Condensed and adapted from an article 
By Past District Governor, Wilma Basnett Emerson

Rotarians are frequently asked “What exactly is Rotary?” and “What do you do?”

Here is some information we as Rotarians can share when we are asked these questions.

Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers
who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities,
and in ourselves.

We provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and
peace through our fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders. Our motto is Service Above Self. We try to live by the Four Way Test of the things we think, say or do.
First, is it the truth?
Second, is it fair to all concerned?
Third, will l it build good will and better friendships?
Fourth, will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Rotary members believe that we have a shared responsibility to take action on our world’s most persistent
issues. Our 35,000+ clubs work together to:

 Promote peace
 Fight disease—the eradication of polio from the face of the earth is one of our long standing goals—we’re getting close!
 Provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene
 Save mothers and children
 Support education
 Grow local economies


What Rotarians get out of Rotary depends largely on what they put into it. Many membership requirements are designed to help club members more fully participate in and enjoy their Rotary experience.

Attendance:   Attending weekly club meetings allows members to enjoy fellowship, enrich their professional and personal knowledge, and meet other business leaders in their community. If members miss a meeting of their own club, they’re encouraged to expand their Rotary horizons by attending a meeting of any other Rotary club in the world.

Service:   By participating in local and international service projects, club members can volunteer their time and talents where they’re most needed.

The 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 club’s effective functioning. 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.
New Generations Service recognizes the positive change implemented by youth and young adults through leadership development activities, service projects, and exchange programs.

Finding and keeping members: To keep clubs strong, every Rotarian must share the responsibility of bringing new people into Rotary. Even new members can bring guests to club meetings or invite them to participate in a service project. Keeping members involved in Rotary is another responsibility. Fostering strong fellowship and encouraging early participation in service projects are two of the best ways to sustain a club’s membership.

Dues Club members are required to pay annual dues to their clubs, districts, and Rotary International, as well as the subscription fee to The Rotarian magazine.