Rotaract (which stands for Rotary in Action) is a Rotary-sponsored service club for young men and women ages 18 to 30. Rotaract clubs are either community or university based, and they’re sponsored by a local Rotary club. This makes them true "partners in service" and key members of the family of Rotary. The first Rotaract club was the Rotaract Club of North Charlotte in North Carolina, founded on March 13, 1968. Since then, Rotaract has grown into one of Rotary's most significant and fastest-growing service programs, with more than 9,723 clubs in about 170 countries and geographical areas comprised of over 207,690 members.
Disclaimer: Information on this page has been taken and modified from the Rotaract Handbook
What is Rotaract?
Rotaract clubs are part of a global effort to bring peace and international understanding to the world. This effort starts at the community level but knows no limits in its outreach. Rotaractors have access to the many resources of Rotary International (RI) and The Rotary Foundation. Rotary International provides the administrative support that helps Rotaract clubs thrive.
Goals of Rotaract
- To develop professional and leadership skills
- To emphasize respect for the rights of others, based on recognition of the worth of each individual
- To recognize the dignity and value of all useful occupations as opportunities to serve
- To recognize, practice, and promote ethical standards as leadership qualities and vocational responsibilities
- To develop knowledge and understanding of the needs, problems, and opportunities in the community and worldwide
- To provide opportunities for personal and group activities to serve the community and promote international understanding and goodwill toward all people
What Does a Rotaract Club Do?
Rotaract clubs do a variety of activities, from service projects to professional development to leadership development to fellowships. Events are organized and catered to the membership of the club, so it is not necessarily the case that one club does the exact same events as the other.
Running under Rotary's motto of "Service Above Self", Rotaract clubs strive to participate in as much service as they can. These service projects include local community service (i.e., adopting an elementary school, beach and park clean-ups, etc.) as well as international service (i.e., water purification, AIDS prevention, hunger, illiteracy, etc.). Each Rotaract club is required to complete at least two major service projects annually, one to serve the community and the other to promote international understanding. Each should involve all or most of the members of the club.
Professional development helps members to understand the work environment and business opportunities within their community. Each Rotaract club should provide professional development opportunities to its members through activities such as:
- Professional and vocational forums
- Business technology updates
- Management and marketing seminars
- Conferences on business and professional ethics
- Presentations on finance and credit options for business start-up
In addition, an advantage of being in a Rotaract club is having a network of Rotarians to communicate with and learn from. By working alongside Rotarians in Rotaract-Rotary projects, Rotaractors can become better acquainted with their sponsoring Rotarians. Some examples of Rotaract-Rotary professional development activities are:
- Mentorship programs
- Networking mixers
- Rotarians as guest speakers
A club’s leadership development activities aim not only to make members more effective leaders in their personal lives, but also to teach them how to develop and sustain strong clubs with relevant projects. Important topics to address in training club leaders include: Improving public speaking skills
- Developing techniques for marketing the Rotaract program to potential members
- Building consensus among members
- Delegating project responsibilities and ensuring necessary follow-up
- Identifying channels for project publicity and promotion
- Finding financial resources for strengthening club development
- Assessing project success
No club is complete without a social and fun aspect. Fellowships serve to bring Rotaractors closer to one another through social and informal activities. These activities should be designed to cater to the membership to bring higher turnout. Ideas of fellowships include, but are not limited to:
- Meals at restaurants
- Theme parks
- Board game nights
- Sports games (playing and/or watching)
- Special community events
Structure of Rotaract
Rotaract is divided into districts around the world. These districts follow the Rotary-structured districts. At the district level, the District Rotaract Representative serves as the leader and representative of all clubs in their respective district to Rotary International.
Each Rotaract club itself is structured differently. The Standard Club Constitution states that there is a president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer, with additional officers provided in the by-laws. Examples of how a club's officers can be structured can be found here.
What does RAC stand for?
RAC is shortened way to say Rotaract Club.
Citations and Footnotes
- Official @Rotaract Twitter, January 23, 2013. <https://twitter.com/rotaract/status/293862857341280256>
- Rotary at a Glance, June 2012. <http://www.rotary.org/en/aboutus/rotaryinternational/ataglance/pages/ridefault.aspx>