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An association of approximately 32,000 autonomous clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas, Rotary International is one of the world's largest service organizations. The goal for a club's membership is an up-to-date and progressive representation of the community's business, vocational, and professional interests.

An important distinction between Rotary and other organizations is that membership in Rotary is by invitation. Rotary clubs invite individuals to join and become members.

Membership is vital to a Rotary club's operations and community service activities. A primary goal of the club is to continually expand the club with committed members who have the interest and ability to get involved in service and humanitarian projects.

Prospective members must:

  • hold — or be retired from — a professional, proprietary, executive, or managerial position;
  • have the capacity to meet the club's weekly attendance or community project participation requirements;
  • live or work within the locality of the club or the surrounding area.


The membership process

Often a person being considered for membership is invited by a member/sponsor to attend one or more club meetings to learn more about Rotary. The sponsor may then submit the name of the candidate to the club's membership committee.

An individual who is interested in membership but doesn't know any Rotarians can contact the local club directly. Search the Club Locator and Rotary Web sites databases to find contact information for clubs. Some Rotary clubs maintain an office and may be listed in your telephone directory. Other resources include a Rotary club in an adjoining community, the local chamber of commerce, the public library, or other non-profit service organizations.

Classifications: professional representation

Rotary uses a classification system to establish and maintain a vibrant cross-section or representation of the community's business, vocational, and professional interests among members and to develop a pool of resources and expertise to successfully implement service projects. This system is based on the founders' paradigm of choosing cross-representation of each business, profession, and institution within a community.

A classification describes either the principal business or the professional service of the organization that the Rotarian works for or the Rotarian's own activity within the organization. Some examples of classifications include: high schools, universities, eye surgery, banking, pharmaceutical retailing, petroleum-distribution, and insurance agency.