Learn about 

The Rotary Club of Norristown

Rotary Proud !

Why you should join your local Rotary Club.

1. Professional Networking: A founding principle of Rotary was to provide a forum for professional and business leaders. Members are leaders in business, industry, the professions, the arts, government, sports, the military, and religion. They make decisions and influence policy. Rotary Is the oldest, most prestigious service-club organization in the world.

2. The Opportunity to Serve: Rotarians provide service at both the community and International levels. Service programs address health care needs, hunger and poverty, illiteracy, disaster relief, and environmental cleanups, to name a few.  
Members experience the fulfillment that comes from giving back to the community.

3. Personal Growth and Development: Membership in Rotary ensures continuing personal and professional development. Leadership, public speaking and communication, organization and planning, team-building, fundraising, and teaching are just a sampling of the skills that can be exercised and enhanced through Rotary.

4. Friendship: Fellowship was a primary reason Rotary was started in 1905, and it remains a major attraction. Today, with more than 30,000 Rotary clubs In over 160 countries, Rotarians have friends wherever they go. Rotary helps to build community as well as enduring friendships.

5. Cultural Diversity: Rotary International is an association of local clubs in many countries. Clubs are open to members of every ethnic group, political persuasion, language, and religious belief. Rotary clubs contain a cross-section of the world's leaders. They practice and promote tolerance.

6. Good Citizenship: Membership in Rotary makes one a better citizen. Weekly Rotary club programs keep members informed about what is taking place in the community, nation, and world. Rotary's expansive network of clubs and programs provides extensive opportunities for service and interchange.

7. World Understanding: Rotary members gain an understanding of humanitarian issues and have a significant impact on them through international service projects and exchange programs of RI and its Foundation. The promotion of peace is one of Rotary's highest objectives.

8. Entertainment: Every Rotary club and district hosts parties and activities that offer diversion from one's personal and business life. Conferences, conventions, assemblies, and social events provide entertainment as well as Rotary information, education, and service.

9. FamiIy Foundations: Rotary sponsors some of the world's largest youth exchange and educational exchange and scholarship programs. Rotary clubs provide innovative training opportunities and mentoring for future leaders. They involve family members in a wide range of social and service activities.

10. Ethical Environment: Rotarians practice a 4-Way Test that measures words and actions by their truthfulness, fairness, goodwill, and benefit to all. Encouraging high ethical standards in one's profession and respect for all worthy vocations has been a hallmark of Rotary from its earliest days.

11. Personal Enrichment: Rotary is an altruistic organization created to serve others in need. If you enjoy helping others, improving the quality of life, and making the world a better tomorrow, then your life will benefit exponentially through Rotary.  Rotary brings out the best in people and for many, it is life changing.

Who would make a good Rotarian?
Rotary might not be for everyone, but it is not an exclusive organization nor is it solely a social lunch club. It is intended for those of high moral character who enjoy investing their time and expertise to give back in order to gain satisfaction from all of the above points.  
  • Anyone of high moral character who is looking to make a positive impact on the local & global community
  • A current or former professional, proprietor, executive, manager, or community leader
  • An individual committed to service with a record of personal involvement
  • Rotary Foundation alumni
  • An individual who has interrupted employment or has never worked in order to care for children or to assist the spouse in their work

How often does Rotary meet?
Rotary meets weekly.  Life is busy, we understand that.  Like anything worthwhile, the more you participate, them more you will get out of it.  This is an active club and much happens from week to week and you wouldn't want to miss out on the fun.  Should you choose to strive for perfect attendance and can't make it every week, there are other local club meeting opportunities available as listed in "Nearby Club Meetings" and there are thousands of clubs worldwide.  Also, there are now online e-meetings available. Committee meetings, board meetings and service events all count towards meeting credit.

Common misconceptions about Rotary

Rotary has very strict guidelines on attendance.
We are a volunteer organization in which attendance to the meetings is important to build relationships and learn about the club activity opportunities in which to get involved.  Rotary International recommends minimum attendance of 50% of your home club's meetings.  Each club has a different interpretation on the enforcement of that recommendation.  We strive to office ample opportunity to participate outside of the regular business meeting. Make-up meetings at other clubs and online meetings are also a great way to meet others and find out how other clubs run.
We are a secret society where admission is on a restricted basis.
The only secret we have is that we are not more active in promoting the good work that we do. 
I have to live or work in Norristown to be a member.
NO, This is not the case. We have members who live or work a fair distance from Norristown. Some live or work in the Norristown area.  Some originally lived or worked in Norristown. But all have a strong interest in helping the Norristown community and belonging to a club with such a prestigious history and reputation. 

Discussion of business or the opportunity to talk about your vocation is forbidden.
Nope, Rotary was started by a group of 5 business people in Chicago in 1905 and the Vocational Avenue of Service are still very much a part of the Rotary culture.  It wasn't until 1908 that the great tradition of performing community service projects was started. Business discussion is permitted and encouraged before and after the club business meeting.  Rotary is about networking. 
With the organization being so large, a lot of the funds raised go towards the infrastructure of the organization.
Rotary International and its foundation is consistently ranked in the highest category at independent charitable rating agencies.  In fact, it bears a rating of 5 stars by Charity Navigator and a fully Accredited Charity by 
the Better Business Bureau. 100% of our local fundraiser proceeds go to local charity. The club operating expenses comes from member dues.
We wear funny looking hats.
Nope, sorry, but there are some great organizations that do.
Only owners of businesses are allowed to join.
This couldn't be further from the truth.  Although many of our club members are business owners, we welcome anyone of high moral character who is looking to make a positive impact on the local & global community. Rotary's membership consists of community leaders, clergy, business owners, retirees and professionals.
Only one person from each business classification is allowed each club. 
The Rotary guideline is that not more than 10% of the clubs roster should be from any one specific profession. We are one of the larger clubs in the district and professional classification distinction has never been an issue. 
We have an endless amount of fund-raising activities.
Our club currently has only one fundraiser a year to support our charitable giving budget. Our Pancake Breakfast in the spring is our major source of charity revenue.  The members of our club are not compelled to participate but are expected to help out by promoting and selling tickets. 
Our membership consists only of old men.
That's the OLD Rotary.  Our club has members in their 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's  & 90's.  Diversity is an important element of our club membership.  Our club celebrates diversity and depends on it as a way of expanding the understanding of people from different backgrounds. Our goal is that the club is representative of our community diversity by race, gender, religious belief, and ethnic background.

The Catholic Church discourages or prohibits Rotary membership.  Not true.  There is no universal rule  prohibiting Catholics from being Rotary members.   We have many practicing Roman Catholic members. Contrary to early 20th century beliefs,  Rotary has nothing to do with Masonry or the Freemasons and holds no secret oath above the church or God.  In fact, since the 1970's, Catholic priests have taken positions as Rotary club presidents and district governors.
* Some misconception content specifically shared with permission, courtesy of the Haverford Rotary Club