Rotaract clubs bring together people ages 18 into their 30’s to exchange ideas with leaders in the community, develop leadership and professional skills, and have fun through service.
In communities worldwide, Rotary and Rotaract members work side by side to take action through service. From big cities to rural villages, Rotaract is changing communities like yours.
Rotaract members decide how to organize and run their clubs, manage their own funds, and plan and carry out activities and service projects. Rotary club sponsors offer guidance and support and work with your club as partners in service.
History of Rotaract
Rotaract was founded with the Rotaract Club of North Charlotte, Carolina being the first club to be chartered - on March 13, 1968. However, as early as 1935, Paul Harris encountered a youth organization based on Rotary principles in Australia.
In the 1950's many youth clubs were sponsored by Rotary clubs under various names. These included the “Paul Harris Circles” in Europe and the “Rotors” clubs created in some American Universities. In 1965, these organizations experienced significant growth - in part due to the Interact program created by Rotary International in 1962. Many Interactors, having reached the age limit of that program, were starting new types of clubs called “Senior Interact”.
The new program’s name, Rotaract, was created by Rotary International as a combination of the words “Rotary” and “Action”. The aim of the program was stated to be “to develop leadership and responsible citizenship through service to the community.”
Following the founding of the Rotaract Club of North Charlotte, many existing Rotary based youth clubs changed their names to become an official Rotaract club. In the 1990's, Rotaractors combined their organizations on an international level with the creation of Multi-District Organizations in Europe, Australia, and South America.
There are over 7,000 clubs in about 163 countries and geographical areas. Internationally, Rotaract is strong in Asia, Africa and South America as well as Europe, where Rotary membership may be exclusive or expensive.
In October 2019, the Board of Directors of Rotary International approved several changes to the Rotaract Club structure and standing.
- As of 1 July 2020, members of Rotaract will no longer be required to leave their club when they turn 31. Clubs will still be able to set their own age limit if they wish.
- New Rotaract clubs won’t have to rely on a Rotary club to sponsor them; they can now sponsor themselves or choose another Rotaract club as their sponsor.
- Rotaractors are now eligible — and encouraged — to serve alongside Rotarians on district and RI committees.
- Rotaract clubs will also gain more support from Rotary International, including access to administrative tools on My Rotary and the option to subscribe to the digital edition of The Rotarian.
- In 2022, annual dues of $5 per person for university-based Rotaract clubs and $8 for community-based clubs will be introduced to cover the cost of additional support for Rotaract clubs.
- The Trustees encourage Rotaract clubs to work with Rotary clubs on global grant projects. Rotaract clubs can also receive funding from district grants through a Rotary club. As always, Rotaractors can apply for scholarships and Rotary Peace Fellowships through the Foundation. As of July 2022, Rotaract Clubs with a history of working with Rotary Clubs on District and Global Grants will be eligible to apply for these grants independently.
Rotaract Clubs: Community & College Based
There are two types of Rotaract clubs – community-based and college-based.
College/University clubs have a built-in recruiting tool and a pool of potential members. These clubs usually only meet during the academic year and therefore have some limits in retaining members (due to summer vacations and the duration of their academic program), and time limits for service/activity commitments.
Community clubs are active year-round but can struggle with membership and leadership continuity due to the mobile nature of the age group and the school/work/life schedules of the members.
Rotaract in District 5080
The District Rotaract Committee’s purpose is to encourage and provide a venue for Rotaract clubs to communicate and work at the District level; to support the clubs and promote Rotaract across the District and to encourage Rotary clubs to sponsor more Rotaract clubs.
Rotaract Clubs in District 5080 include:
- Gonzaga University Rotaract
Gonzaga University at Spokane, Washington is the primary source of members for this Rotaract Club.
- Mid-Columbia Rotaract Club
This is a community-based club located in the Tri-Cities, Washington area.
- Rotaract of the Palouse
This Rotaract Club is a community-based group located in Moscow, Idaho.
- Rotaract Club of Sandpoint
This Rotaract Club is a community-based organization located in Sandpoint, Idaho.
- Spokane Rotaract
The Spokane Rotaract Club is a community-based organization located in Spokane, Washington.
- Walla Walla Rotaract
The Walla Walla University in Washington is the primary recruitment location for this Rotaract Club.
More information on Rotaract can be accessed through the Rotaract Handbook available through the My Rotary site of Rotary International.
The District 5080 Leadership Council includes two Rotaract Co-Chairs to provide guidance and support to the Rotaract Clubs organized in the District. These Co-Chairs are:
Tri-Cities Sunrise Rotary