A Rotary club is a group of local businessmen and professionals who form part of Rotary International, a community service organization founded in Chicago in 1905. Members of a Rotary club are called Rotarians. The purpose of a local Rotary club is to connect people who then work together to solve community problems, provide humanitarian aid, and promote goodwill and peace. Rotary clubs exist all around the world, and Rotary International has over 1.2 million members. Their motto is “Service Above Self.”
Rotarians believe that “one profits most who serves best,” and they are committed to creating inroads with people so that opportunities to serve will arise from those connections. The Rotarian philosophy is that mutual service is the best way to create thriving businesses and societies. A Rotary club is also committed to ethical practices in business and holds high ideals for personal behavior. Rotary clubs ask four questions—the Four-way Test—to be applied to thoughts, speech, or actions: “Is it the truth?” “Is it fair to all concerned?” “Will it build goodwill and better friendships?” “Will it be beneficial to all concerned?” If the answer is yes to all four questions, the action, speech, or thought is considered ethical.
Rotary International is involved with several global projects, notably a drive to eradicate polio worldwide. Locally, a Rotary club may spearhead many more projects, including donating school supplies to the local public school, hosting foreign exchange students, or renovating a city park. Members of Rotary clubs are expected to attend club meetings every week, pay annual dues, and participate in activities and projects.