Membership FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions




What is Rotary ?


Rotary is a non- political, non-sectarian organisation operating under the motto “Service Above Self” - which neatly sums up every Rotary member’s aim of giving something back to society.


Rotary is one of the largest voluntary service organisation in the World with well over a million members in almost every country.  Every member belongs to an individual local Rotary Club, such as Cardiff Bay. Worldwide there are over 3,000 Clubs, each one different.  


What does Rotary do?


We try to live up to our motto, “Service Above Self”, by finding ways to help our communities.  There are as many ways of doing this as there are Clubs.  Over the years Cardiff Bay Club has built up an enviable record of projects, both at home and abroad, and you can read more about them on our website.


Why do I need to belong to Rotary to help in the community?


You don’t, but by combining your efforts with others, you are likely to achieve more than you might do on your own.  Many Rotarians joined Rotary because they were already involved in community service and have found that Rotary offers another dimension.  Besides that, we try to make sure that what we do is fun - we want to enjoy helping others.


What about “all work and no play”?


Rotary Clubs are social groups, meeting regularly to take forward what they do in a friendly and enjoyable atmosphere.  In Cardiff Bay, we meet weekly on a Tuesday evening, eat together, and enjoy a speaker or other activity, and we also have other outings and special events from time to time.  Since the COVID-19 lockdown, we have been meeting on Zoom and are finding new ways of continuing fellowship.


But what if I can’t attend every week?


We understand that not everyone can come to every meeting so attendance is very flexible.  All we ask is that you come from time to time and are committed to supporting the various projects and activities that we undertake as much as you able.


People ‘do’ Rotary in all kinds of ways and we have established a satellite group Cardiff Bay Rotary + Plus.  Although a full part of our Club, this group offers more flexibility and a new kind of Rotary experience, letting its members re-interpret “Service Above Self”.


We would also like to develop corporate membership.  This can take several forms and we will be happy to discuss how this might work for you and your employer.


I thought Rotary was for men only?


Rotary was originally a men-only organisation but for many years now we have actively welcomed all genders into membership.


Perhaps I should have said “older men only”!


That’s understandable because the current age profile of many Clubs shows that many Rotarians are in later life, although the vast majority are young in outlook and incredibly active.   


Anyway, that is every reason for younger members to come in and carry on the good work which Rotary does.  Cardiff Bay has had members in their 20’s and 30’s, whose careers have since taken them all over the world - age is not a barrier to belonging.  We value the injection of fresh ideas and the enthusiasm of new, younger members and want them to take Rotary forward.


Is there a cost?


Yes, we pay an annual subscription of just over £3 per week which covers the cost of running the Club and our Association.  There is also the cost of our weekly meetings and any social events which can be as much or as little as you choose.


Cardiff Bay Club is not a so called “cheque book club” and we do not expect individual members to contribute to our charity funds.  Instead it is through our ideas and practical efforts that we raise money for charitable use.  


Cardiff Bay is lucky to have a long-standing and incredibly successful fundraising project in the shape of charity car parking in Cardiff’s Civic Centre, which has raised over half a million pounds in the twenty or so years that we have been doing this.  That money has made a huge difference in many ways and places.  


Which ‘communities’ do you support?


We are based at the Novotel in Cardiff Bay and regard areas of South Cardiff as our communities, particularly the Bay area and Grangetown.  But we also have other communities at national and international level.  Our website shows how we help, from providing money locally to assist the development of a new community centre at Grangetown Pavilion to achieving funding for projects in India, Africa  and South America.


With Coronavirus affecting our everyday lives, what has Rotary been doing?


The same as most others, in terms of self isolating and following Government regulations and advice.  But we have continued to meet on a Tuesday evening on Zoom and have been able to get on with many of our activities.  We have been exploring how this medium actually increases our ability to be in contact with people in any corner of the globe, giving a new meaning to being a World-wide organisation.


In practical terms we have been able to help fund about a dozen organisations and projects which are directly involved in dealing with the effects of COVID 19, some very local and some abroad, and we continue to look out for others which need help.


I thought Rotary recruited only by word of mouth?  Why are you ‘advertising’ now?


Traditionally, membership was offered to individuals because they were known to existing Rotarians but clearly this excludes many possible recruits.  We aim to reach people who might know little or nothing about Rotary, and give them the opportunity of considering whether Rotary is for them. 


Many people have heard of Rotary and know that it stands for something good but have no idea what we do or how to become involved. Some would even say that it is a well-kept secret. We want to de-mystify Rotary and make sure that anyone who feels that they could do something more in and for the community have an opportunity to consider doing so with Rotary.


OK, but I am not sure that I want to make a commitment to join.


Understood.  At this stage we are not asking you to commit to anything other than to let us give you information and maybe some inspiration!   There are a number of ways to be involved with Cardiff Bay Rotary other than full membership and these will be discussed with you when you contact us.


You can pull out at any stage and we guarantee that your contact details and any information you give us will be kept and used only to give you information about this initiative, and it will not be shared with anyone outside Cardiff Bay Rotary.


I might be interested, but how do I find out more?


Our web site will tell you a great deal about who we are and what we do but we will be glad to answer your questions personally.  Without obligation, you can complete the “Contact” form so that we can get in touch with you.  This might be by email or by ‘phone and we will be glad to tell you more.  Please be sure to give your email address and telephone number.


If you agree, you will be invited to a get-together with other potential members where we will give you an introduction to Rotary and answer your questions, and then we would like you to come along to a few Club meetings to get the flavour of Rotary.  Because of the current virus restrictions this may have to be by Zoom or other online means.   


Membership is by invitation and we will arrange for one of our Club members to be your mentor to guide you through the early stages.


For general information about Rotary check and 


We don’t want to be the World’s best kept secret so please pass this on to anyone you think might be interested.






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1.2 Million Members in over 200 Countries

back .... and we are always looking for more like-minded people to join us. Please have a look at 'Membership - Frequently Asked Questions' below. Then use the Contact page to tell us that you are interested and we will get back to you.