Rotary Basics

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Rotary is a worldwide network of inspired individuals who translate their passions into relevant social causes to change lives in communities.

Made up of over 34,000 Rotary clubs around the world, Rotary International forms a global network of business, professional, and community leaders who volunteer their time and talents to serve communities locally and around the world – and form strong, lasting friendships in the process.

Our motto, Service Above Self, exemplifies the humanitarian spirit of the 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide . Service efforts are directed toward our 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

 RI’s programs are designed to help Rotarians meet needs both in their own communities and internationally.

Interact
Rotary clubs organize and sponsor this service organization for youth ages 12-18. There are more than 12,300 Interact clubs in 133 countries and geographical areas.

Rotaract
Rotary clubs organize and sponsor this leadership, professional development, and service organization for young adults ages 18-30. There are more than 8,000 Rotaract clubs in 167 countries and geographical areas.

Rotary Community Corps (RCC)
Rotary clubs organize and sponsor these groups of non-Rotarians who work to improve their communities. There are more than 6,800 RCCs in 78 countries and geographical areas.

Rotary Fellowships and Rotarian Action Groups
Rotary Fellowships (groups geared to vocational and recreational interests) and Rotarian Action Groups (groups focused on humanitarian service activities) are open to all Rotarians, spouses of Rotarians, and Rotaractors. There are about 70 groups. 

Rotary Friendship Exchange
Rotarian teams or individuals, often accompanied by their families, make reciprocal visits to other countries, staying in each other's homes and learning about different cultures firsthand. 

Rotary Youth Exchange
Clubs and districts send and host students ages 15-19 who travel abroad for cultural exchanges ranging from one week to a year. More than 8,000 exchanges take place each year.

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) 
Clubs and districts sponsor seminars to encourage and recognize leadership abilities of youth and young adults ages 14-30. 

Rotary clubs aim to serve their community and those in need throughout the world. Through club service projects, members learn more about local and international issues, and can volunteer their time and talents where they are most needed.

Club meetings give members the opportunity to build friendships, enrich their professional and personal knowledge, and meet other business leaders in their community. Club meeting times vary to accommodate members' family and professional commitments. Some clubs meet at lunchtime, while others meet in the early morning, after work, or in the evening.

Members are welcome to attend meetings at any Rotary club -- a practice that guarantees Rotarians a warm welcome in communities around the world. You can meet online through a Rotary e-club. Find meeting places and times through the online Club Locator tool or the free mobile Rotary Club Locator app.

 

Rotary's future

With more than 100 years of experience in providing service to communities worldwide, Rotary stands ready to respond to the needs of an ever-changing world.