What would it take to change the world? Rotary International is the world's first service club organization, with more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self.
Each club is basically similar in structure, activities, and purpose, and yet each is clearly distinctive in its efforts to make the Rotary program effective within its particular territory. All the clubs that form this impressive alliance are grouped into districts, each of which is directly supervised by a district governor.
With the exception of larger cities, which often have more than one club, Rotary is organized on the basis of one Rotary club in each community. This would seem to be a restrictive provision, but its purpose is to produce an inclusive, not exclusive, membership, making possible recognition of all useful local occupations, and enabling the club to be a true cross-section of the business and professional life of the community. The premise is that men and women of authority and influence are in a position to serve and accomplish good works. This “classification principle,” as it is known in Rotary, fosters a fellowship and service based on diversity of interest. It seeks to prevent the predominance in the club of any one group, and furnishes an atmosphere free from the restraints that might prevail in the presence of competitors.