Prospective Member Frequently Asked Questions


What is Rotary? 

Rotary is a worldwide network of over 1.3 million neighbors, friends, and leaders who volunteer their skills and resources to solve issues and address community needs.  There are more than 33,000 Rotary Clubs in 172 countries throughout the world. Clubs meet weekly for fellowship, a meal, and an informative program. Clubs identify opportunities for service projects in their communities and throughout the world, often partnering with other clubs to plan and execute them.   Rotary’s motto is Service Above Self, and Rotarians pursue Five Areas of Service: Club Service, Vocational Service, Community Service, International Service and Next Generations (Rotary Youth Exchange and Youth Leadership) Service. Belonging to a Rotary Club is a great way to make new friends while doing good in the world and your community. It provides a wonderful platform for service minded individuals to marry their energy and ideas for service with like-minded people, community resources, and the support to make their ideas a reality.  

Who can join the Rotary? 

Membership is open to service minded individuals who live or work in the South Puget Sound area or have another connection to our community and are interested in making new friends while doing good in the world. Members include local business owners, service providers, educators, community and non-profit leaders, volunteers and others interested in making our community and the world a better place.   

What are the obligations of membership? 

Members are encouraged to regularly attend weekly meetings and to actively participate in a variety of the club’s service, social, and fundraising activities (as their time and circumstances permit). There is no strict attendance requirement; it’s understood most people have busy schedules and many demands upon their time. New members infuse clubs with energy, ideas, and enthusiasm!

There are a variety of ways for new members to get involved. One way is to suggest a few great speakers to be presenters at club meetings. Another way is to stay informed of Rotary club happenings and share them on Facebook; follow your club’s page and those of our Rotary District and the other local Rotary Clubs. By far, the best way for new members to start getting involved is to attend weekly club meetings as often as possible; by doing so they’ll to get to know many of the club’s members and will learn a great deal about our local community and upcoming events from speakers, members, and announcements.

Members will find their club experience greatly enriched through participation in their club’s occasional hands-on community service opportunities. Not only are they rewarding to do, but they can also be a lot of fun, especially when there are enough people participating to accomplish them quickly and efficiently. Again, there is no strict attendance or participation requirement for hands-on service projects. 

And finally, financially supporting the club’s projects can also be a great way to be involved and to experience the gratification that comes from seeing the difference our combined efforts and contributions make in our community and in our world. Everyone has their own particular passions and talents, so no two Rotarians participate in exactly the same way. Just bear in mind that Rotary Clubs are service clubs whose members value service above self, and therefore expect all club members to serve the club and its efforts on behalf of our community in some way.   

What does it cost to be a member? 

Costs vary by club. For The Rotary Club of South Puget Sound/Olympia, they are as follows:   

  • Semi-annual dues of $100 (Combined Club, Rotary District, & Rotary International)
  • Weekly breakfast meals $12/each (includes gratuity) - currently breakfast meals are suspended and thus there is no cost for the time being.
  • Annual "Every Rotarian Every Year" (EREY) recommended donation of $100 to the Rotary International Foundation’s Annual Fund-SHARE; may be invoiced $100 annually with January dues, or $50 each semi-annual dues. 

Members are invoiced semi-annually (in July, & January)  Note: The Rotary year is from July 1 through June 30 so the 1st half of the year is July-September and the 2nd half of the year is January through June. Members are encouraged to financially support both their Rotary club’s and Rotary International’s charitable works as their personal financial circumstances permit.

Rotary International’s Every Rotarian Every Year (EREY) fundraising initiative highly encourages Rotarians worldwide to donate at least $100 annually to The Rotary International Foundation’s Annual Fund-SHARE. Donations to the Annual Fund -SHARE are the singular worldwide funding source for both Rotary International’s Global matching grants and for each Rotary District’s Community matching grants.  These grants help fund Rotarian sponsored and supported international and local projects/programs that meet the criteria of one of Rotary’s seven areas of focus: fighting disease, providing clean water, supporting education, growing local economies, saving mothers and children, promoting peace, and supporting the environment.

How do I apply for membership? 

We invite you to come meet us and learn more about our club by attending one of our weekly meetings as our guest.  We meet at Tugboat Annie's at 7am on most Fridays (please check our schedule of events on this website).  If you enjoy the meeting, value service above self and would like to become a member, we ask that you complete and submit our membership application.  Your sponsor or our membership committee chair can provide membership application to you via email, or you may access it yourself by going to "New Member Application" under the "Become a Member" menu option on this website. 

Once you have submitted your application, it will be reviewed by both our club’s membership committee and our board of directors. The club’s members will then be provided a fourteen-day period to review and comment on your application.  After the comment period concludes, your membership may be finalized.  Either your sponsor or a representative of the club’s membership committee will contact you to notify you when your application for membership has been approved. If approved, they will also invite you to your first “official’ weekly club meeting, at which you will be officially inducted as a member of our club.  Throughout the application process you are more than welcome to participate in club meetings and events.

We hope you’ll join us!


Club Programs & Events
2023 Regular Club Meetings Collection
Rotary Youth Exchange Program
Club Leaders