What Is Rotary?
Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. In more than 200 countries, approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 35,000 Rotary clubs.
Rotary club membership represents a cross-section of the community's business and professional (and retired) men and women. The world's Rotary clubs meet weekly and are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds.
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 illiteracy, safe drinking water, human trafficking, disease, and violence. They also support programs for youth, educational opportunities, international exchanges for students, teachers, and other professionals, and vocational and career development. The Rotary motto is "Service Above Self".
Although Rotary clubs develop autonomous service programs, all Rotarians worldwide are united in a campaign for the global eradication of polio. In the 1980s, Rotarians raised US$240 million to immunize the children of the world by 2005. In 2017, Rotary's centenary year and the target date for the certification of a polio-free world, the PolioPlus program will have contributed US$500 million to this cause. In addition, Rotary has provided an army of volunteers to promote and assist at national immunization days in polio-endemic countries around the world.