What is Rotary?

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What is Rotary?


What is Rotary? Thousands have made an answer, each in his own way. It is easier to note what Rotary does than what it is. If Rotary has encouraged us to take a more kindly outlook on life and men; if Rotary has taught us greater tolerance and the desire to see the best in others; if Rotary has brought us pleasant and helpful contacts with others who also are trying to capture and radiate the joy and beauty of life, then Rotary has brought us all that we can expect.

Paul Harris, Chicago, October

Rotary, the oldest service club in the world, is a Global Network of Community Volunteers.

Founded in February 1905, it is a worldwide organization of business, professional, and community leaders who provide a broad range of humanitarian and educational programs and activities, and promote high ethical standards, to advance the organization's ultimate goal of understanding, goodwill, and peace throughout the world. 

Fundamentally, Rotary is a philosophy of life that undertakes to reconcile the ever present conflict between the desire to profit for one's self and the duty and consequent impulse to serve others.   This philosophy is the philosophy of service -Service Above Self - and is based on the practical ethical principle that One Profits Most Who Serves Best.

Currently, there are approximately 1.2 million Rotarians who are members of more than 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.

Click here to view a short video about Rotary

What is the purpose of Rotary?
Rotary clubs exist to improve communities through a range of humanitarian, intercultural and educational activities. Clubs advance international understanding by partnering with clubs in other countries.   Rotary also encourages high ethical standards in all vocations.

What do Rotary clubs do?
Rotary clubs address critical issues at home and abroad by providing health care and medical supplies, clean water, food, job training, youth development, and education to millions of people in need.   Examples of Rotary's focus areas include:
  • Polio Eradication


  • World Peace and Understanding


  • International Education


  • Humanitarian Projects


  • Literacy


  • Water Management