Rotary International defines active members as those who meet the requirements for membership, pay RI dues, are eligible to vote on club and district matters, are eligible to hold a club officer position and count in the club’s membership numbers in Rotary’s database. Honorary membership is used to recognize people who have distinguished themselves by meritorious service and embody Rotary ideals, or those considered friends of Rotary for their support of Rotary's causes. They are exempt from paying RI dues, have no vote in Rotary matters, are not eligible to hold any club office, and are not included in a club's membership numbers in Rotary’s database. Active members are called Rotarians, while honorary members are called honorary Rotarians.
Honorary membership should not be confused with Rotarians whose excused absence is approved by a club’s board. In order to count in a club’s membership numbers in Rotary’s database, one must be reported as an active, RI-dues paying member. An active member can be an honorary member of another club, but cannot be an active member of another club.