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Becoming a Rotarian / Membership / Paul Harris Fellows

Becoming a Rotarian: Membership is vital to a Rotary club's operations, and an important component of club service is to enlarge the club with enthusiastic and service-minded new members. Prospective members must actively hold or be retired from a professional, proprietary, executive or managerial position. They must have the desire and ability to serve and to meet the club's attendance requirements for its weekly meetings. In addition, a prospective member must either live or work within the territorial limits of the club or an adjoining club, or within the corporate limits of the city in which the club is located. A person whose business and residence are in communities not served by Rotary may be considered for membership by a club in an immediately adjacent community.

An important distinction between Rotary and other organizations is that membership in Rotary is by invitation. The club's classification committee maintains a list of the types of businesses and professions in its community and seeks candidates to fill classifications not already held by an active member of the club. (Examples of classifications: High Schools; Universities; Eye Surgery; Tires Distributing; Tires Retailing; Dramatic Arts; law civil.) In this manner, a club is assured it includes a significant cross section of its community's vocational life, and has the widest possible resources and expertise for its service programs and projects. Check our Membership page.

Why Join Rotary? Each Rotary club strives for a membership that is an up-to-date and progressive representation of its community's business, vocational, and professional interests. Membership in Rotary offers a number of benefits, including:

  • Effecting change within the community
  • Developing leadership skills
  • Gaining an understanding of and impacting on international humanitarian issues
  • Developing relationships with community and business leaders

The Membership Process: In most instances, 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 membership committee to begin the evaluation process. Others who are interested in membership, but don't know any Rotarians, can contact their local club directly. If the local Rotary club maintains an office, it may be listed in the white pages of the telephone directory under "Rotary." Otherwise the local chamber of commerces should be able to provide information. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce or similar organization. Often, there will be a Rotarian on staff. If not, the Chamber should be able to provide information about the local Rotary club.

Classifications: Membership in a Rotary club is by invitation and was based on the founders' paradigm of choosing one representative of each business, profession and institution in the community. What is called the "classification principle" is used to ensure that the members of a club comprise a cross section of their community's business and professional life. A Rotarian's classification describes either the principal business or professional service of the organization that he or she works for or the individual Rotarian's own activity within the organization. The classification is determined by activities or services to society rather than by the position held by the particular individual. In other words, if a person is president of a bank, he or she is not classified as "bank president" but under the classification "banking."..The classification principle fosters a fellowship for service based on diversity of interest, and seeks to prevent the predominance in the club of any one group. When a person becomes an active member of a Rotary clubs, it is said that a the member has been "loaned" a classification. He or she may propose one additional active member in that classification. On completing five, ten or fifteen years of service, depending on the individual's age, he or she becomes a "senior active" member and their classification is released to enable another person to join the club. Check our Join Rotary page.

Left to Right: PDG Don Reese, P/PP Marlene Brown, DG Andrea Ives, Secretary Earl Lewis become Multiple Paul Harris Fellows on RIPP Bichai Rattakul's visit to District 7150.


Becoming a Paul Harris Fellow: Anyone who contributes - or in whose name is contributed - a gift of US$1,000 or more to the Annual Programs Fund may become a Paul Harris Fellow. View Foundation Page and more information on Paul Harris fellows. Arch Klumpf, born June 6th, 1869,

Founder of the Rotary Foundation. The Rotary Foundation was started in 1917 by Arch Klumpf, sixth President of Rotary International, who convinced a Rotary Convention of the need for an endowment for "doing good in the world" in charitable, educational, or other avenues of service. One of the visionaries of Rotary, in 1917 Arch Klumpf, conceived the idea of a charitable foundation, And thus Rotary Foundation was born. Today it it the biggest Foundation in the world and since its first award in 1930, it has disbursed more than US$ 850.000.000 on its educational and humanitarian programs. What an achievement! Arch Klumpf had a dream ... a dream to create a sustaining fund to do good throughout the World. The Rotary Foundation is the fulfillment of that vision, giving Rotarians everywhere the financial support and tailored humanitarian, health and education programmes that address hunger, disease, illiteracy and well being among the people of the world.

The enormously successful Polio-Plus programme exemplifies the work of The Rotary Foundation. Never in the history of mankind, have so many diverse cultures, nations and individuals worked together in peaceful pursuit of a common goal. And there are many hundreds of other examples of The Rotary Foundation at work, in the many Matching Grants and Discovery Grant projects we are undertaking right here in District 9910 ... Save Water Save Lives projects in Vanuatu; Volunteers building Hospitals in Latvia and Santo; Eye Surgeons performing sight-saving operations; matching and dispensing eye glasses and humanitarian aid in the Solomons, Fiji, East Timor and strife-torn communities around the world. Ambassadorial Scholarships and Group Study Exchange teams expand the knowledge and goodwill between countries. Many of the participants of these Rotary Foundation programmes become leaders in their vocations, using the knowledge and experience gained to influence their communities for the greater good of all. June 2001 was the 50th Anniversary of the death of Arch Klumpf. More info on Foundation page.

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