We unite leaders from all continents, cultures, and occupations to exchange ideas and take action in communities around the world.
Explore our diverse history, learn about our structure and leadership, and explore our priorities and financials to discover how we connect lives and drive positive change.

Rotary International PRIORITIES

The collective leadership and expertise of our 1.2 million members helps us tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges, locally and globally. We are united by common values and vision for the future as we sharpen our focus with targeted specific causes that will reach communities most in need.


For more than 100 years, our guiding principles have been the foundation upon which our values and tradition stand.

The Four-Way Test, Object of Rotary, and the Avenues of Service express our commitment to service, fellowship, diversity, integrity, and leadership.


Rotary direct our efforts in six areas to enhance our local and global impact. Our most successful and sustainable projects and activities tend to fall within the following areas:
  • Promoting peace
  • Fighting disease
  • Providing clean water
  • Saving mothers and children
  • Supporting education
  • Growing local economies

rotary international - structure

Rotary International is the global association of Rotary Clubs. Our 1.2 million members are the heart of our service efforts and share a dedication to the ideal of Service Above Self.  Learn more


The Rotary Foundation is a nonprofit corporation that promotes world understanding through humanitarian service as well as educational and cultural exchanges. The Foundation ensures we can continue our efforts for generations to come.


Rotary forges partnerships with like-minded groups – from community nonprofits to the United Nations – that make us stronger and more successful at what we do.

Our Partners

Rotary collaborates with international, governmental, and university groups to tackle global humanitarian issues.
Polio: Rotary is a spearheading partner in the
Peace and conflict resolution: The Rotary Peace Centers program develops leaders who are catalysts for peace and conflict resolution locally and globally. Rotary Peace Fellows receive a master’s degree or complete a certificate program at one of our partner universities:
Water and sanitation: Rotary and the U.S. Agency for International Development work together to support water and sanitation projects through the RI/USAID International H2O Collaboration.



Rotary’s relationship with the following partners opens the door for Rotarians to work with them directly:



Rotary appoints representatives each year to UN bodies and NGOs worldwide. Rotary’s representatives meet regularly with officers and staff from international agencies to:
  • Discuss parallel concerns and potential areas for cooperation
  • Inform organizations about Rotary’s programs
  • Gather information about the developments and programs of other groups
Rotary appoints representatives to:


Paul P. Harris, an attorney, wanted to create a professional group with the same friendly spirit he felt in the small towns of his youth. On 23 February 1905, Harris, Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, and Hiram Shorey gathered at Loehr’s office in Room 711 of the Unity Building in downtown Chicago. This was the first Rotary club meeting. They decided to call the new club “Rotary” after the practice of rotating meeting locations.
Rotary has been dedicated to the idea of service for more than 100 years. Find out more about:



Rotary is an organization you can trust and support with confidence. We’ve dedicated approximately 90 percent of The Rotary Foundation’s total spending to programs over the past 10 years, and minimized our administrative expenses. Our annual report and financial reports offer opportunities for us to be open about our spending, and to show you what we can achieve together.



What others say about us

The Rotary Foundation earned a top rating of four stars from Charity Navigator. This top distinction is the seventh in a row received by the Foundation, placing it in the top 3 percent of U.S.-based charities.
"This 'exceptional' designation differentiates The Rotary Foundation from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust."
--Charity Navigator President and CEO Ken Berger