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What is Rotary?

Rotary is an international organization of professionals and business people, leaders in their fields, who provide humanitarian services, foster high standards of ethics in all professions and help to establish peace and goodwill in the world. About 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 32,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and territories. Rotary is an apolitical humanitarian entity with no religious ties, founded in 1905.  

Each Rotary club has administrative and operational autonomy, with its members, President and Board of Directors, and each carries out actions in its geographic area. All clubs are members of the Rotary International, forming a single large global organization. For administrative reasons, Rotary clubs are grouped into Districts, with the District headed by a “Governor” (this is District 4420, which brings together 76 clubs, covering the southern region of the city of São Paulo, the ABC and part of the São Paulo coast) . 

The membership of each Rotary club represents a cross-section of the respective community, bringing together people from different professions. Worldwide, Rotary clubs meet weekly, without political or religious ties, and are open to all cultures, races and creeds. 

What does a Rotary club do? 

 The motto Give of Yourself Before Thinking of Yourself reflects Rotary's primary goal in the community, the workplace and the world. Rotarians develop community service projects to alleviate the most serious needs. In addition, they support professionalization; youth programs; educational opportunities and exchanges abroad for students, teachers and other professionals. Some of Rotary's areas of expertise are: 

Polio eradication: 

In 1985, Rotarians decided to fight for a polio-free world. The campaign for the eradication of this disease has become, over a period of 20 years, the greatest support from the private sector for a global health initiative.  
• Rotary has already donated US$500 million and countless hours of volunteer work to help immunize nearly two billion children worldwide.  
• Currently, there are only a few hundred cases of polio, which represents a reduction of 99.8% since 1988, when the disease paralyzed more than 350,000 children per year. 

International education: 

Rotary is the largest source of private funds to sponsor scholarships. Each year, around 1,000 university students receive scholarships to study abroad. Rotary clubs also promote exchange programs for high school students, sending about 8,000 students abroad for periods of three months to one year. 


In order to educate future ambassadors and emissaries of peace, the Rotary Centers for International Studies in the area of peace and conflict resolution have recently been created at seven renowned universities. The program provides education at the master's level in the area of conflict resolution to seventy fellows per year. 


Rotary clubs are internationally engaged in the fight against illiteracy. As an example, a project in Thailand stands out that considerably reduced the level of school failure and was adopted nationally by the government of the country. 

Rotary Objectives

In some regions of the world, weekly Rotary club meetings begin with all members standing up and reciting the Object of Rotary. This statement, which is part of the Standard Rotary Constitution, is often displayed in a framed manner in the offices of Rotarians or their business locations.

Rotary's goal is to "encourage and foster the ideal of serving as the foundation for every worthy enterprise." The declaration lists four areas in which the “ideal of service” is fostered: through the development of companionship as an element capable of providing opportunities to serve; the recognition of the merit of all useful occupation and the dissemination of professional ethical standards; improving the community through the exemplary conduct of each person in his public and private life; and bringing together professionals from all over the world, aiming at the consolidation of good relations, cooperation and peace between nations.

However, the Object of Rotary has already had another wording. The first RI Statute, dated 1906, had three Objectives: promoting commercial interests, fellowship and advancing the best interests of the community. In 1910, due to the expansion, Rotary had five Objectives. By 1915, the number of Objectives had been increased to six. In 1918, the Goals were again rewritten and reduced to four. However, four years later, they were expanded to six, to be rewritten again in 1927. Finally, at the 1935 convention in Mexico City, the Goals were changed and reduced to four. Their last significant change occurred in 1951, when the “Objectives” were condensed into a single “Objective”, expressed in four parts. The “ideal of service” is the primary message of Rotary's Goal. This ideal consists in adopting an attitude of always being an understanding person and willing to help others. This is the true meaning of Rotary.

Rotary's goal is to encourage and foster the ideal of serving as the foundation of every worthy enterprise, promoting and supporting:
  1. The development of companionship as an element capable of providing opportunities to serve;
  2. The recognition of the merit of all useful occupation and the dissemination of professional ethics standards;
  3. The improvement of the community through the exemplary conduct of each person in public and private life;
  4. The approach of professionals from all over the world, aiming at the consolidation of good relations, cooperation and peace between nations.

Why be a Rotarian?

Friendship: In an increasingly complex world, Rotary satisfies one of the most basic needs of human beings: companionship. This is one of two reasons why Rotary was founded in 1905.

Professional Contacts: 
This was the second reason for the emergence of Rotary. Everyone needs a network of contacts. Rotary represents a cross-section of a community's professions, as Rotarians are involved in all business and professional fields and help each other.

Personal growth: 
Involvement with Rotary encourages personal growth in the area of human relations.

Leadership Experience:
Rotary is an organization that brings together leaders and successful people. Serving in Rotary positions is synonymous with greater leadership experience. The person learns how to motivate, influence and lead those who are already leaders.

Civic Action in the Community:
Liaison with a Rotary club makes its members better citizens. The Rotary club typically brings together the most active people in a community.

Updated information:
Weekly Rotary club meetings are designed to keep members up to date on what's happening in the community, at home, and around the world. Various topics presented by guest speakers are discussed.

Rotary also offers fun. All weekly meetings, club projects and social activities and the service are interesting and fun. In addition, providing services is also fun.

Many people who join our organization are afraid to speak in public. Rotary allows for excellent speaking experience, strengthening self-confidence and taking advantage of opportunities in the field of communication.

World's citizen:
Every Rotarian wears a badge that says “Rotary International” and is welcomed and encouraged to attend meetings of more than 31,000 clubs and 199 countries and geographic regions. Few places in the world do not have a Rotary club. At Rotary, we make friends in the local and worldwide community.

Travel Assistance:
Because there are Rotary clubs in so many places, very often Rotarians who needed a doctor, lawyer, hotel, dentist, council, etc., during a trip they got help through Rotary.

Every club organizes meetings and entertainment activities, which are very important to bring fun to our busy professional or business lives. Rotary holds conferences, conventions, assemblies, and institutes that, in addition to Rotary information, guidance, and service, are also distracting.

Improvement of Social Skills:
Every week, and at various types of meetings and events, Rotary improves our personalities and interpersonal skills, providing an ideal environment for people who like to socialize.

Family Programs:
Rotary offers one of the most comprehensive youth exchange programs in the world, sponsors clubs in secondary and university schools for prospective Rotarians, spouses' programs and associations, as well as a wide variety of useful activities that spread fundamental values to Rotarian families.

Professional knowledge:
Every Rotarian is expected to be involved in improving his or her profession or occupation, to serve on professional service committees, and to participate in the promotion of his profession among young people. Rotarians seek to ensure that everyone always serves in the best way through our professions, whether in the field of medicine, education, etc.

Ethical Values:
Rotarians apply the Quadruple Test in all their activities, which reflects their ethical standards. Partners are expected to act ethically in their professions and personal relationships

Cultural Awareness:
Almost all religions, cultures, races, nationalities and political beliefs are represented on Rotary worldwide. In our midst are the most prominent citizens from the most varied fields of human knowledge. Rotarians get in touch with other cultures and look forward to working and helping people everywhere. Consequently, they become better citizens in their own countries.

Rotarians are prestigious people: business, professional, artistic, government, sports, military, religious and many other leaders. Rotary is the oldest and most prestigious service association in the world. Its ranks include prominent executives, directors and professionals, that is, influential people used to making decisions.

Nice people:
Above all, Rotarians are nice people. They are individuals who believe that the value of each one lies in having a good heart and not in personal prominence.

Absence of an Official Creed:
Because Rotary International is not political or religious, we have no official creed. We are an open society, made up of men and women who believe in the value of helping others.

Opportunity to Serve:
Rotary is made up of clubs dedicated to service. His maximum interest is humanity, his most valuable product is his dedication to serving. The best reasons to become Rotarians are the opportunity to help others and the welfare that results from our actions.

The Five Avenues of Service

Internal Services

INTERNAL SERVICE AVENUE is considered the first avenue of Rotary service and is known as the avenue of SOCIABILITY, inspiring the cooperation that promotes work in the different fields of internal activities of the club. .

This avenue is responsible for the development of companionship as an element capable of providing opportunities to serve.

  • attend all meetings;
  • participate in companionship;
  • actively participate in the programs;
  • serve on committees;
  • pay monthly fees on time;
  • represent your Rotary club in activities outside of it;
  • Inform non-Rotarians about the purpose of Rotary;
  • giving lectures at other Rotary clubs;
  • take part in interclub meetings, forums, institutes, assemblies and conferences, and if possible at international conventions.

Professional Services

AVENIDA DE PROFESSIONAL SERVICES, known as, Avenida da SINCERIDADE, motivator of the principle that establishes the recognition of the merit of all useful occupation and the diffusion of the rules of professional ethics.

Professional Services is the second avenue of service and is the vehicle through which Rotary promotes and supports the application and adherence to the highest ethical standards in all useful and reputable occupations, advocating loyalty to employers and employees, and fair treatment both for them as well as for competitors, the public and all those with whom they have professional or business relationships.

Professional Services particularly mean the obligation for each holder of a Rotary classification to disclose these principles in all their business and professional relationships with non-Rotarians, and to share with their fellow Rotarians the ideals of their own work or profession. .

Professional services offer young people vocational guidance, information on certain professions and assistance in choosing a profession.

Regardless of how professional services are approached, it is through this service avenue that Rotarians recognize the value of all helpful professionals and demonstrate a commitment to high ethical standards in all businesses and professions.

Community Services

COMMUNITY SERVICE AVENUE, also called Avenida da SOLIDARIEDADE, encompasses the steps to be taken by Rotarians for the excellent functioning of the club, the provision of services for the benefit of social welfare, encouraging the improvement of the community through the exemplary conduct of each citizen in your public or private life.

Community service means everything that a Rotarian does, individually or together, to help others, such as:

  • being personally interested in the community and the people who live in it;
  • study the problems and needs of the community and seek to resolve them;
  • taking an interest in minors and young people, helping them, above all, with their good example in family life and society, always keeping in mind the motto: each Rotarian, an example for youth.

Rotary clubs are encouraged by RI to create committees for:

  • Human development,
  • Community Development,
  • Protection of the Environment.
  • Partnership in Servir.

International Services

INTERNATIONAL SERVICE AVENUE is the fourth avenue of Rotary services and is the avenue of FRATERNITY, an approach that begins and ends where we are, around the world. International Services refers to all that the Rotarian can do to promote international understanding, goodwill and peace, due to his interest in the culture, customs, achievements, aspirations and problems of other peoples, through trips to the world. reading, correspondence, and collaboration in all club activities that may be useful to people in other countries.

This great committee summarizes Rotary's interest in bringing together professionals from all over the world, with a view to consolidating good relations, cooperation and peace between nations.

International service provision projects are implemented with a view to meeting the humanitarian needs of people from different countries.

New Generations

Representatives on the 2010 International Legislation Council of Rotary International passed a decree on April 28, 2010 that adds a Fifth Avenue of Service to Rotary: NEW GENERATIONS.

Following the adoption of the amendment to change the name of Youth Services, as initially proposed, to New Generations, the Council supported the addition of Article 5 of the Standard Rotary Club Constitution by a few votes. The victory in the 263-250 vote was met with applause and surprise after a short debate.

New Generations join Internal Services, Professional Services, Community Services and International Services as the foundation of Rotary club activity. Before starting a project, Rotarians are invited to think broadly about how their club and its members could contribute to each avenue.

"It is a significant change - a historic day for Rotary," said Council Chairman Marcos Daniel Maloney. “Rotarians have always supported youth activities, although they have never been part of the Four Avenues of Service. I believe that this reinforces our commitment. ”

Avenida das Novas Gerações recognizes the positive changes implemented by young people and young adults involved in leadership, community and international development activities, as well as exchange programs that enrich and promote world peace and cultural understanding.

The Quadruple Proof

One of the most well-known statements related to professional ethics worldwide is the Rotary Quadruple Test. The test was created by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor in 1932, when he took over the management of a company based in Chicago, Club Aluminum Company, with the objective of saving it from bankruptcy. 

Taylor looked for a way to recover the company that was sunk in financial difficulties. He wrote a code of ethics to be obeyed by all employees of the company. 

The Quadruple Test became a benchmark for ethics in sales, production, advertising and in all the company's relations with its merchants and customers, and its subsequent financial recovery was credited to this simple but important philosophy. 

Herbert Taylor was born on April 18, 1893 in Pickford, Michigan. He first became a Rotarian in 1921 in Paulis Valley, Oklahoma and served as club president in 1924-1925. In 1927, Herbert Taylor became a member of the Rotary Club of Chicago in the Aluminum Kitchen Appliance Distributor classification. He served as president in 1939-1940. In 1944-46 he became director of RI, Vice President of RI 1945-46 and President of RI during Rotary's Golden Jubilee in 1954-55.  

The Quadruple Test was adopted by Rotary in l943, having been translated into more than 100 languages and reproduced in hundreds of different places. The questions in the Quadruple Test should be known to, and obeyed by, all Rotarians.  

From what we think, say or do: 

  1. It is the truth? 
  2. Is it FAIR for all concerned? 
  3. Will it create GOOD WILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? 
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL for all concerned? 

For many decades, Rotary clubs and Rotarians around the world have used the Quadruple Test as an instrument to develop respect and understanding among peoples.  

How the Test is used is indicated by the Chicago Rotarian who designed it.  

He suggests that, first, memorize the text and, later, get into the habit of confronting thoughts, words and deeds with the questions asked.  

It is a guide to acting right. If kept from memory and applied in the treatment with third parties, it will definitely contribute to more effective and friendly relations.  

The experience of many has shown that the Quadruple Test must be systematically consulted to assess the correctness of thoughts, words and deeds, achieving greater happiness and success. 


by Herbert J. Taylor 

In 1932, I was instructed by the Club Aluminum Company creditors to avoid bankruptcy and the consequent closure of the company. It operated as a distributor of kitchen utensils and other household items. We believe that it was a debtor of more than US$400.000 above the total assets. It was broken, but it still lived. 

On that occasion, a bank in Chicago lent us US$6.100, which was a scarce resource with which it continued to operate. 

While we had a good product, our competitors also traded with excellent material, from widely advertised brands. 

Our company had great employees, but the competition also had them. And, moreover, he was, of course, in much stronger economic conditions than we are.  

With tremendous obstacles and disadvantages to face, we felt the need to create in our organization something that competitors would not count on in equal proportions. We decided, then, that it would have to revolve around the character, the sense of duty and the spirit of service of our people. 

We determined to start by carefully selecting our employees and then helping them to become better men and women as they progressed in their careers. 

We believed in the “strength of reason” and decided to try our best to ensure that she was always on our side. 

The industry to which we consecrated ourselves, as happened to several others, had a code of ethics, but it was very long and almost impossible to retain it by color and, therefore, impractical. We concluded that we needed a simple standard to assess the correctness of our way of doing things, and that everyone in the company could quickly remember. We understood that the proposed text should not point out to our employees what they had to do, however, directing them questions that would make it easier for them to verify whether their plans, rules, reports and actions were right or wrong. 

We had sought, in the publications available, a short ethical measure, but we could not find a satisfactory one. One day, in July 1932, I decided to pray about it. That morning, I leaned over my desk and asked God to help us think, speak and do what was right. Immediately, I took a blank card and wrote “The Quadruple Proof” of what we think, say or do. I put this small set of rules under the glass of my desk and decided to rehearse it for a few days, before discussing the matter with any company employee. The result was very discouraging. I almost threw it in the basket of papers, on the first day, when I compared everything that passed through my hands with his initial inquiry. "It is the truth ? I had never, until then, realized how often I was distanced from the truth, and the number of inaccuracies that appeared in the organization's literature, letters and propaganda. 

After about two months of a sincere and constant effort on my part, to attend the Quadruple Test, I was completely convinced of its value and, at the same time, immensely humiliated, sometimes discouraged, with my own performance of the functions of company president. However, I had progressed a lot in that purpose of respecting the test to believe that I was authorized to mention it to my associates. I discussed it with the four department heads.  

It may be useful to know the religious beliefs of the members of this group. One was Catholic, the second Christian scientist, the third, Orthodox Jew and the fourth, Presbyterian. 

I asked each of them if there was any detail in the Quadruple Test that was contrary to the doctrine and ideals of their particular devotion. All agreed that the cult of veracity, equity, friendliness and helpfulness was not only in keeping with its principles but that, if permanently observed in business, these virtues would ensure greater success and improvement. 

They agreed to find out if the establishment's plans, rules, reports and advertising were in line with the dictates of the Quadruple Test. Later, all the staff were asked to decorate it and adopt it in their relations with others. 

The investigation of the language of our advertisements, in light of the Quadruple Proof, resulted in the elimination of assertions whose authenticity could not be demonstrated. Superlatives such as the expressions "the best", "the greatest", "the only one", have disappeared from our propaganda. As a consequence, the public gradually began to place increasing faith in what we stated in the ads and to buy more of our goods. 

The uninterrupted use of the Quadruple Test led us to change our orientation regarding relations with competitors. We abolish, from our literature and complaints, any adverse or harmful comments to competitive products. 

When an opportunity was offered to praise our colleagues, we did not hesitate to do so. Thus, we win your consideration and friendship. Obeying the precepts of the Quadruple Test, in dealing with our employees, and with suppliers and customers, guaranteed us their esteem and goodwill. 

We have learned that the affection and trust of those with whom we associate are essential to lasting business success. 

Thanks to the loyal efforts of our servants, for more than twenty years, we have steadily approached the targets that the Quadruple Test aims at. 

We were rewarded with a continuous increase in our sales and profits, in which staff remuneration participated. Bankrupt in 1932, our company managed to achieve the current situation. With its debts fully paid, the payment of more than one million dollars to its shareholders and a collection of more than two million. All of these results stem from an investment of US$6.100 in money, the observance of the Quadruple Trial and the intense work of some creatures who believed in divine goodness and act under the inspiration of high ideals. 

Intangible dividends, derived from the adoption of the Quadruple Proof, are even more significant than financial ones. We have constantly seen the goodwill, esteem and trust of our customers, competitors and the public growing, in our favor, and, most importantly, we have marked a great improvement in the moral qualities of our staff and employees. 

We found that the Quadruple Test cannot be applied incessantly to all types of contacts, in the business sector, for eight hours a day, without contracting the custom of consulting it in the course of their own domestic, social and civic life.  

And in that way, we will be a better father, better friend and better citizen.