History: For 116 years, Rotary members have been addressing challenges around the world. It started with the vision of one man — Paul Harris. The Chicago (United States) attorney formed the Rotary Club of Chicago on Feb. 23, 1905, so professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas, form meaningful, lifelong friendships, and give back to their communities. Rotary’s name came from the group’s early practice of rotating meetings among the offices of its members.
ROTARY IS A GLOBAL NETWORK OF 1.4 MILLION NEIGHBOURS, FRIENDS, LEADERS, AND PROBLEM-SOLVERS WHO SEE A WORLD WHERE PEOPLE UNITE AND TAKE ACTION TO CREATE LASTING CHANGE – ACROSS THE GLOBE, IN OUR COMMUNITIES, AND OURSELVES.
Rotary unites people from all continents and cultures who take action to deliver real, long-term solutions to our world’s most persistent issues. In communities across the globe, our 1.4 million members come together to strengthen their connections to friends and neighbours and their commitment to improving lives.
While our 46,000 clubs all share a commitment to community service, the experience, focus and dynamics of each club is unique. Becoming a Rotary member connects you with a diverse group of professionals who share your drive to give back.
DESCRIBING AND SHOWING OURSELVES AS PEOPLE OF ACTION CREATES A PERSONAL CONNECTION TO THE ORGANIZATION AND EMPHASIZES THE IMPACT ROTARY MAKES IN OUR COMMUNITIES.
Solving real problems takes real commitment and vision. Each year, Rotary members invest hundreds of millions of dollars and countless volunteer hours in sustainable, community-based solutions to promote health, peace, and prosperity in communities across the globe. Rotary combines global reach, local resources, and highly skilled volunteers with a funding structure that distributes US$200 million annually to provide clean water and sanitation, support education, prevent and treat disease, save mothers and children, grow local economies, promote peace, and protect the environment.
For more than 30 years, Rotary has been the driving force in the effort to end polio worldwide. Alongside our partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, we have achieved a 99.9 percent reduction in polio cases, with less than 150 cases of wild polio reported in 2020 compared with 350,000 a year in the late 1980s. Our members have contributed $2.4 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect more than 3 billion children in 122 countries from this paralyzing disease. Today, two countries continue to report cases of wild poliovirus, Afghanistan and Pakistan.