Source: Rotary Global History Fellowship
Rotary International is made up of the 1.22 million Rotarians in 35,000 clubs all over the world. Its headquarters are located in Evanston, Illinois. Here, along with its regional offices, it provides resources, training, and programs to help clubs run effectively and coordinates global programmes and initiatives. For New Zealand, the Regional Rotary Office is the South Pacific Rotary Office in Parramatta, Australia.
Clubs are grouped into Districts and led by a District Governor. There are around 530 districts which are organised into 34 zones in such a way that each zone has about the same number of Rotarians.
The president of Rotary International is elected by Rotarians and serves for one year. The President leads an elected board of directors who serve for two years. The directors are assigned to one or more zones and provide a vital direct communication link from clubs and districts directly to the International board.
From its very early days with its impact on the lives of humanity, Rotarians and clubs have had a major influence at the regional and global scale. Our successes have encouraged other people and organisations to want to work with us.
During World War II, Rotary members became increasingly involved in promoting international understanding. A Rotary conference held in London in 1942 was a precursor to the development of UNESCO, and 49 Rotary members served as delegates and consultants at the founding of the United Nations in 1945.
Today, Rotary holds the highest consultative status given by the United Nations to non-governmental organizations. In this capacity, Rotary has a voice within the UN system, allowing access to its people and resources worldwide. Rotary International provides this critical coordination point for working with partners at a global level and recruiting Rotarian representatives to many regional and global humanitarian organisations.