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Rotary 101 - Membership Process
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Membership Process/Induction/Sponsor:


Rotary International  is a worldwide association of individual clubs, with each club operating autonomously. Membership is extremely important to us, and we are always pleased to hear from individuals interested in our mission and in joining a Rotary club.


RI’s premise is that the membership of each club constitutes a reasonable representation of the business and professional population within the community served. Membership in a Rotary club requires an invitation and sponsorship by a member of the club. Membership requests must be approved by the club’s directors and members.


Rotarians are business and professional leaders who take an active role in their communities while greatly enriching their personal and professional lives. A Rotary club contains a diverse group of professional leaders from the community that the club serves. Membership in a Rotary club offers a number of benefits, including:


  • ·         effecting positive change within the community
  • ·         advancing business and professional contacts
  • ·         developing leadership skills
  •           gaining an understanding of and having an impact on       international humanitarian issues.


A Rotary club can have a significant effect on the quality of life in its community. Rotary Foundation programs offer opportunities to form international partnerships that help people in need worldwide. Some 1.2 million Rotarians in 30,000 clubs in more than 160 countries make significant contributions to the quality of life at home and around the globe.



Excerpted from most recent Constitution Revision:


Article VI- Membership

Section 1General Qualifications. This club shall be composed of adult persons of good character and good business, professional and/or community reputation.

Section 2Kinds. This club shall have two kinds of membership, namely: active and honorary.

    Section 3Active Membership. A person possessing the qualifications set forth in article 5, section 2 of the RI constitution may be elected to active membership in this club.

 Section 4Transferring or Former Rotarian.

  1. Potential Members. A member may propose to active membership a transferring member or former member of a club. The transferring or former member of a club being proposed to active membership under this section may also be proposed by the former club. The classification of a transferring or former member of a club shall not preclude election to active membership even if the election results in club membership temporarily exceeding the classification limits. Potential members of this club who are current or former members of another club who have debts to the other club are ineligible for membership in this club. The club should demand that a potential member present written proof that no money is owed to the other club. The admission of a transferring or former Rotarian as an active member pursuant to this section shall be contingent upon receiving a certificate from the board of the previous club confirming the prospective member’s prior membership in that club. Transferring or former members changing clubs should be asked to bring a letter of recommendation from their previous club.

  2. Current or Former Members. This club shall provide a statement whether money is owed to this club when requested by another club with respect to a current or former member of this club being considered for membership in the other club. If such a statement is not provided within 30 days of being requested, it shall be assumed that the member does not owe any money to this club.

      Section 5 — Satellite Club Membership. Members of a satellite club shall also be members of the sponsor club until such time as the satellite club shall be admitted into membership of RI as a Rotary club. What is a Satellite Club?

  • Satellite Clubs are extensions of a Sponsor Club that offers an alternative meeting time and/or place to the Sponsor Club.

  • No Charter is issued for the Satellite Club.

  • A Satellite Club member is still a member of the Sponsor Club and is subject to the same rules as any other member of the Sponsor Club.

  • The Satellite Club will elect Officers to lead the Club and run its weekly meetings.

  • The Satellite Club must meet on a different day, at a different time and/or at a different location from the Sponsor Club.

  • Satellite Club dues must be set with the advice and approval of the Sponsor Club. These does are paid to the Satellite Club (no separate accounting).

  • If the Satellite Club has over 20 members, it shall establish its own Board and Club officers and financial accounting. The Board will comprise of a Chairman, Immediate Past Chairman, Chairman Elect, Secretary, Treasurer and as other Directors as required. The Board will be elected annually by the Satellite Club members and be responsible for the day to day organisation and management of the club.

  • The Satellite Club shall submit an annual report to the Sponsor Club reporting on its membership, activities and programmes.

  • Normal Rotary rules for nominating new members apply. The Sponsor Club Board must approve the nominations and Sponsor Club members have the right of review and

  • Have at least one Satellite Club member serve on the Sponsor Club’s Board of Directors at all times during its existence, even if they create their own Satellite Club Board of Directors or until the Satellite Club becomes a newly charted Rotary Club.

  • All Satellite Club leadership and officers must annually attend any Rotary or District training sessions as requested or required.


Section 6Dual Membership. No person shall simultaneously hold active membership in this and another club other than a satellite of this club. No person shall simultaneously be a member and an honorary member in this club. No person shall hold active membership in this club and membership in a Rotaract club unless the Rotaract member is approved for membership according to existing club requirements.

Section 7Honorary Membership.

  1. Eligibility for Honorary Membership. Persons who have distinguished themselves by meritorious service in the furtherance of Rotary ideals and those persons considered friends of Rotary for their permanent support of Rotary’s cause may be elected to honorary membership in this club. The term of such membership shall be as determined by the board. Persons may hold honorary membership in more than one club.

  2. Rights and Privileges. Honorary members shall be exempt from the payment of admission fees and dues, shall have no vote, and shall not be eligible to hold any office in this club. Such members shall not hold classifications, but shall be entitled to attend all meetings and enjoy all the other privileges of this club. No honorary member of this club is entitled to any rights and privileges in any other club, except for the right to visit other clubs without being the guest of a Rotarian.

  3. Members of other Rotary Clubs. The club may elect as Honorary Member a qualified Rotarian who is a member of another Rotary Club, and members of the King of Prussia Club may become honorary members of other Rotary clubs.

    Section 8Holders of Public Office. Persons elected or appointed to public office for a specified time shall not be eligible to active membership in this club under the classification of such office. This restriction shall not apply to persons holding positions or offices in schools, colleges, or other institutions of learning or to persons who are elected or appointed to the judiciary. Members who are elected or appointed to public office for a specified period may continue as such members in their existing classifications during the period in which they hold such office. The Board of Directors may grant a variance to this exclusion where appropriate.

    Section 9Rotary International Employment. This club may retain in its membership any member employed by RI.


Excerpted from most recent Bylaws Revision:


Article XI - Method of Electing Members


Section 1. Active members (including additional active members) :

The name of a prospective member, proposed by an active, or past member of the Club or by the Membership Development Committee, shall be submitted to the Board in writing, accompanied by the prospective member’s Application for Membership, through the Club Secretary. Prospective member applications received by any officer, Board or club member shall be submitted to the Secretary for processing. The name shall be kept confidential for the time being.

The Board shall request the Membership Committee to consider and report to the Board on the eligibility of the proposed member’s classification, and shall request the committee to consider and report to the Board on the eligibility of the proposed member from the standpoint of character, business and community standing, general eligibility, and appointment of a club member sponsor.

The Board shall approve or disapprove the recommendations of the Classifications and Membership Committees and notify the proposer, through the Club Secretary, of its decision.

If the decision of the Board is favorable, the proposer, together with the sponsor and a member of the Rotary  Membership Committee, shall meet with the prospective member for information on the purposes of Rotary and of the privileges and responsibilities of membership in the Club, and obtain permission for publishing the proposed member's name and proposed classification to the Club in the club’s newsletter and Internet web site.

If no written objection to the proposal, stating the reason, is received by the Board from any member of the Club within ten days following its publication, such prospective member, upon payment of the pro rated membership dues, as prescribed in Article V, Section 1, shall be considered as elected to membership. If any objection has been filed with the Board, it shall consider the same at any regular or special meeting of the Board and shall                                                                                 



ballot on the proposed member. If not more than one negative vote is cast by the members of the Board in attendance at that meeting, such prospective member, upon payment of the entrance fee, as prescribed in Article V, Section 1, shall be considered as elected to membership.

(6) Following the member's election to membership, the Club Secretary shall issue a membership badge and report the name to the General Secretary of Rotary International.

(7) The member shall be formally introduced as a new member at a regular meeting of the Club.

Section 2. Honorary and Senior Active (see note below in Section 2) members:

The name of a proposed candidate for honorary membership shall be submitted to the Board in the same manner as for election of an active member, except that the Board at its discretion may waive any of the steps set forth in Section 1. of this Article. The proposed member shall be considered elected if less than a simple majority of negative votes are cast by the members of the Board in attendance.

Notwithstanding the above, any active or past service member who qualifies for senior active membership as set forth in the club constitution shall automatically become a senior active member of the Club by so notifying the Board.(See footnote 2: Senior Active is no longer a recognized concept by RI – recommend deleting.)