Are we friends or foes?

In fact Rotary has a long healthy rivalry with our friends in Lions International as we share a common interest globally, in doing good in our local communities. So the answer is - of course we are friends!

But who are the Lions and how do they differ from Rotarians? Read below for some details, but first watch this brilliant rap video about the "Yellow Vest Posse":

Rockin' the Vest

This is a really funny rap video made by the Lions to poke a bit of fun at themselves - but also to aid in recruitment. The lyrics focus on what wearing the yellow Lions club vest means to the community. 


Rotary versus Lions

A common question that is asked here in China is what is the difference between the Rotary movement and Lions International? Most of us have only a vague notion of the other organization and little personal experience seeing how it works.

Let's compare some basic facts:

Official Name
Rotary International
Lions Clubs International
Service above self
One profits most who serves best
We serve
Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nation’s Safety.
1.2 million
1.35 million
Number of Clubs
Countries and Territories
# Districts
Minimum # members in district
Evanston Illinois USA
Oak Brook Illinois USA
HQ head
General Secretary
Executive Director
Paul P. Harris
Melvin Jones
Meeting frequency
not stipulated but recommended at least twice per month.
Program Year
1 July to 30 June
1 July to 30 June
Standard Club Constitution
# Official languages
(English official, plus Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish)
(Chinese, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish)
Principal project
Eradicate polio: PolioPlus
Vision Care
not specified
Public (Activity) funds
Administrative funds
Membership criteria
Business or community leader
Each member represents a Classification (vocation or profession)
Any person of legal majority and good moral character and good reputation in his/her community.
Membership categories
Member at Large
Life Member
Associate Member
Affiliate Member
# of Members
minimum 20 to charter
minimum 20
satellite clubs
branch clubs
Sponsored Clubs
Interact (12-18)
Rotaract (18-30)
Community Corps
Leos (5700 clubs in 140 countries):
Alpha (12-18)
Omega (18-30)
Cub Program (under 12)
Club Variations
Satellite Clubs
Campus clubs
Workplace clubs
Lioness Lions clubs
Special Interest Clubs:
Champions Lions clubs (focus on projects that serve persons with intellectual disabilities)
Lions Quest Lions clubs (focus on projects servicing children K12)
Cyber Lions clubs (clubs meet online)
The Rotary Foundation (TRF)
Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF)
Fellowship (for $1000 donation to the Foundation)
Paul Harris Fellowship
Melvin Jones Fellowship

Lions Clubs International

The purposes, vision and mission of the umbrella organization, Lions Clubs International (The International Association of Lions Clubs).


  • TO ORGANIZE, charter and supervise service clubs to be known as Lions clubs.
  • TO COORDINATE the activities and standardize the administration of Lions clubs.
  • TO CREATE and foster a spirit of understanding among the peoples of the world.
  • TO PROMOTE the principles of good government and good citizenship.
  • TO TAKE an active interest in the civic, cultural, social and moral welfare of the community.
  • TO UNITE the clubs in the bonds of friendship, good fellowship and mutual understanding.
  • TO PROVIDE a forum for the open discussion of all matters of public interest; provided, however, that partisan politics and sectarian religion shall not be debated by club members.
  • TO ENCOURAGE service-minded people to serve their community without personal financial reward, and to encourage efficiency and promote high ethical standards in commerce, industry, professions, public works and private endeavors.


 TO BE the global leader in community and humanitarian service.


TO EMPOWER volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions clubs.


Lions Club Membership

Lions meet the needs of local communities and the world. The 1.35 million members of our volunteer organization in 206 countries and geographic areas are different in many ways, but share a core belief – community is what we make it.

Though Lions are well known for successful initiatives in vision health, Lions service is as diverse as our members. Lions volunteer for many different kinds of projects - caring for the environment, feeding the hungry and aiding seniors and the disabled.


Club types

Reading through their literature it appears that there is quite a lot of flexibility in their club variations and a strong interest in recruiting young adults as members.

  • Traditional Lions Club - community based
  • Lioness Lions Club
  • Campus Lions clubs are designed for college and university students, administrators, faculty, alumni and other community-minded individuals. Members serve the campus community while developing valuable leadership and business skills.
  • Leo Lions clubs provide an easy transition from Leo to Lions clubs by offering a special dues discount to graduating Leos and their peers. To charter a Leo Lions club, a minimum of 10 graduating Leos is required.
  • Club branches enable a small group of five or more people to form a Lions club and start making a difference in their community sooner. Members become a part of an existing “parent” Lions club, but select their own projects and activities. Consider a club branch consisting of young adults for a club that wants to keep its traditions. You may also start a branch with Alpha Leo’s graduating high school or Omega Leo’s turning 30 that are interested in becoming a Lion.
  • Special interest clubs are based on a common interest or circumstance. Perhaps potential members share a hobby or a community project they would like to work on. If so, form a special interest club that focuses on an element that many potential members have in common.
    • Champions Lions clubs (focus on projects that serve persons with intellectual disabilities)
    • Lions Quest Lions clubs (focus on projects servicing children K12)
  • Cyber clubs can include members from distant geographic areas or hold club meetings online for convenience. At least 75% of charter members must work or reside in the multiple district in which the club is formed.


Organizational Charts

Download the (recommended but not mandatory) Lions Club Standard Club Constitution


Lions Code of Ethics

TO SHOW my faith in the worthiness of my vocation by industrious application to the end that I may merit a reputation for quality of service.
TO SEEK success and to demand all fair remuneration or profit as my just due, but to accept no profit or success at the price of my own self- respect lost because of unfair advantage taken or because of questionable acts on my part.
TO REMEMBER that in building up my business it is not necessary to tear down another’s; to be loyal to my clients or customers and true to myself.
WHENEVER a doubt arises as to the right or ethics of my position or action towards others, to resolve such doubt against myself.
TO HOLD friendship as an end and not a means. To hold that true friendship exists not on account of the service performed by one to another, but that true friendship demands nothing but accepts service in the spirit in which it is given.
ALWAYS to bear in mind my obligations as a citizen to my nation, my state and my community, and to give them my unswerving loyalty in word, act and deed. To give them freely of my time, labor, and means.
TO AID others by giving my sympathy to those in distress, my aid to the weak, and my substance to the needy.
TO BE CAREFUL with my criticism and liberal with my praise; to build up and not destroy.


Lions Clubs International Foundation

Like Rotary, Lions have their own foundation called Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF for short). LCIF has the following primary project focus:

  • Giving Sight.
  • Supporting Youth.
  • Providing Disaster Relief
  • Helping the Disabled.

Download a brochure about LCIF at a glance. 

Download the LCIF Annual Report for 2009-10. Note here that "MD 300 Taiwan" is a major source of donations to LCIF.


Lions Videos

Here are some interesting PSA's from the Lions:

Unleash your inner Lion. 

Become Involved, Become a Lion!
There's a great way for you to volunteer, lead projects, gain valuable experience, network and have fun ... join your local Lions Club!


Lions in China 

China Council of Lions Clubs

Lions first re-entered the mainland in 2002 with the Shenzhen Lions Club and the Guangdong Lions Club. Now however, Lions clubs in China are organized not as members of LCI but rather as branches of the China Council of Lions Clubs (中国狮子联会), which was subsequently established on 16 June 2005. 

Xinhua news noted:

China Council of Lions Clubs Established
China set up on Tuesday the China Council of Lions Clubs (CCLC), an organization similar to Lions Clubs International (LCI), the world's largest community service organization.
The council aims to coordinate LCI events and encourage member clubs to engage in charitable activities in China, according to the CCLC's constitution.
Deng Pufang, chairman of the China Disabled Persons' Federation (CDPF), said he hopes that CCLC will develop its relationship with LCI. China's first related organization was the Guangdong Lions Club, which was founded in 2002.

Official Name
Rotary China
China Council of Lions Clubs
# of Districts
Undistricted 0052 7?
Number of Clubs
5 (3 chartered 2 provisional)
China Soong Ching Ling Foundation
China Disabled People's Federation


As of October 2011 there were in China and Hong Kong, 10,587 members in 396 clubs. They are organized under the CCLC ( among several districts and are present in these locations:

Lions clubs in Taiwan are recognized as being in the:



For reference, here is an application form to join Lions in Guangdong.

LCIF Service Projects in China

It is estimated that over 20 percent of those blind from cataract in the world live in China, and every year there are 400,000 new cases. One cause of this continued increase is that a large number of township/county hospitals do not have ophthalmology clinics nor adequately trained manpower and equipment.

To address this great need, LCIF has partnered with the Ministry of Health and the Chinese Disabled Person’s Federation on the SightFirst China Action (SFCA) project. SFCA was officially launched nationwide in 1999, building on earlier pilot grants. Since then, SFCA has been preventing blindness in China, the world's most populous country. Completed in 2002 through a grant of US$15.38 million, Phase I of SFCA supported 2.1 million cataract surgeries in China and established surgical eye units in 104 rural counties that previously had none.

Phase II of SFCA continued the success of the first initiative, preventing blindness in China on a large scale. A SightFirst grant of US$15.5 million was combined with about US$200 million from the Chinese government. During Phase II, nearly 3 million cataract surgeries were performed, and eye care infrastructure was strengthened by creating secondary eye care units at hospitals in 200 underdeveloped counties, provinces and Tibet.

Phase III was launched during Lions World Sight Day in October 2011. The event in Shenzhen, China, announced new programs in partnership with the China Disabled Persons' Federation and Ministry of Health to increase low vision services and launch a trachoma program to eliminate the disease in China by 2020. Additionally, LCIF is providing SightFirst funds to develop a regional training program model. LCIF has initially commited US$2.67 million to continue and expand SightFirst China Action.

As the first international volunteer service organization in China, Lions Clubs International is proud that this partnership created one of LCIF’s largest and most successful SightFirst programs.

- See more at:


Here is a video introduction to Lions growth in China (posted 29 Dec 2011). 

Lions are known for addressing community needs and leading the international effort to prevent blindness. China is the fastest growing area for membership in Lions Clubs International. 

And here is a Chinese version of the same.

In July 2014 the LCI Convention was held in Toronto and a performance by disabled Chinese dancers was given.

China Disabled Performing Art Troupe Dance for Lions Clubs at LCICon Toronto