Rotaract policy updates
The 2019 Council on Legislation amended the constitutional
documents of Rotary International to include Rotaract clubs as a membership
type. After this landmark decision in April, RI president Mark Maloney
appointed the Elevate Rotaract Task Force, composed of Rotaractors and
Rotarians, to recommend updates to policies to better reflect Rotaract’s
newly elevated status. At every stage of the Task Force’s discussions,
the critical goals were to learn what Rotaractors want from their membership
and to give them every opportunity to shape these important policy decisions
through surveys and focus groups.
Key decisions about Rotaract from the October 2019 Board meeting
In October 2019, the Board of Directors of Rotary International made
several changes to the policies related to Rotaract, which were recommended
by the Elevate Rotaract Task Force. To learn more:
• Review policy changes related to Rotaract in detail, which
take effect 1 July 2020.
• Review the updated Standard Rotaract Club Constitution,
which takes effect 1 July 2020.
• Review the updated Recommended Rotaract Club Bylaws, which
takes effect 1 July 2020.
Below are the notable changes to Rotaract and frequently asked questions
to help clarify the impact of these changes.
Changes to the Code of Policies — effective 1 July 2020:
• Rotaract clubs will be able to establish a new club with or
without a sponsor.
• Rotaract clubs will able to choose other Rotaract clubs as their
• Rotaract clubs will be open to all young adults at least 18
• Rotaract policies will be moved from Chapter V, “Programs,”
to a revised Chapter II, “Clubs.”
• The Standard Rotaract Club Constitution and the Recommended
Rotaract Club Bylaws will be amended to reflect these policy changes.
• Rotary districts are encouraged to include Rotaractors in every
Other key decisions:
• Rotaractors will pay per capita dues in the future, but the
amount of dues and when we’ll begin collecting them have not been
• The RI president, the RI Board of Directors, and The Rotary
Foundation Trustees should consider how Rotaractors might advise them
on Rotaract matters.
• Rotary International has set goals for Rotaract to:
? Increase the number of Rotaractors reported to Rotary by 100 percent
? Increase the number of reported Rotaractors who join Rotary clubs
by 20 percent by 2022
? Increase the number of reported Rotaractors to 1 million by 2029
Frequently asked questions
How were these decisions made?
For several years, the Board, Trustees, committees, Rotarians, and Rotaractors
around the world have been discussing how to elevate Rotaract and recognize
Rotaract clubs as Rotary clubs’ partners in service. Rotaractors
have offered their ideas to the Board through RI’s Rotaract Committee,
at the annual Rotaract Preconvention, and through online surveys and
focus groups — and it was time to take action.
Overwhelmingly, we heard that Rotaract was more than just a program
and Rotaractors wanted more flexibility, more products and services,
and more recognition from Rotary for the amazing work they’re
doing in their clubs, districts, and multidistricts. After the 2019
Council on Legislation voted to officially recognize Rotaract clubs
as a membership type, the President appointed the Elevate Rotaract Task
Force to discuss how to update Rotaract policies to reflect this new
status and create an inclusive, innovative, and flexible membership
Why were these decisions made?
Rotarians and Rotaractors have been discussing the importance of Rotaractors
as a part of the Rotary family, as people of action, and as an integral
part of our new Action Plan. These important decisions reflect the current
trends among Rotaract clubs, elevate Rotaract as a membership type alongside
Rotary clubs (unique in its identity, club culture, and member benefits),
and encourage greater flexibility, innovation, and diversity within
Do these changes take effect immediately?
No. The changes to the Rotary Code of Policies don’t take effect
until 1 July 2020. This gives you time to review and discuss the changes
with your club and district. Of course, we know that changes take time
to implement, and we encourage clubs and districts to develop plans
to update their bylaws and incorporate these changes over time.
Where can we find the policies about Rotaract?
Starting 1 July 2020, the Rotary Code of Policies, in Chapter II, “Clubs,”
will have an updated Article 12 titled “Rotaract Clubs.”
The policies related to Rotaract that are now in Chapter V, “Programs,”
under Article 41.040, will be removed as of 1 July 2020.
Can I review the changes before they take effect?
Yes, you can review the revised policies now. Discuss the
changes with your club and district leaders. If you have questions,
write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When do we have to update our Rotaract constitution and bylaws?
The Standard Rotaract Club Constitution will also be updated on 1 July
2020, and only the RI Board can amend it. The Standard Rotaract Club
Constitution automatically applies to all active Rotaract clubs. The
Recommended Rotaract Club Bylaws will also be updated at the same time,
and clubs are encouraged to customize them to meet their needs.
Why was the upper age limit for Rotaract membership removed?
Rotaract clubs are still intended for younger professionals. Removing
the upper age limit of Rotaract membership allows people to choose the
club experience they prefer, regardless of their age. Under the current
policy, Rotaractors are often required to leave Rotaract before they’re
invited to join a Rotary club or before they feel ready to join one.
So, instead, they leave the family of Rotary.
Restricting Rotaract membership to people age 30 or under is perceived
differently in different regions. In some places, members are likely
to feel that the age limit should be raised. In others, they want it
lowered. After careful consideration, the Elevate Rotaract Task Force
and the Board decided that it was important to give Rotaractors the
flexibility to decide for themselves when they’re ready to leave
Rotaract. The majority of Rotaractors we surveyed believed that removing
the age limit would either improve or not change their club experience,
and they said they would still pursue joining a Rotary club in the future.
Will Rotaractors still be encouraged to become Rotarians?
Yes, of course! Rotaractors will still be encouraged to join Rotary
clubs that offer the club experience they want at any time. Rotary clubs
should continue to partner regularly with Rotaractors at meetings and
events and on service projects. Inviting a Rotaractor to join the Rotary
club will be a natural step when the time is right. Remember that Rotaractors
can join a Rotary club while they are still active members of Rotaract
clubs, or they can start their own Rotary clubs.
Will Rotary clubs still be able to sponsor Rotaract clubs?
Yes, starting 1 July 2020, Rotaract clubs can be sponsored by a Rotary
club or clubs or another Rotaract club, or they can organize themselves
without a sponsor. This will give clubs greater flexibility to choose
the sponsor relationship that best meets their needs and allows for
Will Rotaract clubs be able to sponsor other Rotaract clubs?
Yes, starting 1 July 2020, Rotaract clubs can be sponsored by another
Rotaract club. This gives clubs more flexibility to find the best sponsor
relationship to support their needs. Community-based Rotaract clubs
will be encouraged to sponsor university-based Rotaract clubs.
How will these changes affect my Rotaract club experience?
These changes might not affect your Rotaract club experience. Rotaract
clubs will still be encouraged to partner with Rotary clubs, plan innovative
and sustainable local and international service projects, and offer
leadership and professional development opportunities for their young
professional members. Rotaract clubs will have more flexibility to design
a member experience that meets their needs, engage a wider network of
young professionals, and develop relationships with clubs that join
together more diverse perspectives, professions, and talents.
How will these changes affect my Rotary club experience?
These changes might not affect your Rotary club experience. Rotary clubs
will still be encouraged to sponsor and partner with Rotaract clubs,
plan service projects with them, and support Rotaractors in honing their
leadership and professional development skills through collaboration
and mentorship. Rotary clubs should still work side by side with Rotaractors
in their communities, encourage the development of new Rotaract clubs,
and talk to Rotaractors about joining a Rotary club when the time is
Do Rotaract clubs have to pay RI membership dues now?
Not yet. The Board agreed that Rotaract clubs should begin paying per
capita dues but is still carefully considering the results of surveys
of Rotaract members before making any decisions. They will discuss the
appropriate amount of dues, when dues would be collected, and what additional
products and services Rotaractors would want in exchange for dues. Any
changes will be implemented gradually.
Why are there membership goals for Rotaract now?
Just as clubs set goals to ensure that they continue to grow and thrive,
setting membership goals for Rotaract as a whole is vital to ensure
its success in the future. It’s more important than ever to understand
the global impact of Rotaract and encourage clubs and districts to set
ambitious goals that will help them engage even more young professionals
in service and leadership through Rotaract.
Will Rotaractors be able to serve on or advise the RI Board
The Board and Trustees value the input of Rotaractors and have recommended
that the RI president appoint Rotaractors to committees. They will continue
to discuss ways to involve Rotaractors more directly in the future.
Source: Rotary International