Rotary International 


Years old

Clubs Worldwide

Million Members Globally

What is Rotary?

Rotary is a worldwide organisation of business and professional leaders who provide provides humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.



Joins leaders from all continents, cultures, and occupations.

Exchanges ideas, bringing our expertise and diverse perspectives to help solve some of the world’s toughest problems.

Takes action to bring lasting change to communities around the world.

Rotary International supports Rotary clubs worldwide by co-ordinating global programs, campaigns, and initiatives.


The main objective of Rotary is service in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world. Rotarians develop community service  projects that address many of today’s most critical issues, such as children at risk, poverty and hunger, the environment, illiteracy, and  violence. They also support programs for youth, educational opportunities, vocational and career development.

Rotary also leads international exchanges for students, teachers, and other professionals.

Rotary Club of Bishopdale Charitable Trust

Rotary in New Zealand

The Beginnings

Our organization started with the vision of one man, Paul P. Harris. The Chicago attorney formed one of the world’s first service organizations, the Rotary Club of Chicago, on 23 February 1905 as a place where professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships.

Rotary’s name came from the group’s early practice of rotating meetings among the professional offices of each member.


Paul P Harris

Founder, Rotary International

From the CTV – Series – “This is Rotary” showcasing Rotary in Canterbury

Doing Good in the World

Back in 1917 outgoing Rotary International President Arch Klumph’s idea for an endowment fund dedicated to ‘doing good in the world’ planted the seed of The Rotary Foundation in 1917. Thanks to his vision and staunch advocacy, and the extraordinary generosity of Rotary members worldwide, that fund has become one of the world’s leading humanitarian foundations.


of Foundation funds are spent directly on Rotary Projects

During the past 100 years, the Foundation has spent $3 billion on life-changing, sustainable projects.

Working with Partners makes donations to the Foundation go even further. For every $1 Rotary commits to polio eradication, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (yes, that guy who started Microsoft) has committed $2.

Both Rotary Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation have committed to ending Polio throughout the world. This is no easy task – Polio still remains endemic in three countries – Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.

A Polio Free World

Is the Goal of the The Global Polio Eradication Initiative. This is a public-private partnership led by national governments with five partners – the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Rotary Theme – 2023/24

Create Hope in the World is Rotary International's 2023/24 Theme

Gordon McInally, member of the Rotary Club of South Queensferry, Lothian, Scotland, began his one-year term as president of Rotary International on 1 July 2023.

During his term, McInally will focus on steering the global membership service organization with an emphasis on mental health, recognizing its critical role in community well-being worldwide. McInally aims to create a culture that understands and supports mental health, while working to reduce stigma, increase awareness, and improve access to mental health services. With 1.4 million members in 200 countries and regions, Rotary will continue to actively address mental health as part of its ongoing efforts to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges.

2023/24 Rotary International World President Gordon McInally

Rotary Theme – 2024/25

Rotary International Theme for 2024-25 is the Magic of Rotary

Incoming Rotary International President for the 2024/25 year commencing 1st July is Rotarian Stephanie Urchick.

Stephanie is a member of the Rotary Club of McMurray, Pennsylvania, USA.

Stephanie Urchick announced that the 2024-25 presidential theme is The Magic of Rotary and called on members to recognize and amplify the organization’s power to save lives.

2024-25 Rotary International President Stephanie Urchick

Today’s Rotarians are Described as


Smart — we are insightful and discerning

Compassionate — we tackle community challenges with empathy and understanding

Persevering — we find lasting solutions to systemic problems

Inspiring — we encourage others to take action, conveying hope, enthusiasm, and passion