About Rotary International

Rotary International is the oldest service organization in the World. Formed in 1905 by a Chigago lawyer, Paul Harris, Rotary International is a leading global non-profit organization.

Rotary’s popularity spread, and within a decade, clubs were chartered from San Francisco to New York to Winnipeg, Canada. By 1921, Rotary clubs had been formed on six continents. The organization adopted the Rotary International name a year later. As Rotary grew, its mission expanded beyond serving club members’ professional and social interests. Rotarians began pooling their resources and contributing their talents to help serve communities in need. The organization’s dedication to this ideal is best expressed in its motto: Service Above Self.

By 1925, Rotary had grown to 200 clubs with more than 20,000 members. The organization’s distinguished reputation attracted presidents, prime ministers, and a host of other luminaries to its ranks — among them author Thomas Mann, diplomat Carlos P. Romulo, humanitarian Albert Schweitzer, and composer Jean Sibelius. Today, 1.2 million Rotarians belong to over 32,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.

Rotary has been at the front-line of the worldwide fight against Polio and is a leader in providing material assistance in major disaster relief projects.

The Club is the cornerstone of Rotary.

Clubs are responsible for four key elements: