Why Is The Rotary Club Bad? (9 Reasons Why)

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Yasmin Fisher

Yasmin Fisher is a fashion-loving shopaholic who has spent the last 10 years in customer service. She loves finding great deals, and thrifting is one of her favorite weekend activities.

Many people who desire to change the world have become interested in the Rotary Club. The organization’s mission is to spread kindness, uphold integrity, and assist others. However, many people oppose this association. So, why is the Rotary Club bad?

This club is unpleasant for many reasons. Some of the reasons include its old-fashioned concept as well as a silo workplace. Let’s examine the reasons why people think the Rotary club is bad.

Why Is The Rotary Club Bad?

1. Costly Membership

The Rotary club charges a membership fee, just like any other club. The price varies with each club, often on an annual or biannual basis.

However, the costs are generally high for some, which is why many people are reluctant to join the organization.

The prices are as follows:

  • Annual membership fee: $340
  • Lunches: $20/lunch 
  • Lunches for 50 meetings/year: $1000
  • No lunch: $3/meeting
  • No lunch for 50 meetings/year: $150
  • Wine draw for Rotary Foundation Fund: $100

You might keep your expenses somewhat low if you miss 15 or more sessions annually. However, before receiving an invitation to join, most potential Rotarians must attend three meetings, at the very least.

In either case, the cost might be expensive as you have to pay. Moreover, being a member of the Rotary Club has extra costs because you’ll be expected to pay Rotary contributions. Although it’s voluntary, most Rotarians donate.

2. Old-Fashioned

The Rotary club’s reputation for being outdated is one of its bad qualities. Even though the number of Rotaries is expanding daily, the club’s demographic remains mostly unchanged.

This is most likely a result of the invitation-only nature of the membership process.

People are more likely to invite friends who have similar values and interests, which prevents diversity. As a result, they adopt traditional management practices and activities.

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3. Silo Workplace

Unfortunately, most rotary departments don’t communicate well with one another, which encourages organizational silos.

In case you’re unfamiliar, the term refers to organizational units within a company that work separately and refrain from information exchange. Unfortunately, this is a really bad aspect that has a significant impact on the workforce.

Sometimes, if a department isn’t the main focus, there will be a severe lack of assistance from the higher-ups. Additionally, there are limited resources and a constant shift of priorities, which affects the organization as a whole.

All of these problems lead to a high rate of employee turnover. This makes it difficult to complete tasks involving several teams.

4. Leadership Changes

With members coming and going, along with changes in policies, there are always some leadership changes occurring. Unfortunately, this occasionally causes a little instability in the club.

Generally speaking, every leader has a distinctive style of leadership. Some people might talk to the participants and include them in the decision-making process. Others could favor making decisions independently and want the group to adhere to them.

These leadership changes may result in pressure, instability, unpredictability, and productivity loss. As a result, there will be a substantial shift in how the club runs, making it perform worse than before.

5. Very Patriarchal

Very Patriarchal

Men were the only members of the club when it first started. This was due to the club’s focus on business associates getting together.

However, in 1989, the Council on Legislation decided to allow women to join Rotary clubs worldwide. Since then, women have been actively involved in Rotary communities. Currently, the club president is a woman – Jennifer E. Jones.

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However, despite this social advancement, men still hold most executive management-level positions.

This could be a setback for many people because the boards are primarily composed of elderly males who might not fully comprehend the opposite demographic well.

6. Not Good Enough Pay

Many employees are unhappy with their salaries. Since Rotary is a non-profit organization, wages aren’t as high as they’re in other places, typically below market value.

Also, salaries are frequently not disclosed during the hiring process. Because of the absence of transparency, many people typically learn about their pay after being selected. As a result, they find out that they’ll earn less money than they did before.

Additionally, the compensation they receive for their work doesn’t balance adequately. Thus, many people are unmotivated to work there and call for higher compensation.

7. Small Room for Growth

The limited room for growth in this club is one of its drawbacks. There are too many committees, which makes it difficult to quickly adopt new concepts into the working environment.

Additionally, many people in management worked there for a long time. Because of this, they prevent lower-level individuals who are suitable for the jobs from getting a promotion and moving up. For promotions, further degrees are typically necessary.

However, after getting a promotion, there is hardly any raise. Therefore, the only option available to employees who wish to improve their careers and experiences is to resign.

8. Managers Have No Training

The Rotary Club has a leadership development program to assist members in becoming effective leaders. This program’s main goal is to get participants to make strategic decisions to increase their clubs’ membership desirability.

Nevertheless, despite the existence of this program, managers don’t receive adequate training on how to manage people. Most of the time, managers advance to the position after being members for a certain amount of time.

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There aren’t any concrete criteria or strategies in place for all roles that would allow for promotion.

9. Some Believe It’s a Secret Society

Many people appear to believe that the rotary club is some kind of secret society, though we are unsure of the scope of this assertion.

The goal of Rotary Clubs is mainly to connect people who hold similar beliefs. Its objective is to bring these individuals together to carry out philanthropic work and spread benevolence and peace on a global scale.

However, many began to doubt their motives as a result of their conduct and some controversies over the years. For example, a former rotary club president in the UK was sentenced to prison for a $3 million fraud crime.

As incidents like that occur, some people believe that their noble intentions are merely a front for controversial activities.

Wrap Up

Despite their great cause, many people strongly oppose Rotary Clubs. This begs the question: why are Rotary clubs bad?

There are various reasons why the club is not good. Some of these reasons include a lack of diversity and a costly membership. Additionally, there’s a small room for growth.

So, if you’d like to make a difference in the world by joining the rotary club, you may want to consider these points first.


  • Yasmin Fisher

    Yasmin Fisher is a fashion-loving shopaholic who has spent the last 10 years in customer service. She loves finding great deals, and thrifting is one of her favorite weekend activities.

15 thoughts on “Why Is The Rotary Club Bad? (9 Reasons Why)”

  1. Over one million people (volunteers) doing good things in their own communities as well as abroad. Of course there are circumstances that may be uncomfortable to some, but overall, Rotary does amazing things around the world. You focussed on a few snags.

    • Rotary club is a good club, just that in every organization, there’s always the bad eggs.

      Aside that alone, their motives are really good when it comes to lending hands to people in different ways possible.

  2. DEI is a very big part of Rotary these days. There is Leadership training available extensively online for all of the executive positions within the clubs. There are no Managers within a Rotary Club. The goal is NOT to move up, but rather to work together to help others. This may be with water projects (wells, sanitation, etc), building/renovating schools to promote literacy, health initiatives (Polio vaccinations, Gift of Life). For an article written less than two months ago, you don’t appear to have done any real research on this organization. For those who want to know Rotary is ACTUALLY about, check out: https://www.rotary.org/en

    • Here is information about Rotary’s Vision And Mission: https://tinyurl.com/2w4xp6hc

      Individual clubs typically choose what areas they want to focus on. This depends on the size of the Rotary Club itself. Some clubs have 300+ members, while others have less than 20 members. Every club has a different “vibe.” No clubs are alike, and there is beauty in that.

      Is Rotary as diverse as I would like it to be? No, but Rotary is committed to making REAL changes. Is Rotary a perfect organization? No, but we don’t pretend to be. Are their membership fees? Yes. However, these funds are used to run our club. At the local club level, members are not paid (except an ED); outside that, Rotary operates on 100 percent volunteers. Rotary also fundraises for projects in the community.
      There are NO “managers” in Rotary clubs, and the participation of women has grown tremendously over the years. Rotary is a well-run nonprofit organization that empowers people to connect with one another to make the world a bit better than yesterday. Check out a few rotary clubs before joining. Make sure Rotary is a great fit for you! (Worldwide locations are on the Rotary International Website)

      • I joined a rotary club many years ago and it is honestly the best thing I have ever done
        It’s great to work with Wonderful like minded people committed to helping others in community youth services internationally
        And vocational.
        Fantastic projects!
        Interestingly 14000 Rotarians attended the international conference in Melbourne last month it was a wonderful celebration of their amazing achievements in the world!
        I can’t recommend Rotary enough!

  3. Jasmine; there are 1.4 million members in Rotary, and 99% are UNPAID volunteers. Individuals move up in the organization based on their service levels. There are more than 46,000 Rotary clubs worldwide. Each club drafts its own by-laws.
    Clearly, you have had a bad experience with Rotary, and that is unfortunate. However, the picture you paint for people about Rotary clubs has a lot of inaccuracies.

  4. Unfortunately, Rotary in Pakistan is nothing but a cult controlled by a few.
    They’re here to wear the shroud of philanthropists white achieving their personal goals.

  5. Told by some male who answered a phone call that my daughter should be looking after me.!!!!!!! He knows nothing of her circumstances.
    Also Pinaroo Park is the name of a park. A first nation name meaning Old Man. How disrespectful that Rotary have imposed their name on the park. It sickens me to see their arrogance. Up themselves..

  6. So basically, then, my chances of been a Rotarian, are very slim, i am a unemployable, male of 55, on state handouts , due to been run down, by a uninsured banned driver, and left crippled, but, my brain is still functioning,

    • Andrew,
      Absolutely not! One of our Rotary members has been confined to a wheelchair his entire life and is a great Rotarian.
      My takeaway from this article (and the comments) is that clubs have different rules, different structures.
      Our club here in CT costs each member $200/year (that’s less than $4/wk.), which pays our dues to Rotary International with a bit left over for club supplies (membership pins, speaker gifts, etc.). It is a potluck breakfast meeting once a week, where we welcome anyone interested in hearing what we’re all about. We usually have speakers from local businesses and/or agencies who talk about their organizations.
      100% of the money we raise is allocated to local non-profit agencies, national and global projects, and so much more. Every unallocated dollar is saved for future projects.
      We are true volunteers; none of us are paid for anything.
      It is totally unfair of this writer to put such a negative view on such an amazing organization.
      Andrew, visit some of your local Rotary Clubs. My guess is that you, too, will find a club you’re drawn to.

    • Rotary clubs vary in size, customs, camaraderie, cohesion and effectiveness. A LOT. On the whole they do good work. But there are many ways to volunteer to help people that do not require physical skills. Your local government (borough/shire/council) usually has a web page where you can find opportunities. Rotary is not the be-all-end-all. Some people just need a friend to talk to, even just on the phone. Or enquire at your local library.


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