Joining Rotary

What's it all about?  

Rotary is short for Rotary International - a worldwide association of local clubs for men and women in business or the professions who 

provide humanitarian service to the community at local, national and international level 

encourage high ethical standards in all vocations 

work for goodwill and peace in the world 

Rotary was founded in 1905 and now has 1.18 million members in more than 28,000 clubs in 155 countries and 35 geographical regions. There are 1,834 clubs in Great Britain and Ireland with over 59,000 members.

Each club operates independently within a common constitution. Membership is drawn from the business and professional community. To ensure the club represents the community there are limitations on membership from each profession or type of business. But Clubs are always pleased to hear from those interested in joining them.  

Clubs meet weekly for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Business often includes a talk on a subject of general interest by an outside speaker. 

Every Rotarian has the right to attend the meeting of any other club and Rotarians may invite non-Rotarian guests to their own club meetings.  

Weekly meetings promote acquaintance and fellowship. Through this fellowship Rotarians find the inspiration to serve the community.  

Service to the community requires Rotarians to devote their time, energy and professional skills to particular projects. Although funds are often raised for charity this is not a Rotary club's first aim. The emphasis is on service by each individual Rotarian.  


Community service is the traditional and well-known face of Rotary. It covers help and advice to the aged, the handicapped, the infirm, young people and all those in need, either directly or through local charitable organisations. Environmental projects are part of community service. 

As jobs are key elements in determining Rotary membership, vocational service draws on the ethical standards, experience and expertise that Rotarians apply in their work.  

Vocational projects support training and job development, provide mock interviews, encourage the development of skills in employment and foster the highest standards in business and the professions.  

International service promotes worldwide goodwill. It includes emergency boxes, eye camps, vocational training schools, text books, tools, water filtration units and many other items for areas of need. Rotarians of different race, creed and custom, when brought together in fellowship, play an important part in breaking down prejudice and developing true international understanding. Many Rotarians volunteer their free time to projects in third world countries to bridge the gap of world understanding.  


More about Rotary 

The Rotary Foundation, Rotary's corporate charity, is dedicated to furthering international understanding, goodwill and peace. The Foundation administers many programmes to aid the needy and deserving. One of these programmes is the 3-H fund which seeks to alleviate problems of the disadvantaged throughout the world under the headings of Health, Hunger and Humanity. The projects supported under this programme are usually beyond the capability of a single club or group of clubs to support.  

The Foundation's most ambitious project so far has been PolioPlus, a campaign to help the World Health Organisation and UNICEF immunise the world's children against polio, measles, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus and tuberculosis. PolioPlus raised over $400 million of which Rotary clubs in Great Britain and Ireland contributed £8 million.The fund also provides grants, educational scholarships and opportunities for young people, but not Rotarians or their close relatives, to visit and study in other countries.   

Rotary Intenational has created for young people two organisations dedicated to service and international understanding. Though closely associated with Rotary, their clubs are independant and self-governing. 

Interact, a combination of the words international and action, is for young people between 14 and 18. Rotaract, a contraction of 'Rotary' and 'action' is for men and women between 18 and 30.These clubs serve the community. Through fellowship they run a range of local, national and international service projects with the energy and enthusiasm of youth.   

Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland (RIBI), with its own governing body and constitution, is a territorial unit of Rotary International, the association of Rotary clubs worldwide. It administers 29 Rotary districts in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The Rotary ideal of fellowship and international understanding is exemplified by the fact that a single Rotary district covers the whole of Ireland. This district, with its single organisation is a working model of the Rotary spirit in action.   

Rotary, the magazine of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, is one of several regional journals published around the world in various languages. It carries articles and news about Rotary, written by Rotarians for Rotarians. A copy is sent to each of the 60,000 Rotarians in Great Britain and Ireland and to many overseas subscribers. It is available from RIBI, Kinwarton Road, Alcester, Warwickshire, B49 6PB. 

Rotary is the oldest magazine serving the association after The Rotarian, the magazine of Rotary International, having been published continually since 1915.  

And that's Rotary in brief. So please contact us now to find out more about the organisation in your area.