Membership Corner - October 5, 2015
What Is the Object of Rotary?
By Tom Sturiale
As we go about our hectic personal, professional and Rotary lives, we may forget the reasons we are committed to be Rotarians. Membership Corner will review the “Object of Rotary” and its four goals during the next four weeks. Rotary does have a clear statement of our raison d’etre.
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 the following:
1. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service
2. 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
3. The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business and community life
4. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.
Holy Rotar-ideology! What high minded lofty goals! What do they do they mean? How do we interpret them? How do we explain these goals to prospective members or even to our current members?  It may be useful to translate these ideas into more common language and terms we can more easily relate. Here are a few thoughts. It may be useful to discuss these objectives at your assembly meetings and add your own interpretations.
Let’s take the first goal: Development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service. One of the more common goals for joining Rotary is the opportunity it provides for meeting and networking with people we want to associate with and to enjoy fellowship, fun and friendship. We may want to network for business or for personal reasons. Maybe we just want the camaraderie or the support structure the organization provides. These are all legitimate and rational reasons for joining Rotary. As time goes on, our Rotary engagement grows ever stronger and we become more committed to deeper Rotary objectives rooted in the other three goals.
How does your club leadership develop opportunities for fellowship? Are there occasions throughout the year to join together as members or families either for fun or for service projects? These events do not happen by accident. They require some initiative and planning. They are great as ice breakers for members but also for prospective members. What better way to show prospective members that Rotary is truly a fun and friendly organization than to demonstrate it through practice.
Why is this goal important? The folks who generated these Rotary goals were really genius. Have you noticed how much more committed members are when they working on Rotary projects when they are accepted as members of the Rotary family and when they have generated strong acquaintances and personal friends amongst the membership? Acquaintance leads to friendship leads to commitment!  All strong organizations follow this same principle that commitment begins with the relationships between members. Club leadership should initiate many opportunities for social gatherings and fun events throughout the year to increase the camaraderie amongst members. Commitment to loftier Rotary Club objectives will surely follow.
Make sure to sign up for and attend the District 7910 Membership Forum on Wednesday, October 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Holiday Inn in Boxborough. Click here for more information and to register.
Please let me know any ideas, comments and stories about Membership you would like to share. E-mail me at
Tom Sturiale is vice chair of District 7910's Membership Committee.