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  Glossary — Words and Phrases used by Rotary  

Acting Governor — One who is appointed by the RI president to fill a vacancy in the office of governor until a new governor has been elected by the convention or the RI Board. An acting governor also may be appointed to fill a temporary vacancy during a time when the governor is unable to fulfill the responsibilities
of the office.

Active Member — A member of a club who has been elected to membership under a classification of business or profession and who has all the obligations, responsibilities, and privileges of membership as provided in the RI constitution and bylaws.

Admission Fee — Fee paid to a club by an applicant for membership in the club. The fee varies according to the amount specified by each club in its bylaws.

Alternate (delegate) — Any club may, at the time of selecting its delegates to the convention, choose an alternate for each delegate, such alternate being entitled to vote at the convention in case the delegate is absent.
Assembly, Club — Meeting of all club officers, directors, and committee chairs, held for the purpose of conferring on the program and activities of the club.

Assembly, District — A training meeting conducted annually, preferably in April or May, of club presidents-elect and club members assigned by the club president-elect to serve in key leadership roles in the upcoming year. It provides a program of instruction to develop club leaders who have the necessary skills, knowledge, and motivation to improve club effectiveness as defined by the RI Board, as well as an opportunity to share local and district plans and objectives. See also RIB 15.020.

Assembly, International — Annual meeting attended by general officers, governors-elect and others designated by the RI Board. Its purpose is to provide Rotary education, instruction in administrative duties, motivation, and inspiration to governors-elect and to provide an opportunity to discuss and plan how to implement Rotary’s programs and activities during the ensuing year.

Assistant Governor — A Rotarian appointed by the governor, in accordance with RI Board policy, to assist the governor with administrative work associated with club operations for designated clubs within an assigned geographic area.

Associate Foundation — A foundation which has been established based on criteria and guidelines from the Foundation Trustees and approved for operation as an associate foundation by the Trustees. The primary purpose of associate foundations is to provide tax benefits to Rotarians in countries where these foundations have been established.

Attendance Report — Report of the attendance at a club’s meetings. The RI bylaws require each club to make this report each month to its governor.

Board of Directors (Club) — Governing body of a Rotary club, to be constituted as the bylaws of the club may provide.

Certificate of Nomination of Governor — Certificate signed by the governor certifying the nomination of the Rotarian by the clubs in the district for the office of governor in a specified future year.

Charter Member — A founding member of a Rotary club. This member is elected to membership prior to the admission of the club to membership in RI.

Classification — Word or phrase that describes a separate and distinct business or professional service rendered to the community. As a term, it is the word or phrase which most accurately describes the principal and recognized business or professional activity of the firm, company, or institution with which an active member is connected, or that which covers the active member’s principal and recognized business or professional activity.

Classification Roster — Complete list of business and professional activities of the community, showing which have been filled, and which remain unfilled, in the club.

Club Locality — A descriptive term that describes the area in which a club provides service. A club may be organized in the same locality as one or more existing clubs.

Club Service — Rotary’s first Avenue of Service involves actions a Rotarian must take within the club to help it function successfully.

Code of Policies, Rotary — A comprehensive document containing all of the general and permanent policies of the Board of Directors of Rotary International.

Code of Policies, The Rotary Foundation — A comprehensive document containing all of the general and permanent policies of the Trustees of The Rotary Foundation.

Committee, RI, Ad Hoc — A committee established by the RI Board that continues in existence until its tasks are completed.

Committee, RI, Board — A committee of select board members established by the RI president to make recommendations on a specific topic to the full RI Board.

Committee, RI, Special — A committee established by the RI Board that continues in existence until the end of the Rotary year in which it is appointed.

Committee, RI, Standing — A committee mandated by section 16.010. of the RI bylaws.

Community Service — Rotary’s third Avenue of Service comprises varied efforts Rotarians make, sometimes in conjunction with others (for example, a Rotaract or Interact club or a Rotary Community Corps), to improve the quality of life for those who live within their club’s locality or municipality.

Convention — Annual international meeting open to all Rotarians and their guests. Its primary purpose is to inspire and inform Rotarians at an international level. Club delegates from around the world elect RI officers for the coming year, including the president and RI Board.

Council on Legislation — RI’s legislative body as provided for in article 10 of the RI constitution and article 8 of the RI bylaws. Its voting membership is composed of a representative of the clubs of each district. It meets every third year to deliberate and act upon proposed enactments and resolutions submitted by clubs, district conferences, the general council or conference of RIBI, the Council on Legislation, and the RI Board. Its actions in adopting legislation are subject to review by all clubs.

Council on Legislation Representative — Rotarian (past officer unless otherwise approved by the president) elected to represent the clubs of a district at the Council on Legislation. Representatives are voting members of the Council.

Credentials Certificate — Certificate completed by the governor verifying the election of the representative and alternate for the Council on Legislation. The certificate must be presented for credentialing at the Council.

Delegate — Representative of a Rotary club at the international convention.

Delegate-at-Large — Each officer and each past president of RI still holding membership, other than honorary membership, in a club is qualified to be a delegate-at-large at the convention. Each delegate-at-large is entitled to cast one vote on each question.

District — Name given to a geographic area within which clubs are grouped for RI administrative purposes.

District Audit Report — Audited financial statement from the previous Rotary year discussed and adopted at the district conference in order to ensure financial accountability to the clubs. (RIB 15.060.4.) This statement is submitted by the district governor to RI with the district conference report. (RCP 17.050.)

District Conference — Meeting held annually in each district to further the program of Rotary through fellowship, inspirational addresses, and the discussion of matters relating to club and district affairs. It is open to all Rotarians in the district and their families.

District Conference Report — Report to RI which the governor and the secretary of the district conference are required to make covering any action taken by the conference, the number of clubs represented, and other matters.

District Designated Fund (DDF) — The 50 percent of a district’s contributions to The Rotary Foundation, plus any adjustments, available for its use for programs during any given year.

District Dues — Also known as the district fund. Each district may establish a fund for financing district-sponsored projects and administrative functions. The district dues are financed by all clubs in the district by way of a mandatory per capita levy on members of those clubs. RI policy requires that the per capita amount must be approved at the district assembly or the district conference each year. (RCP 22.020.1.) Clubs may be suspended for failure to pay their district dues for more than six months. (RIB 15.060.3.)

District Leadership Plan — The organizational structure for all districts. Components include defined responsibilities and duties for assistant governors and district committees, as well as defined limits to terms of service and number of terms.

Dues and Fees — Every active member of a club pays an admission fee and annual dues to the club in amounts determined by the club.

Effective Club — A club that can 1) sustain and/or grow its membership base; 2) implement successful service projects that address the needs of its community and communities in other countries; 3) support The Rotary Foundation through both program participation and financial contributions; and 4) develop leaders capable of serving Rotary beyond the club level.

Electors — The duly accredited delegates, proxy holders, and delegates-at-large which constitute the voting body of the convention. See also Delegate.

Enactment — An item of legislation adopted by the Council on Legislation which amends the RI constitution or bylaws or the standard Rotary club constitution.

Extension, External — Work of extending Rotary by organizing clubs in localities where there are no Rotary clubs. This work is carried on in districts by the governors with the cooperation of the Secretariat. In nondistricted areas, it is carried on by the Extension Committee under the supervision of the RI Board.

Extension, Internal — Increasing the number of members in the club so as to include representatives of all classifications for which suitable persons are available within the locality of the club.

Fiscal Agent — Rotarian volunteers who receive and deposit payments made by clubs in their countries and disburse the funds as authorized by the RI controller. Fiscal agents are listed in the Official Directory.

Founder of Rotary — Term used in reference to Paul P. Harris, who organized the first Rotary club in Chicago in 1905. Paul Harris was born 19 April 1868 and died 27 January 1947.

Four Avenues of Service — Term used in referring to Club Service, Vocational Service, Community Service, and International Service. See separate entries.

Fund Pool — Term used in The Rotary Foundation for District Designated Fund allocated by districts through the SHARE system to create a pool of monies available on a competitive basis to fund selected Foundation programs, such as the Rotary World Peace Scholarships.

General Council (RIBI) — Governing body of RI in Great Britain and Ireland (see RIBI) consisting of the officers of RIBI (the president, immediate past president, vice president, honorary treasurer, and secretary) and the governors of the districts in Great Britain and Ireland. The RI director from Great Britain and Ireland is a member of the general council ex officio.

General Secretary — The chief operating officer of RI under the direction and control of the RI Board. The general secretary is responsible to the RI Board and the president for the implementation of its policies and for the operations and administration, including the financial operation, of RI. This individual is also the general secretary of The Rotary Foundation.

Good Standing — As used in the constitutional documents of RI, this phrase applies to a member of a Rotary club or to the membership of a Rotary club in RI and means that the Rotarian or club continues to fulfill all requirements for membership in the club or in RI.

Governor-nominee Data Form — A biographical data form completed by the candidate that is selected by the district for the office of district governor. It contains personal information about the successful candidate and his/her spouse, and serves as a preliminary registration form for the International Assembly.

Governors-elect Training Seminar (GETS) — A zone-level training seminar for governors-elect held in conjunction with Rotary zone institutes.

Governor’s Monthly Letter — Communication issued every month by the governor to the president and secretary of each club in the district containing items of special interest and importance, including the monthly Membership Attendance Report.

Honorary Member — A person who has been elected to honorary membership of a club for serving with distinction in the furtherance of Rotary ideals, or for being considered a friend of Rotary for his/her permanent support. An honorary member is exempt from payment of fees and dues, has no vote, and may not hold office. However, an honorary member may attend all meetings and enjoy the privileges of the club. The term of honorary membership is determined by the club board.

Institute, International — Attended by current, past, and incoming district governors, an international institute is usually held at the time and location of the international convention. Timely topics related to the program of Rotary and administration of RI are informally discussed.

Institute, Rotary Zone — Instructional, motivational, and fellowship meeting for past, current, and incoming governors and other RI officers from the districts which comprise a zone or zones. A Rotary zone institute is intended to provide participants with up-to-date information about Rotary’s programs and is a source of ideas for improving and strengthening the Rotary movement.

Interact — Rotary club-sponsored clubs for young people dedicated to service and international understanding. Membership is open to students at the secondary school level (ages 14 to 18).

Intercountry Committee — Committee of Rotarians, Rotary clubs, or districts, formulated by or with the approval of governors concerned, to encourage contacts between clubs and Rotarians in two or more countries, thus developing understanding between and promoting fellowship among the peoples of different nations.

International Service — Rotary’s fourth Avenue of Service comprises all the things that a Rotarian can do to advance international understanding, goodwill, and peace by fostering acquaintance with people of other countries, their cultures, customs, accomplishments, aspirations, problems — through reading and correspondence, and through cooperation in all club activities and projects (including those associated with The Rotary Foundation) designed to help people in other lands.

Make-up — Attendance at the meeting of another Rotary club or certain other functions as provided in article 8 of the standard Rotary club constitution, to protect membership and receive attendance credit when a meeting of the Rotarian’s own club is missed. When attendance is made up at another Rotary club, it is reported to the Rotarian’s home club on a Visiting Rotarian Report Card sent by the secretary of the club visited.

Membership Attendance Report (Governor) — Governor’s summary of the monthly attendance reports received from the clubs in the district. The governor sends a copy of this summary report to the general secretary and must publish it in the governor’s monthly letter.

Membership Data Form — Forms that RI furnishes to club secretaries for their use in reporting to the general secretary new members, terminations of membership, and changes in addresses and classifications. Membership data can also be updated online through Member Access.

Membership Development — To achieve membership growth and development, a continual, multistep process is encouraged which entails three core elements: the recruitment of new members, the retention of existing members, and the organization of new clubs (extension). Recruitment + Retention + New Clubs = Membership Growth.

Membership Identification Card — A uniform pocket membership identification card, recommended by RI for use by all clubs. It has blank spaces provided for inserting the name of the member to whom the card is issued, the name of the club, the date to which dues have been paid, the signature of the club secretary and the signature of the member to whom the card is issued. Cards are available for purchase from Rotary licensed vendors.

Memo of Club Visit — Printed form that an assistant governor or governor completes during club visits. The purpose of this memo is to aid assistant governors and governors in assessing a club’s progress toward goals and to determine ways to tailor support provided to a club. It also serves as an annual record of a club’s progress, which is used by the district and RI for guidance in servicing the clubs.

Menu of Service Opportunities — Issues and concerns identified by RI as recommended service priorities for clubs and districts for a specified period of time. These include Children at Risk, Disabled Persons, Health Care, International Understanding and Goodwill, Literacy and Numeracy, Population Issues, Poverty and Hunger, Preserve Planet Earth, and Urban Concerns.

Merger of Clubs — Two or more clubs within the same district may apply to the Board to merge into a single club. (RIB 2.050.)

Multidistrict Administrative Groups — Established under Board approval (see RCP 16.040.) whenever two or more districts wish to provide joint administrative services to their clubs.

Object of Rotary — The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise as set forth in the RI constitution, article 4 and the standard Rotary club constitution, article 4.

Officers, Club — The officers of a club are the president, the president-elect, one or more vice presidents, the secretary, the treasurer, and the sergeant-at-arms.

Officers, RI — The officers of RI are the president, president-elect, vice president, treasurer, other directors, general secretary, governors; and the president, immediate past president, vice president, and honorary treasurer of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland.

Officers, RI, General — The general officers of RI are the president, president-elect, vice president, treasurer, other directors, and the general secretary.

Paul Harris Fellow — An individual who contributes or in whose honor or memory is contributed US$1,000 to The Rotary Foundation.

Per Capita Dues — The per capita dues which each club pays to RI semiannually on 1 July and 1 January for each active member of the club.

Perfect Attendance — Term used by many clubs to refer to a Rotarian’s 100 percent attendance record.

Planning Guide for Effective Rotary Clubs — A goal-setting tool used by club presidents-elect in cooperation with club and district leaders to establish goals related to the four elements of an effective club, as well as general club administration. The guide also suggests common strategies that clubs can use to achieve their goals.

PolioPlus — The program of Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation with a “priority of the highest order” to eradicate polio.

Presidents-elect Training Seminar (PETS) — A training meeting conducted annually, preferably in March, for club presidents-elect. Its main purpose is to develop club presidents who have the necessary skills, knowledge, and motivation to create or maintain an effective club as defined by the RI Board.

President’s Representative — A representative of the president assigned to attend a district conference.

Purposes of Rotary International
a) To support the clubs and districts of RI in their pursuit of programs and activities that promote the Object of Rotary;
b) To encourage, promote, extend, and supervise Rotary throughout the world;
c) To coordinate and generally direct the activities of RI. (RIC 3)

Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator (RRFC) — A Rotarian who provides a link between the Foundation Trustees and the districts regarding Foundation matters in an assigned region. RRFCs have two primary areas of responsibility: promotion of fundraising and promotion of programs.

Resolution — Action by the Council on Legislation which does not amend or conflict with the constitutional documents of RI but which expresses an opinion or makes a recommendation to the RI Board. See also Enactment.

Rotaract — Rotary club-sponsored clubs for young adults (ages 18 to 30) for the purpose of developing leaders and service-minded citizens.

Rotary — “Rotary” is used as expressive and indicative of the organized body of Rotary clubs and Rotarians, of the spirit which animates them, of the principles and practices and precedents which guide them, and of the purposes and object they seek to accomplish.

Rotary Community Corps (RCC) — Rotary club-sponsored groups for non-Rotarian adults dedicated to serving and improving their own village, neighborhood, or community.

Rotary Emblem — Symbol of Rotary International, consisting of a gearwheel with 6 spokes, 24 cogs, and a keyway. Colored royal blue and gold, it is worn with pride by Rotarians as a lapel button.

Rotary Entity/Rotary Entities — Rotary International, The Rotary Foundation, a Rotary club or group of clubs, a Rotary district or group of districts (including a multidistrict activity), a Rotary Fellowship, RI Convention host committees, and administrative territorial units of Rotary International.

Rotary Fellowships — An RI Structured Program that brings together Rotarians who share common interests or vocations to foster international fellowship, friendship, and service. Rotary Foundation of RI, The — A not-for-profit corporation that receives contributions and distributes funds in support of approved humanitarian and educational programs that are implemented through Rotary clubs and districts. Its mission is to support the efforts of Rotary International in the fulfillment of the Object of Rotary, Rotary’s Mission, and the achievement of world understanding and peace through local, national, and international humanitarian, educational, and cultural programs.

Rotary Foundation Sustaining Member — An individual who makes a minimum initial gift of US$100 or more to the Annual Programs Fund of The Rotary Foundation and states in writing the intention to make a minimum gift of US$100 or more to the fund annually thereafter.

Rotary Friendship Exchange — An RI Structured Program for Rotarians and their families to engage in opportunities to experience other cultures firsthand through reciprocal visits with Rotarians and their families from other countries.

Rotary Information — 1) The process of informing members on the Object, principles, and development of Rotary and its four Avenues of Service. 2) The process of developing in each Rotarian a sense of responsibility and understanding expressed by personal dedication and service to Rotary ideals.

Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland (RIBI) — The name of the association of Rotary clubs in Great Britain, Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.

Rotary International Membership Coordinator (RIMC) — A network of Rotarians appointed by the RI president to support districts and clubs in their membership efforts. There are 44 RIMCs, at least one appointed in each zone.

The RIMCs are supported by Rotary International membership zone coordinators (RIMZCs). There are 80 RIMZCs. Both the RIMCs and RIMZCs are responsible for conducting membership seminars within their regions, identifying membership trends and strategies specific to their regions, serving as a member of the governors-elect training seminar (GETS) team and presenting or facilitating membership sessions at other district or zone meetings or events. (RCP 26.070.)

Rotary International Office
An office of the Secretariat other than World Headquarters. Each international office services the Rotary clubs and governors in its assigned area.
Rotary International Brazil Office Office of the Secretariat in São Paulo, Brazil, which serves Rotary in Brazil.
Rotary International Europe/Africa Office Office of the Secretariat in Zurich, Switzerland, which serves Rotary in Europe, Africa, and the Eastern Mediterranean region.
Rotary International Japan Office Office of the Secretariat in Tokyo, Japan, which serves Rotary in Japan.
Rotary International Korea Office Office of the Secretariat in Seoul, Korea, which serves Rotary in Korea.
Rotary International South Asia Office Office of the Secretariat in Delhi, India, which serves Rotary in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
Rotary International South Pacific and Philippines Office Office of the Secretariat in Parramatta, Australia, which serves Rotary in Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, and the Pacific Islands.
Rotary International Southern South America Office Office of the Secretariat in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which serves Rotary in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

Rotary International Theme — Annual Rotary message expressed through the president. The theme directs the service initiatives throughout the Rotary year.

Rotary Marks — RI’s intellectual property – trademarks and service marks owned throughout the world, including both word and design marks. For a more complete listing of RI’s intellectual property, see chapter 17 of this manual.

Rotary Volunteers — The Rotary Volunteers program is the embodiment of Rotary’s motto Service Above Self. The program encourages Rotarians to become actively involved in hands-on projects in which their vocational skills are put to use. Rotary Volunteers provides opportunities for Rotarians and other skilled professionals to offer their services and expertise to local and international humanitarian projects in need of assistance. RI maintains a database of volunteers offering to serve internationally, as well as sites in need of volunteer assistance.

Rotary Wheel — see Rotary Emblem.

Rotary World — Newspaper published four times a year, in nine languages, for Rotary club, district, and international leaders. A universal source of information on all programs of RI and The Rotary Foundation, and on Rotary news of interest originating in the clubs and districts.

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) — Program conducted at the club, district, multidistrict, and international levels where Rotarians and Rotary clubs participate in developing qualities of leadership, good citizenship, and personal development in the young people of their communities by providing a training experience. RYLA programs are tailored for youth between the ages of 14 and 30.

Secretariat — The entire operations of the general secretary and staff, including international offices and all staff assigned to Rotary Foundation matters.

Semiannual Report — Report which each club makes to RI on 1 July and 1 January of each year certifying to the RI Board the number of its members on such dates. The report is signed by the club president and the club secretary and is transmitted to the general secretary on forms provided by the Secretariat for that purpose, or it may be completed online by the club president or secretary. These reports are used as the basis on which the club makes payment to RI for per capita dues.

Service Above Self — Rotary’s official motto which may be used in Rotary literature and elsewhere.

SHARE System — The mechanism through which Rotary Foundation program awards are distributed worldwide.
The system is called SHARE because the name defines what the system does:
1) Rotarians SHARE their resources with their fellow Rotarians around the world;
2) the Trustees SHARE some of their decision-making responsibility with the districts; and
3) Rotarians SHARE Rotary with the world through their Foundation.

Special Months in Rotary — Months designated by the RI Board to emphasize the involvement of every Rotarian, and not just clubs, in Rotary activities. They are: Literacy (July), Membership and Extension (August), New Generations (September), Vocational Services (October), The Rotary Foundation (November), Family (December), Rotary Awareness (January), World Understanding (February), Magazine (April), Rotary Fellowships (June).

Special Representative — An individual, usually a Rotarian and preferably a member of the club sponsoring the organization of a new Rotary club, appointed by and representing the governor in all the details pertaining to the organization of the club.

Sponsor Club — Rotary club which has assumed responsibility for assisting in the organization of a new club and in guiding it in its early development as a member of RI. The sponsor club is usually the home club of the special representative who assisted the governor in the organization of the new club.

Standard Rotary Club Constitution — The club constitution prescribed by the RI bylaws for adoption by all clubs admitted to membership in RI.

Structured Programs — Organized activities recommended by the RI Board for clubs and districts that include a recommended framework and guidelines, including Interact, Rotaract, Rotary Community Corps, Rotary Fellowships, Rotary Friendship Exchange, Rotary Volunteers, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, World Community Service, and Youth Exchange.

The Rotarian — The name of the official magazine of RI; an international magazine for business and professional people.

Trustees of The Rotary Foundation — The directors of The Rotary Foundation, who are appointed by the president of RI with the concurrence of the RI Board. All business of the Foundation is managed by the Trustees and must be in the furtherance of the purpose of the corporation as stated in the articles of incorporation.

Visiting Rotarian Report Card — Card used by the secretary of a club to report the attendance of a visiting Rotarian to the secretary of the visitor’s home club so credit for attendance can be given.

Vocational Service — Rotary’s second Avenue of Service. Its purpose includes promoting high ethical standards in businesses and professions, recognizing the worthiness of all occupations, and fostering the ideal of service in the pursuit of all vocations. The role of the club includes developing projects that help members contribute their talents to meeting society’s needs. The role of Rotarians includes conducting themselves and their businesses in accordance with Rotary principles and responding to projects their clubs develop.

World Community Service (WCS) — An aspect of International Service that promotes international understanding and goodwill on a global scale. Through WCS, Rotarians from clubs in two different countries join together to conduct service projects to improve lives and meet human needs. Rotarians can offer their support to projects through funding, donated goods, or professional expertise. The WCS Projects Exchange on the RI Web site enables clubs to find a partner for a project.

World Headquarters — The World Headquarters of the Secretariat located at One Rotary Center, 1560 Sherman Avenue, Evanston, Illinois 60201-3698 USA. The World Headquarters provides membership services for clubs and districts in North America, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Gibraltar, northern South America, eastern Russia, and Antarctica.

World Understanding and Peace Day — The anniversary of Rotary’s beginning, 23 February 1905, is also observed as World Understanding and Peace Day. Each club, on that day, gives special recognition and emphasis to Rotary’s commitment to international understanding, friendship, and peace.

Youth Exchange — An RI Structured Program for students of secondary school age (ages 15 to 19) to engage in study or travel abroad for one academic year or less for the purpose of advancing international understanding and goodwill. Sponsored by sending and receiving Rotary clubs or districts, exchangees are selected according to guidelines and procedures established by the RI Board.

Zone — Grouping of clubs, established by the RI bylaws and constituted by the RI Board, for the purpose of electing members of the nominating committee for president and for the nomination of directors. Zone alignments are also often based upon which institutes are organized.