Rotary is made up of three parts: at the heart of Rotary are our clubs, that are supported by Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation. Rotary clubs bring together dedicated individuals to exchange ideas, build relationships, and take action. Rotary International supports Rotary clubs worldwide by coordinating global programs, campaigns, and initiatives. The Rotary Foundation uses generous donations to fund projects by Rotarians and our partners in communities around the world. As a nonprofit, all of the Foundation's funding comes from voluntary contributions made by Rotarians and friends who share our vision of a better world. Together, Rotary clubs, Rotary International, and The Rotary Foundation work to make lasting improvements in our communities and around the world.
When Rotary partners with other organizations, we multiply the impact made by either group on their own. We call this “the Rotary effect.” From local food banks to global humanitarian organizations, we work with a wide variety of partners, including:
Looking to partner with a local club, or even the global organization?
What does it take to be a leader with Rotary? Integrity, expertise, and a commitment to service—all the qualities that make Rotary members extraordinary. We look for these qualities in all our leadership positions, including our elected President and Board of Directors, who lead Rotary International, our appointed Trustee Chair and Board of Trustees, who run The Rotary Foundation, and our General Secretary and executive staff, who provide long-term oversight of the organization. Members of each Rotary club elect their own leadership.
Half a century after landing his last C-124 as a U.S. Air Force captain ferrying troops and equipment to Vietnam, John F. Germ sees himself as Rotary’s navigator, plotting a course toward a bright future. He aims to run Rotary like a business, drawing on his acumen as chair and CEO of an engineering firm and emphasizing service as Rotary’s most powerful draw for a new generation of civic-minded members. “We need to do a better job of promoting our cause. That’s the challenge ahead, but I don’t see it as a problem. I don’t believe in problems – I believe in opportunities.” Germ, a member of the Rotary Club of Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, is Rotary president in 2016-17.
Kalyan Banerjee served as Rotary president in 2011-12. During his acceptance speech at the Montreal convention, he told attendees how his origins and experiences in India, where he grew up, give him a special understanding of Rotary’s international service. “In a way, some parts of India still exemplify a developing country. I have seen firsthand our work in literacy, in health, in hunger, in providing safe water – and I have seen the difference it makes to each village, each family, and each individual human life.” Banerjee, a member of the Rotary Club of Vapi, Gujarat, India, is trustee chair in 2016-17.
John Hewko has served as Rotary International’s general secretary since 2011. For many people, managing a staff of 800 in eight offices worldwide would be enough in itself. But Hewko, a charter member of the Rotary Club of Kyiv, Ukraine, is so committed to Rotary’s mission that he takes things a step further. He’s immunized children against polio in India, represented Rotary at the World Economic Forum, and bicycled 111 miles to raise money for polio eradication in a cycling race in Arizona, USA. Hewko and Rotarians raised over $13 million for polio eradication during the 2015 ride. “It's a great event, one of many we participate in to pursue a polio-free world for every child.”