The mission of the Rotary Club of Chicago is to promote ethical leadership, professional success and friendship among Club members through service in our community and around the world. If interested in joining ROTARY/One please click here.
About the Rotary Club of Chicago
The World's First Service Organization
The Rotary movement began right here in Chicago, in 1905, when a small group of businessmen formed a charitable organization dedicated to serving their community and fostering fellowship among members of the professional community.
Paul Harris, Silvester Schiele, Gustavus Loehr and Hiram Shorey organized their first meetings in
each others' offices, switching off each meeting at a different office location. Thus the "Rotary" Club was born, only a few blocks from the Rotary Club of Chicago's current meeting place.
Today, the Rotary Club of Chicago boasts over 200 members who continue to meet on a weekly basis, a dedicated Foundation (the ROTARY/One Foundation, Inc.), a vibrant calendar of guest speakers, and strong participation in service projects both in Chicago and across the world, the Rotary Club of Chicago is carrying forward the traditions and values that were first founded here over 100 years ago.
About ROTARY/One Foundation
The ROTARY/One Foundation, Inc. is the foundation of the Rotary Club of Chicago. The mission of the ROTARY/One Foundation is to secure the resources necessary to support the Service Mission of the Rotary Club of Chicago.
The Rotary/One Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that is supported solely by voluntary contributions from members of the Rotary Club of Chicago and friends of the foundation. They share the commitment to service that began in 1905 with the founding of the Rotary Club of Chicago – the first service club in America.
About Rotary: The International Movement
What is Rotary?
According to the Rotary International Headquarters:
Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian aid, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world. 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 32,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical regions.
Object of Rotary
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:
FIRST. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
SECOND. 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;
THIRD. The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life;
FOURTH. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.
The Four-Way Test
From the earliest days of the organization, Rotarians were concerned with promoting high ethical standards in their professional lives. One of the world’s most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics is The Four-Way Test, which was created in 1932 by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor (who later served as RI president) when he was asked to take charge of a company that was facing bankruptcy.
This 24-word test for employees to follow in their business and professional lives became the guide for sales, production, advertising, and all relations with dealers and customers, and the survival of the company is credited to this simple philosophy. Adopted by Rotary in 1943, The Four-Way Test has been translated into more than a hundred languages and published in thousands of ways. It asks the following four questions:
“Of the things we think, say or do:
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?”
About The Rotary International Foundation: Paul Harris Fellowship
The Paul Harris Fellowship (PHF) is named for Paul Harris, who founded Rotary with three business associates in Chicago in 1905. The Fellowship was established in his honor in 1957 to express appreciation for a contribution of $1,000 to the humanitarian and educational programs of The Rotary Foundation.
Rotarians who contribute $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation receive a commemorative certificate, a Paul Harris Fellow pin and a medallion. Paul Harris Fellows who continue are awarded higher designations for each $1,000 given. For example, if someone contributes $2,000, they are acknowledged as a PHF+1. Rotarians who commit to giving $1,000 annually are inducted into the Paul Harris Society. Rotarians who contribute $10,000 or more to the Foundation receive Major Donor status.
The Rotary Foundation supports an array of projects that save and invigorate the lives of people around the world and enhance international friendship and understanding. Foundation programs provide educational opportunities, food, potable water, health care, immunizations and shelter for millions of persons. These activities are funded, implemented and managed by Rotarians and Rotary clubs around the globe. Click here for more information on the Rotary Foundation and the Paul Harris Fellowship.
The Rotary Club of Chicago has a long history of supporting the Foundation.