What is Rotary

What is

Founded in 1905 by Paul Harris and three businessmen in Chicago, Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million problem-solving men and women in approximately 35,000 Rotary Clubs within 529 Rotary Districts located in over 200 countries worldwide. Rotarians see a world where people unite in service to improve the lives of people in their communities and across the globe. We identify needs, figure out how to best address them, and take action. For more than 115 years Rotarians have used their passion, energy, and resources to fight disease, provide clean water and sanitation, foster peace and good will, promote literacy, grow local economies and provide countless acts of assistance and kindness so the world can be a better place. 

The Rotary Foundation, overseen by the Board of Directors of Rotary International, is organized as a public charity operated exclusively for charitable purposes. Its mission is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty. Since its founding in 1917, the Foundation has spent more than $4 billion on life-changing, sustainable projects.

Donors may designate their gifts to a specific fund – a global grant, an area of focus, a peace program, polio eradication–, or leave the gift unrestricted, so that the Foundation has the flexibility to determine how the money is used. 

The Rotary Foundation also welcomes contributions of stock, bequests, gift annuities, trusts, insurance, and gifts from family foundations as well as from individuals who have observed Rotarians at work in our country and other nations. 
Charity Navigator continues to award The Rotary Foundation a 4-Star Charity rating, its highest level for the last ten years, and a perfect “100” score over the last few years. Additional information may be found on Rotary’s website: www.Rotary.org. 

The Four-Way Test

Rotarians have always promoted high ethical standards in business and professional relationships. When Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor took charge of a company facing bankruptcy during the Great Depression, he drew up a brief code of ethics for the company’s employees. This code was adopted by Rotary International in 1943, has been translated into more than 100 languages, and has become known as Rotary’s 4-Way Test, a Rotary hallmark. (Herbert J. Taylor became Rotary International President in 1954-55.)