The rotary GUIDING principles

Over the years Rotary has developed a series of basic principles to provide Rotarians with a strong, common purpose and direction based on the ideal of service and high ethical standards.

The Object of Rotary, as defined and stated in 1910 and carefully fine-tuned over the years, provides a concise definition of its objectives and of the responsibilities of each Rotarian.

The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:

  1. the development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;

  2. high ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society;

  3. the application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business and community life;

  4. the advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.

The classification principle is a necessary concept in assuring that each Rotary Club represents a cross-section of the social and professional service of the community in which it is active. The classification of a member is based on his or her profession. The size of the Club determines the maximum number of representatives per classification. The diversity of professions involved in the Club enriches the essence and life of the Club and provides an endless source of expertise to launch service projects.

The Four-Way Test, observed by Rotarians worldwide in their professional and private life, was created by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor in 1932. Since then, it has been translated into more than 100 languages.

Of the things we think, say or do, we should ask the following questions:

  1. Is it the truth?

  2. Is it fair to all concerned?

  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?

  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?



The five avenues of service are derived from the Object of Rotary and provide the philosophical cornerstone of Club activities.

  • Club Service” focuses on making clubs strong. A thriving club is anchored by strong relationships and an active membership development plan.

    • Vocational Service” calls on every Rotarian to work with integrity and contribute their expertise to the problems and needs of society, and at all times maintain high ethical standards.

    • Community Service” pertains to those activities and projects which the Club undertakes to improve the quality of life in its community. It encourages every Rotarian to find ways to improve the quality of life for people in their communities and to serve the public interest.

    • International Service” focuses on humanitarian projects which improve the living conditions in other countries and serve peace and mutual understanding between peoples.

    • New Generations recognizes the positive change implemented by youth and young adults involved in leadership development activities, community and international service projects, and exchange programmes that enrich and foster world peace and cultural understanding.



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