Rotary club members are part of a diverse group of professional leaders working to address various community and international service needs. Through community service and other means, Rotary club members help promote peace and understanding throughout the world. Our members are our most important asset. They are the force that allows Rotary to carry out its many humanitarian efforts and achieve its mission.
Becoming a Rotarian
An association of nearly 32,000 autonomous clubs in 166 countries, Rotary International is one of the world’s largest service organizations. The goal for a club’s membership is an up-to-date and progressive representation of the community’s business, vocational, and professional interests.
An important distinction between Rotary and other organizations is that membership in Rotary is by invitation. Rotary clubs invite individuals to join and become members.
Membership is vital to a Rotary club’s operations and community service activities. A primary goal of the club is to continually expand the club with committed members who have the interest and ability to get involved in service and humanitarian projects. Prospective members must:
- hold — or be retired from — a professional, proprietary, executive, or managerial position;
- have the capacity to meet the club’s weekly attendance or community project participation requirements;
- live or work within the locality of the club or the surrounding area.
The membership process
Often a person being considered for membership is invited by a member/sponsor to attend one or more club meetings to learn more about Rotary. The sponsor may then submit the name of the candidate to the club’s membership committee.
An individual who is interested in membership but doesn’t know any Rotarians can contact the local club directly. Search the Club Locator and Rotary Web sites databases to find contact information for clubs. Some Rotary clubs maintain an office and may be listed in your telephone directory. Other resources include a Rotary club in an adjoining community, the local chamber of commerce, the public library, or other non-profit service organizations.
Classifications: professional representation
Rotary uses a classification system to establish and maintain a vibrant cross-section or representation of the community’s business, vocational, and professional interests among members and to develop a pool of resources and expertise to successfully implement service projects. This system is based on the founders’ paradigm of choosing cross-representation of each business, profession, and institution within a community.
A classification describes either the principal business or the professional service of the organization that the Rotarian works for or the Rotarian’s own activity within the organization. Some examples of classifications include: high schools, universities, eye surgery, banking, pharmaceutical retailing, petroleum-distribution, and insurance agency.
Why Join Rotary
Each Rotary club strives for a membership that is an up-to-date and progressive representation of its community’s business, vocational, and professional interests. Membership in Rotary offers a number of benefits, including:
- Effecting change within the community
- Developing leadership skills
- Gaining an understanding of — and having an impact on — international humanitarian issues.
- Developing relationships with community and business leaders
Rotary membership is by invitation of local clubs. If you would like to be considered for membership by a local Rotary club, complete a Prospective Member Contact Form. RI will forward your information to clubs in your area.
Responsibilities of Membership
Rotary club membership carries with it certain responsibilities.
- Members are expected to attend weekly programs of the club. Opportunities to make up attendance include attending the regular meeting of another Rotary club, attending various other Rotary meetings, or attending a club service project authorized by the club board of directors.
- Members are required to pay annual dues to their clubs, their districts, and to Rotary International.
- Members are expected to participate in local or international activities or projects of the Rotary club.
- Clubs encourage members to aspire to leadership or committee roles within their clubs.
Benefits of Rotary
Rotary membership provides the opportunity to:
- Become connected to your community.
- Work with others in addressing community needs.
- Interact with other professionals in your community;
assist with RI’s international humanitarian service efforts.
- Establish contacts with an international network of professionals.
- Develop leadership skills.
- Involve family in promoting service efforts.