Rotary's Guiding Principles

 

The Object of Rotary

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.

Avenues of Service

For years, Rotary’s commitment to Service Above Self has been channeled through the Avenues of Service, which form the foundation of club activity. 

  • 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. Observed each October, Vocational Service Month  spotlights Rotary club projects related to this avenue, offering opportunity for clubs and districts to use their professional skills in service projects.
  • 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. Rotarians can support International Service by sponsoring a project in another country, seeking international project partners to support projects in their own communities, or by personally volunteering at an international project site. Visit the ProjectLINK database to post a project in need of assistance, find projects to support, or learn about successfully completed projects to replicate.
  • New Generations Service recognizes the positive change implemented by youth and young adults through leadership development activities as RYLA , Rotaract  and Interact , service projects, and creating international understanding with Rotary Youth Exchange .

The Four-Way Test

The test, which has been translated into more than 100 languages, asks the following questions:

Of the things we think, say or do

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Mission

The mission of Rotary International is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders. See the RI Strategic Plan .

Diversity and Rotary

Rotary International recognizes the value of diversity within individual clubs. Rotary encourages clubs to assess those in their communities who are eligible for membership, under existing membership guidelines, and to endeavor to include the appropriate range of individuals in their clubs. A club that reflects its community with regard to professional and business classification, gender, age, religion, and ethnicity is a club with the key to its future.