The classification principle of membership distinguishes Rotary from all other organizations. By accepting the loan of a classification, each Rotarian assumes an obligation to represent his/her business or profession in the club and to share the ideal of service with non-Rotarians associated in the work place. It assures a membership which is representative of the business, professional and institutional life of the locality in which the club is established.
Classification: The principal and recognized activity of a firm, company, institution, business, or professional endeavor. Classifications are determined by the activity or service to society rather than the position held by the individual. In other words, if president of a bank, a person is not classified under “Bank President,” but under the classification of “Banking,” or that person may be loaned the classification of the activity he or she is principally engaged in.
To be eligible for a specific classification, the proposed member should be generally recognized in the community as being primarily engaged in that business, profession or activity. In the fields of medicine, dentistry, law, etc. where specialization in a given field is recognized by a community, it is appropriate for the Rotary Club to establish and loan separate classifications to cover such specialized practices.
The Board of Directors of Rotary Clubs should annually update the listing of classifications in their community, showing the names of members and their classifications and the unfilled classifications that are open for membership. Rotary International publishes a list of classifications in a typical community, but clubs are urged to add to this listing and establish whatever classifications are needed in their area.
Balanced Membership: efforts should be made to maintain a well-balanced membership in which no business or professional group predominates -allowing a club’s membership to be representative of the business and professional life of the community.
A member moving from the territorial limits of the club may retail his/her membership where the board grants such permission and said member continues to stay active in the same classification.
Twenty-five charter members are required to form a new club and 13 must have ACTIVE member status, while the balance can be SENIOR ACTIVE or PAST SERVICE members.