What is Rotary?

Rotary International is an international service organisation who brings together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards and help build goodwill and peace in the world.

Rotary is open to anyone, regardless of race, colour, creed, religion, gender or political preference. There are 34,282 clubs and over 1.2 million members worldwide. Members of Rotary Clubs are known as Rotarians.

This is Rotary

The History of Rotary

Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland (RIBI), as the name suggests, is the association of Rotary clubs within England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, comprising 53,000 members – men and women of all ages and backgrounds – in 1,850 clubs.

Rotary clubs are usually based within local communities, with their members meeting on a regular basis to enjoy friendship, networking, and to plan projects that will benefit the lives of others. Rotary clubs depend on the skills, expertise and dedication of their members, who work hard to change the lives of people both at home and abroad.

Read the Rotary Magazine HERE.

Rotary also offers expanded service opportunities including:

interactInteract: a service organisation sponsored by local Rotary Clubs for young people between the age of 12 and 18 who want to join together to tackle the issues in their community that they care most about. There are more than 12,300 Interact clubs in 133 countries.  

rotaractRotaract: groups organised by local Rotary clubs to promote leadership, professional development and service to young adults between the age of 18 and 30. There are more than 8,000 Rotaract clubs in 167 countries.

rccRotary Community Corps: groups of non-Rotary members who work to improve their communities. There are more than 7,500 Rotary Community Corps in 80 countries, all organised and sponsored by local Rotary Clubs.

thRotaKids: These clubs provide a fun way for 7 to 12 year olds with energy, enthusiasm and great ideas to make a difference. They are based in local schools and work with Rotary clubs on projects which could be anything from fundraising to sponsored events.

Membership snapshot

Who: Rotary brings together people who want to make a difference in their local communities and worldwide. Rotary members come from a range of professional backgrounds, which means there are Rotarian who are doctors, artists, small business owners, parents and so much more. Rotary connects these unique perspectives and helps leverage its members’ expertise to improve lives everywhere.

Where: From Haiti and Greenland to Nigeria and Singapore, Rotary unites a truly diverse set of leaders from across the world. Currently, the largest number of clubs comes from the United States, India, Japan and Brazil. The fastest growing Rotary regions include Southeast Asia and Africa.

What: Rotarians contribute their time, energy and passion to sustainable, long-term projects in local communities and across the globe. Projects focus on important issues like peace and conflict resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy and economic and community development.

Polio Eradication

Rotary is close to eliminating the second human disease in history after smallpox, with a 99% reduction in polio cases worldwide since 1985, when Rotary launched its PolioPlus program. In 1988, Rotary spearheaded the creation of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with its partners the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Polio eradication remains Rotary’s top priority. To date, Rotary has contributed more than US$1.2 billion and countless volunteer hours to help immunise more than two billion children against polio in 122 countries. Currently, Rotary is working to raise $35 million each year through to 2018 for polio eradication, which will be matched 2 to 1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

An introduction to Rotary – A video that succinctly tells the impact of Rotary on member’s significant others.


Bono’s message to the world about Rotary International

RSS RSS Rotary UK News

  • A sensational sporting summer
    It has been a memorable few months for several of Britain’s talented stars with a Rotary link on the track, in the pool and on the tennis court. What a sensational summer of sport it has been for a proud collection of Rotary-inspired sportsmen and women. A year ago, Rotary clubs in East Anglia rallied […]
  • Rotarians and ShelterBox on the ground following Rohingya crisis
    More than half a million Rohingya people are facing fresh perils living in makeshift camps in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh where the coming cyclone season threatens to wash away their flimsy plastic shelters. Rotarian Liz Odell is currently working in Bangladesh as a response volunteer with the charity ShelterBox. “Conditions are dire, with most people […]
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