary to women: Rotary clubs chartered in Budapest, Hungary and Warsaw, Poland for first time in almost 50 years


Rotary Club of Moscow chartered first club in Soviet Union

1990- 1991

Preserve Planet Earth program inspires some 2.000 Rotary-sponsored environmental projects


Western Hemisphere declared polio-free


Rotary Centers for International Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution established


Western Pacific declared polio-free


30.000th Rotary club chartered