FAQ

Why Join Rotary

Build Friendships


Rotary is built on one of the most basic human needs: the need for friendship and fellowship. It is one of two reasons why Rotary began in 1905. Rotarians above all are nice people :-) We believe that while it is nice to be important, it is more important to be nice.




Networking Opportunities


Business development, a.k.a networking, is the second original reason for Rotary's beginning. Everyone has the need to network. Rotary consists of a cross section of every business community. Its members come from all walks of life. Rotarians help one another, and collectively help others. Rotary members are prominent people: leaders of business, professions, art, government, sports, military, religion and all disciplines. Rotary is the oldest and most prestigious service club in the world. Its members are executives, managers, professionals: people who make decisions and influence policy. Not everyone is invited to join Rotary.




Personal Growth & Ethical Development


Membership in Rotary continues one's growth and education in human relations and personal development. Every week and at various events and functions, Rotary develops one's personality, social and people skills. Rotary is for people who like people, or who want to. Rotarians practice a 4-Way Test which governs one's ethical standards. Rotarians are expected to be ethical in business and personal relationships.




Increase Community Awareness


Membership in a Rotary club makes one more conscious of their community. The average Rotary club consists of some of the most active citizens of any community.




Continuing Education


Each week at Rotary, there is a program designed to keep one informed as to what is going on in the community, nation and world. Different speakers, different topics. Rotary is an organization of leaders and successful people. Serving in Rotary positions is like a college education in Leadership: learning how to motivate, influence and lead leaders. Many an individual who joined Rotary was afraid to speak in public. Rotary develops confidence and skill in public communication, and opportunity. Every Rotarian is expected to take a part in the growth and development of his or her own profession or vocation; to serve on committees and to teach youth about one's job or vocation. Rotary helps to make one a better doctor, lawyer, teacher (or whatever one does for a living) etc.




Fun and Entertainment


Rotary is fun. A lot of fun. Each meeting is fun. The club projects are fun. Social activities are fun. And the service is fun :-) Every Rotary club and district has parties and activities, which provide diversion in one's business life. Rotary has conference, conventions, assemblies and institutes, which provide entertainment in addition to Rotary information, education and service.




Global Citizenship and Assistance


Every Rotarian is welcome - even encouraged to attend - at 35,000 clubs in 200 nations and geographical regions. There are few places on the globe which do not have a Rotary club. Instant friends in both one's own community and in the world community. Because there are Rotary clubs everywhere, many a Rotarian who has needed a doctor, lawyer, hotel, dentist, advice, etc. while traveling has found same quickly through Rotary.




Family and Youth Programs


Rotary provides one of the world's largest youth exchange programs; high school and college clubs for future Rotarians; spouse clubs and programs, and a host of activities designed to assist family members in growth and the development of family values.




Raise Cultural Awareness


Around the world, practically every religion, country, culture, race, political persuasion, language, color and ethnic identity is found in Rotary. It is a cross section of the world's most prominent citizens from every background. Rotarians become aware of other cultures and learn to love and work with people everywhere. They become better citizens of their countries in the process.




Do Community Service


Rotary is a service club. Its business is mankind; its product is service. Rotarians provide community service to both the local and international communities. This is the best reason perhaps for becoming a Rotarian: the chance to do something for somebody else, and to sense the self-fulfillment, which comes in the process, and the return to one's own life. Rotarians believe in "service above self;" it is richly rewarding.





Debunking Rotary Myths

MYTH: Rotary is a secret society with an official creed.


TRUTH: Rotary has no secret handshake, no secret meetings and no secret rituals. It is an open society of men and women who simply believe in helping others.




MYTH: Rotary is exclusively a male-only organization.


TRUTH: Rotary started out as a men only organization but has changed its constitution to allow women for over twenty years. Women now play important roles in Rotary, including club Presidents.




MYTH: Only old people join Rotary.


TRUTH: Absolutely not! Many clubs have Rotarians in their 20’s and 30’s as well as experienced managers who have been committed to Rotary for a long time.




MYTH: You have to be a businessowner to join Rotary.


TRUTH: One does not have to own a business. Members include teachers, nurses, city workers, real estate agents and many other professionals.




MYTH: Rotary is boring.


TRUTH: Rotary is FUN. Every meeting is FUN. The club projects are FUN. Social activities are FUN. Service is FUN!




MYTH: You have to be wealthy to join Rotary.


TRUTH: You need not be rich. You only need a deep desire to serve your community.




MYTH: Rotarians are not friendly.


TRUTH: In an increasing complex world, Rotary is built on one of the most basic needs: the need for friendship and fellowship.




MYTH: Rotarians need to be good public speakers.


TRUTH: Rotary develops confidence in people to allow them to speak in public.




MYTH: Rotary is all about business.


TRUTH: Rotary is about service to others.




MYTH: Rotary is a local group.


TRUTH: This is a worldwide organization of 33,000 clubs.





General Questions

What is Rotary International?


Rotary International is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders. Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. There are 35,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. As signified by the motto Service Above Self, Rotary's main objective is service - in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world.

Rotary International (RI) is administered from offices in Evanston, Illinois, close to Chicago, where Rotary was founded. Rotary clubs pay annual dues to support RI's programs.

An elected Board of Directors representing all regions of the world oversees administration, helped by a secretariat with a staff of more than 500. Every three years, a Council on Legislation, with a representative from each Rotary district, meets to consider resolutions to modify or change, the constitution and by-laws governing Rotary. At the International Convention, delegates present reports and discuss resolutions.

The Rotary world is divided into districts, each with a District Governor serving for one year. Our Club is in District 3360 which comprises a total of 69 clubs. Each Rotary club is autonomous, having its own constitution and by-laws within the framework of Rotary.

You can read more about Rotary International at www.rotary.org.




What is the Rotary Foundation?


The mission of The Rotary Foundation is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.

The Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world. It provides humanitarian grants that improve the quality of life throughout the world; sponsors educational awards to university students and teachers; and sponsors international exchanges of business and professional people. These programs are all directed towards furthering understanding and friendly relations among the world's people.




What are the obligations of a Rotarian?


A Rotary club has two main functions: to promote fellowship among its members; and to provide service to the community and to the world.

When you become a Rotarian with the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club, you will be expected to attend club meetings regularly, only missing a meeting when it is unavoidable.

Because the club meets twice a month, members get to know one another very well, learn about other businesses and professions, and form strong and close relationships. Also, it helps to get jobs done when members can be counted on to be there. If it is necessary for you to miss a meeting, you will be encouraged to "make up" at another club. (See "What is a make-up".)

The Chiang Mai International Rotary Club functions through committees, each under the umbrella of a Director and a Chair. Everyone is expected to take a share of committee work, and be available to assist in fundraising and service projects.

Rotarians are also expected to carry the ideals of Rotary outside the club into their own fields of endeavour. You can do this by wearing your Rotary pin proudly, by displaying The Four-Way Test in your place of business and by exemplifying its principles in your everyday business dealings.

When you accept the privileges and responsibilities of being a Rotarian, you can help the club grow by encouraging colleagues and acquaintances to come to a meeting, and perhaps become Rotarians themselves.




What happens at a Rotary meeting?


Every Rotary club has its own character, but there are some common elements that make Rotarians feel at home at any club worldwide.

The Chiang Mai International Rotary Club meetings last for about 2 hours, including a short break in-between. Members and guests start to gather about 30 minutes before the meeting for dinner, social talk and fellowship.

There is a guest speaker and time to conduct some club business - giving reports, making plans and solving problems. Members often bring guests, such as spouses, prospective members or just people who are interested in the guest speaker.

There may be Rotarians visiting from other clubs in the area, or even from around the world. Sometimes there are Interactors or Rotaractors attending our meetings.

The meeting is usually chaired and run by the President whose job it is to maintain an orderly, dignified and effective meeting.

Members and guests can pay "happy baht" for the privilege of giving good news, or bragging about achievements. It is a "fun-raising" time.




What does Rotary cost?


Every Rotarian pays annual dues to Rotary International and to their Rotary Club. At Chiang Mai International Rotary Club, these fees are combined into one overall package and may be paid in full annually or in convenient, semi-annual installments. Please contact us about our current rate.




What is a make-up?


One of the obligations of Rotary membership is regular attendance at meetings. When attendance is not possible, Rotarians are encouraged to "make-up" at another club or to complete an electronic "make-up". The club secretary will give a make-up card to any visiting Rotarian and this is brought back to the home club.

As there are over 33,000 Rotary clubs in the world, including Antarctica, it is usually possible to find one wherever you are. The club secretary has a directory listing these clubs with their meeting day and location. This information is also available on the Rotary Web Site at www.rotary.org under "Where clubs meet." One of the side-benefits of making up is the pleasure of visiting other clubs, meeting local people, and seeing what other clubs do, how they raise money and how they run their meetings. Alternatively, you can complete an electronic make-up by visiting www.rotaryeclubone.org .




What do Rotarians say about Rotary Membership?


"As a Rotarian, I am constantly offered opportunities to serve locally, nationally and internationally. It is a unique experience."

"It is very rewarding to see the excitement on the face of a student chosen for International Youth Exchange, to hear the gratitude of seniors, to know that together we are making a difference in our own community and around the world."

"As I am self-employed and work alone much of the time, my Rotary club gives me a professional group I can interact with. I have learned so much about my community through Rotary."

"Being a Rotarian makes me a true world-citizen."

"When I travel, I am an ambassador of my club, my district and my country and am welcomed as a brother wherever I go. I can be at home with friends anywhere worldwide at a Rotary club meeting."

"If Rotary ran the world there would be no war and no poverty."




What is the minimum age to be in Rotary?


No minimum age to join our Rotary Club. You may be invited to join at any age if you have the time and financial resources to meet all Rotary club membership requirements. If you’re interested in joining Rotary, come out and join us for a meeting before you consider joining. We meet on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month. Please contact us for an invitation.




What's the object of Rotary?


The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise. This ideal of service is fostered through the development of acquaintance as the opportunity for service; the promotion of high ethical standards in business and professions; through service in one's personal, business and community life; and the advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace.




How does Rotary International use membership dues?


A portion of your membership dues help fund club and district expenses, as well as Rotary International operations worldwide. In addition, every Rotarian of the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club (CMIRC) automatically supports Rotary International's PolioPlus Program and its Annual Fund at no extra cost.

Rotary has been working to end polio for more than 30 years. The PolioPlus Program provides polio vaccines, mobilizes community resources, and supports operational costs related to international efforts to immunize children, detect and track cases, and eradicate polio worldwide.

The Annual Fund helps Rotary clubs create positive change in communities at home and around the world. Your contributions help strengthen peace efforts, provide clean water and sanitation, support education, grow local economies, save mothers and children, and fight disease.





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