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Rotary Basics

Rotary Basics

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Published by David MacGregor
Rotary International
Rotary International

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Published by: David MacGregor on Jul 26, 2010
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01/06/2011

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www.rar.rg/rarbasics
RotARy BASICS
 
R
otary International, theworld’s first service club orga-nization, is made up of 33,000clubs in more than 200 countriesand geographical areas. Its membersform a global network of business,professional, and community leaderswho volunteer their time and talentsto serve their communities andthe world.Rotary’s motto, Service Above Self,exemplifies the humanitarian spiritof the organization’s more than 1.2million members.Strong fellowship among Rotar-ians and meaningful community andinternational service projects charac-terize Rotary worldwide.Rotary enjoys a rich and some-times complex tradition and or-ganizational structure, with many programs that can be confusing tonew and even not-so-new members.The following pages offer a basicRotary education — the fundamen-tal knowledge that will make every member better informed aboutRotary and proud to be a Rotarian.
T Orgiztioof Rotr
Rotary is essentially a grassrootsorganization, with most of its serviceefforts being carried out at the clublevel. The district and internationalstructure is designed to support theclubs and help them provide moreservice in their local communitiesand abroad.
Clubs
Rotarians are members of Rotary clubs, which belong to the globalassociation Rotary International (RI).Each club elects its own officers andenjoys considerable autonomy withinthe framework of Rotary’s constitu-tion and bylaws.
Districts
Clubs are grouped into 530 RI dis-tricts, each led by a district governor,who is an officer of RI. The districtadministration, including assistantgovernors and various committees,guides and supports the clubs.
RI Board
The 19-member RI Board of Direc-tors, which includes the RI presidentand president-elect, meets quarterly to establish policies. Traditionally,the RI president, who is elected an-nually, develops a theme and serviceemphases for the year.
The Secretariat
Rotary International is headquar-tered in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois, USA, with seveninternational offices in Argentina,Australia, Brazil, India, Japan, Korea,and Switzerland. The office for RIin Great Britain and Ireland (RIBI),located in England, serves clubs anddistricts in that region. The Secre-tariat’s chief operating officer is theRI general secretary, who heads a740-member staff working to serveRotarians worldwide.
Bfit dRpoibiliti of Clb Mmbrip
The club is the cornerstone of Rotary,where the most meaningful work iscarried out. All effective Rotary clubsare responsible for four key elements:sustaining or increasing their mem-bership base, participating in serviceprojects that benefit their own com-munity and those in other countries,supporting The Rotary Foundationof RI financially and through pro-gram participation, and developingleaders capable of serving in Rotary beyond the club level.What Rotarians get out of Rotary depends largely on what they putinto it. Many membership require-ments are designed to help membersbecome and remain active partici-pants in their clubs, and enjoy theirRotary experience.
Service
All Rotary clubs share a key mission:to serve their community and thosein need throughout the world. By participating in club service projects,members learn about their club’s in- volvement in local and internationalprojects and can volunteer their
Thanks to Rotary, myefforts to make theworld a better placeare multiplied. I’m nolonger alone.”
— Fernando AguirrePalacios, Ecuador
 
time and talents where they aremost needed.
Membership recruitmentand retention
To keep clubs strong, every Rotar-ian must share the responsibility of bringing new people into Rotary.Even new members can bring gueststo meetings or invite them to partici-pate in a service project. The value of Rotary speaks for itself, and the bestway to engage the interest of potentialmembers is by letting them experi-ence fellowship and service firsthand.Keeping members interested inRotary is another responsibility.Good club fellowship, early involve-ment in service projects, and involve-ment in club operations are someof the best ways to sustain the club’smembership.The ideal composition of a Rotary club reflects the community’s demo-graphics, including professions, gen-der, age, and ethnicity. Such diversity enriches every aspect of the club’sfellowship and service.
Attendance
Attending club meetings allowsmembers to enjoy their club’s fellow-ship, enrich their professional andpersonal knowledge, and meet otherbusiness leaders in their community.Club meeting times vary to accom-modate members’ family and profes-sional commitments. Some clubsmeet at lunchtime, while others meetin the early morning, after work, orin the evening.Rotary policy requires membersto attend at least 50 percent of clubmeetings in each half of the year. If members miss their own club’s meet-ing, they’re encouraged to expandtheir Rotary horizons by attendingmake-up meetings at any Rotary clubin the world — a practice that guar-antees Rotarians a warm welcomein communities around the globe.Find meeting places and times in the
Official Directory
or through the ClubLocator at
www.rotary.org 
.Rotarians can also make up meet-ings by participating in a club serviceproject or by attending a club boardmeeting, a Rotaract or Interact clubmeeting, or an online meeting at oneof several Rotary e-clubs.
Rotr’ GidigPricipl
Throughout Rotary’s history, severalbasic principles have been developedto guide Rotarians in achieving theideal of service and high ethicalstandards.
Object of Rotary
First formulated in 1910 and adaptedthrough the years as Rotary’s mis-sion expanded, the Object of Rotary provides a succinct definition of theorganization’s purpose as well as theclub member’s responsibilities.The Object of Rotary is to encour-age and foster the ideal of service asa basis of worthy enterprise and, inparticular, to encourage and foster:
 
FIRST
The development of acquaintanceas an opportunity for service;
 
SECOND
High ethical standards in businessand professions; the recognitionof the worthiness of all usefuloccupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as anopportunity to serve society;
THIRD
The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal,business, and community life;
FOURTH
The advancement of internationalunderstanding, goodwill, and peace
The FOuR-Way TesT
Followed by Rotariansworldwide in their businessand professional lives, TheFour-Way Test was createdby Rotarian Herbert J. Taylorin 1932. It has since beentranslated into more than 100languages and is used byorganizations and individualsthroughout the world.
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 allconcerned?

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