Ever wonder why 1 July is the beginning of the Rotary year? Initially, our conventions played a key role in determining the start date of our fiscal and administrative year.
Rotary’s first fiscal year began the day after the first convention ended, on 18 August 1910. The 1911-12 fiscal year also related to the convention, beginning with the first day of the 1911 convention on 21 August.
The next August, the Board of Directors ordered an audit of the International Association of Rotary Clubs’ finances. The auditors recommended that the organization end its fiscal year on 30 June to give the secretary and treasurer time to prepare a financial statement for the convention and board, and to determine the proper number of club delegates to the convention.
The executive committee agreed and, in April 1913, designated 30 June as the end of the fiscal year. This also allowed for changes to the schedule for reporting club membership and payments. Even The Rotarian changed its volume numbering system to correspond to the fiscal year (beginning with Volume 5, No. 1, in July 1914).
Rotary continued to hold its annual conventions in July or August until 1917. Delegates to the 1916 event in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, approved a resolution to hold future conventions in June, mainly because of the heat in cities where most of them occurred. The next one was held on 17-21 June in Atlanta, Georgia.
The term “Rotary year” has been used to signify Rotary’s annual administrative period since at least 1913. An article in The Rotarian that July noted, “The Rotary year that is rapidly drawing to a close has been signalized by several highly successful joint meetings of Clubs that are so situated as to assemble together easily and conveniently.”
Since the executive committee’s decision in 1913, the end of the Rotary year has remained 30 June.