The Essence of Rotary

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Each Rotary club is chartered by Rotary International as an autonomous group. In order to retain its charter, each Rotary club must abide by the constitutional documents of Rotary International. Membership in Rotary is by invitation to join a local Rotary club.

RI Mission Statement

The mission of Rotary International is to support its member clubs in fulfilling the Object of Rotary by:

 Fostering unity among member clubs

 Strengthening and expanding Rotary around the world

 Communicating worldwide the work of Rotary

 Providing a system of international administration.

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.

Rotary's Mottos:

"Service Above Self"

"They profit most who serve best"

Elements of an Effective Rotary Club

 Sustain and increase its membership base

 Implement successful projects that address the needs of its community and communities in other countries

 Support The Rotary Foundation through both program participation and financial contributions

 Develop leaders capable of serving Rotary beyond the club level

Four Avenues of Service

Based on the Object of Rotary, the Four Avenues of Service are Rotary's philosophical cornerstone and the foundation on which club activity is based:

 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.

 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.

The Four-Way Test

From the earliest days of the organization, Rotarians were concerned with promoting high ethical standards in their professional lives. One of the world's most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics is The Four-Way Test, which was created in 1932 by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor when he was asked to take charge of a company that was facing bankruptcy. Adopted by Rotary in 1943, The Four-Way Test has been translated into more than a hundred languages and published in thousands of ways. It asks the following four questions: "Of the things we think, say or do:

1. Is it the TRUTH?

2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?


4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?"

Rotary International's Training Theory

The purpose of all RI club and district training meetings is to provide Rotarians with the skills and knowledge necessary to develop and support effective clubs.

This focus on the operational, rather than the philosophical, aspects of a club allows club and district leaders to concentrate on ensuring that all clubs are functioning effectively and actively supporting the Object of Rotary through the four Avenues of Service.