Are you in a Rotary club that isn’t meeting your - or a few of your - members’ expectations? Are there members who like your club but can’t keep attending when it meets? Would you like to start a new club with a small, energetic group committed to community service? If you answered yes to any of these questions, starting a satellite club might be for you. It’s another available option to help Rotary membership grow.
Unlike regular Rotary clubs, which require 20 members to start, a satellite club can form with just eight members. Satellite clubs also give community members and Rotarians the chance to make a positive difference in a club environment that often differs from their current Rotary club.
Like all Rotary clubs, satellite clubs hold regular meetings, have bylaws and a board of directors, and get involved in community service projects. A local Rotary club sponsors the club and provides advice and support. Satellite club members are Rotarians. Officially, they are members of the sponsor club.
When a satellite club grows to 20 members or more, it can choose to remain a satellite to its sponsor club or it can apply for a charter to become a stand-alone Rotary club. Some clubs prefer to continue as satellite clubs regardless of their size and enjoy the benefits of being tied to their sponsor club. You decide what’s right for your members.
Why Start a Satellite Club
Satellite clubs can:
  • Attract members who have different service or fundraising interests
  • Be a more affordable club experience. All members pay the same amount of dues to Rotary International and District dues, but your club can choose to lower your own club dues.
  • Provide an alternative meeting experience or format where members can experiment with different forms of club organization
  • Allow Rotary clubs to offer service opportunities and membership experiences that appeal to a smaller, focused group
The Relationship with Sponsoring Club
Once established, the Satellite Club and Sponsor Club work closely together to benefit the community and both of their clubs’ projects.
Members of satellite clubs have access to My Rotary just like any Rotary club member. But only the sponsor club can report changes in satellite club membership. The relationship between the sponsor club and the satellite club is considered important and permanent until the satellite club dissolves or becomes a stand-alone club.
If you’re interested in more detailed information about how to get a Satellite Club started, visit the RI website page and scroll down to Develop Your Club, then click on Guide to Satellite Clubs. You’ll find everything you need to see how to start one.
This article, an excerpt from My Rotary, was prepared by Tim Trujillo, Rotary District 5240, EAG, Region 1, 2019-2020. (661) 821-0086 or