Satellite Clubs - FAQ

What is a satellite club?
Satellite clubs provide a new option for creating Rotary clubs. A satellite club functions as a short-term,
transitional step on the way to becoming a full, independent Rotary club.

SATELLITE CLUB PILOT PROJECT

Does this new satellite club option replace the Satellite Club pilot project?
No. The pilot project, which ends in 2016, is testing multiple meeting times and places for one Rotary
club. The new satellite club policy is different.

Can a club in the pilot project decide to become a new satellite club before the pilot ends?
Clubs participating in the pilot project are encouraged to remain in the pilot through its completion in
2016. However, an existing pilot club can ask to be removed from the pilot project to better accommodate
its members’ needs and interests.

STARTING A CLUB
How does a club apply to have a satellite club?
The sponsor club president sends an application to Club and District Support.

Is there a minimum or maximum number of members for a satellite club?
New satellite clubs must have at least eight members at the time they form in order to satisfy the
requirements of Article 10, Section 6(b) of the Standard Rotary Club Constitution. There is no maximum
number of members.

Is there a minimum number of members for the sponsor club?
No. Clubs with fewer than 20 members can form a satellite club.
 
Can e-clubs be sponsors or satellites?
Yes. E-clubs can sponsor both regular and e-club satellites, and regular clubs can sponsor satellite e-clubs.
 
Is a satellite club sponsor the same as a new club sponsor?
No. The role and responsibilities of a new club sponsor are different.
 
Can a weak club convert to a satellite club and retain its charter and history?
If the members of a weak Rotary club want to become a satellite club, they must first resign their charter.
They would then be free to form a satellite club and become members of the sponsor club. However,
satellite clubs are not intended to strengthen weak clubs. If a club needs extra guidance and support, a
district governor may assign a stronger club or a special representative to mentor the weak club.
 
Can Rotaract clubs be converted into satellite clubs as a transition to becoming a full Rotary club?
Yes. Some or all of the members of a Rotaract club may form or join a satellite club.

How are satellite clubs named?
Satellite clubs have the same name as the sponsor club plus a qualifier that distinguishes it from the
sponsor, for example:
 
Sponsor and satellite clubs meet at different times
Sponsor:  Rotary Club of Bangkok North
Satellite:  Rotary Satellite Club of Bangkok North Evening
 
Sponsor and satellite clubs have different meeting locations
Sponsor:  Rotary Club of Chicago Lakeview
Satellite:  Rotary Satellite Club of Chicago Lakeview Broadway

E-clubs follow the same naming format:
 
Sponsor:  Rotary Club of Bangkok North
Satellite:  Rotary Satellite E-Club of Bangkok North Evening
 
Sponsor:  Rotary E-Club of Taipei
Satellite:  Rotary Satellite E-Club of Taipei [qualifier]
 
How do satellite clubs change their names?
The sponsor or satellite club should contact Club and District Support. The CDS representative will
confirm the name change in writing with the sponsor club president and satellite club chair. No change
will be made unless they are in agreement.

BOARD AND GOVERNANCE
Can satellite clubs create a separate board with a different set of officers from the sponsor club?
Satellite clubs set up their own board and have their own officers. However, instead of a president, a
satellite club has a chair.
 
If there are two boards, how are disagreements handled?
The board of the sponsor club has the final authority when there are disagreements.
 
Does the leadership of the satellite club have a position on the sponsor club’s board?
This is not required, but is highly recommended.
 
Can a satellite club have separate bylaws?
Yes. The satellite club determines its bylaws in collaboration with its sponsor club.
 
Who decides where and when the satellite club meets?
The satellite club determines its meeting place and time in consultation with its sponsor club.
 
Does the satellite club meet together with the sponsor club?
The satellite club should have a separate meeting, although it may meet jointly with the sponsor club from
time to time.
 
Can satellite clubs sponsor Interact or Rotaract clubs?
No. But if the satellite’s sponsor club sponsors an Interact or Rotaract club, it may appoint a satellite club
member to serve as the Rotarian contact and mentor for the Interact or Rotaract club.
 
Do satellite clubs need to set goals? Can they set goals in Rotary Club Central?
All clubs, including satellite clubs, are strongly encouraged to set goals to achieve success. However,
Rotary Club Central can’t accommodate satellite club goals at this time.
 
Does someone who has only served as the chair of a satellite club meet the qualifications for
district governor-nominee?
No, only Rotary club presidents can be nominated for district governor. However, the district can ask the
Rotary International president to waive this requirement.

MEMBERSHIP AND DUES
Are satellite club members Rotarians?
Yes, they are members of the sponsor club.
 
Does the sponsor club need to approve new satellite club members?
The sponsor and satellite clubs should work out a process for adding new satellite club members at the
time the satellite is being formed. The sponsor club should also add that process to its bylaws. If a conflict
arises with satellite club membership, the sponsor club has the final say. As members of the sponsor club,
satellite club members are ultimately subject to the authority of the sponsor club’s board.
 
Do satellite club members pay Rotary dues?
Yes. Satellite club members are Rotarians and pay the same Rotary dues as the sponsor club’s members.
 
Do satellite clubs receive a dues invoice?
No. The satellite club members are included on the sponsor club’s dues invoice.
 
If a satellite club is formed after 15 May or 15 November, are dues for the new members waived, as
with a new club?

No. Satellite clubs are not separate Rotary clubs. New satellite club members are included on the sponsor
club’s dues invoice regardless of when the satellite club was approved.
 
Can a satellite club have a separate dues structure?
Yes. The satellite club determines its dues structure in collaboration with its sponsor club.

CHANGES IN CLUB STATUS AND SPONSORSHIP
How long can a satellite club exist?
Satellite clubs are intended as a temporary step on the way to becoming a full, independent Rotary club.
However, there is no time limit on the life of a satellite club.
 
How does a satellite club apply to become a new, independent Rotary club?
The satellite club works with the sponsor club and district governor to complete Rotary’s new club
application.
 
Can a satellite club transfer to a different sponsor club?
No. The sponsor and satellite clubs are permanently linked. The satellite club would need to be
terminated and the members would have to start a new satellite club with a different sponsor club.
 
How does a sponsor club terminate a satellite club?
The sponsor club president or secretary terminates each satellite club member as provided for in Article
12 of the Standard Rotary Club Constitution. Next, the sponsor president or secretary removes the
terminated members from the sponsor club roster, either in My Rotary or by emailing Data Services
(data@rotary.org). Finally, the sponsor club president notifies Club and District Support. The CDS
representative will confirm that the satellite club no longer has any members, request termination, and
notify the sponsor club president when the process is complete.
 
How does a sponsor club resign?
The sponsor or satellite club should contact Club and District Support. The CDS representative will
confirm the resignation in writing with the sponsor club president and satellite club chair. No change will
be made unless they are in agreement.
 
If the sponsor club is terminated, can the satellite club continue on its own?
No, the satellite club is terminated with the sponsor club.
 
If an existing weak club becomes a satellite club, can it revert to autonomous club status?
Satellite clubs are a new way to start a Rotary club. When a satellite club is ready, it may apply to become
a full Rotary club.

Who can I contact for more information?
Contact your Club and District Support representative.