FAQs – General

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Polaris Team

What is Polaris?

Polaris was developed a few years ago by Rotary Switzerland/Liechtenstein. It is currently used by 22 European districts, approximately 1,500 clubs in 10 countries with approximately 60,000 members to communicate and maintain club and district activities. The system is owned by the Association Rotary Media Switzerland/Liechtenstein, a non-profit legal entity. It is led by Rotarians and developed and operated by independent companies.

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Where does the name “Polaris” come from?

Many people wonder why this IT system is called Polaris and where the name comes from. Here is the true story ...

Can I use Polaris on my smartphone (app)?

Yes, Polaris is a purely web-based application and can of course be opened on a smartphone via the Internet browser (e.g. Safari, Chrome, ...). All functions such as news, registration for events, member search and administration are available. Once opened, this page can be saved as an “app” with just a few clicks on your smartphone.

You can find relevant instructions here.

How is Polaris organized?

Polaris is a modern managment system for Rotarian communities (clubs, districts, etc.) introduced in January 2021 as the successor to the RCMS (Rotary Club Management System), which was successfully in use for 20 years.

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What about data protection?

Data protection refers to member data or to personal data of other persons involved such as guests, visitors or the speakers.

You can find a detailed description here.

How can I log in?

You will find the login button at the top right of the page. After clicking you can log in with your email address (work or private) and your password.

If you no longer know your password, please click on “I forgot my password” and then give yourself a new password. You will receive an email message about this.

Where do I change my password?

To do this, either click on your name at the top right or on “Navigation” and then click on “MY SETTINGS | Modify my password” in the menu on the left.

You then have to enter your current password and your desired new password (twice). Please note the specified password policy.

Why do I sometimes receive a PIN request when I log in?

PIN request or two-factor authentication (2FA) is required for users who have the right to manage member data in Polaris.

PIN entry is not required if the user logs in to Polaris using the Stay Signed In feature and their last login date is less than a week ago.

The PIN is generated by Polaris and emailed to the user at the address he/she used to log in.

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What should be taken into account when publishing photos and images?

This is a general note - there is no legal claim.

The following legal framework applies to the creation of a photo and its publication:

Right to your own image

Those depicted must agree before a photo is taken (comply with the legislation of your country). Care is of the utmost importance, especially when photographing minors. In this case, legal guardians must agree.

Those pictured (or their representatives) must also be informed about the use of the photos.

The size of the group, as is often assumed (“I can take photos of 10 or more people anyway”), doesn’t play a role! However, if everyone looks into the camera and smiles, agreement can be assumed.

Recognizing a person in a photo does not necessarily have to be limited to recognizing their face. For example, a one-time tattoo on the neck is sufficient.


The photographer has the intellectual property rights (copyright) and is therefore entitled to be mentioned by name in every publication.

When using third-party material, especially from companies (including logos), news agencies and image databases, you must carefully mention the copyright and, if necessary, consult about publication on your site.

Always list the copyright holder in the “Description” field below the image.

Detailed informations about copyright here ...

Practical guide to data protection.

Who owns Polaris and where does it run?

The system and software are owned by the "Association Rotary Media" (ARM), a non-profit organisation fully controlled by the 3 Rotary districts of Switzerland/Liechtenstein. Polaris is provided as a SaaS (Software as a Service) solution for districts and each country has its own instance. No data is exchanged between the countries, only the IT infrastructure is the same.

Physical structure

Polaris IT is built on private cloud technology. The virtual data centre is provided by Metanet and spans two physical locations. A third private location is used as redundant long-term backup storage. All locations are in Switzerland; no data is stored abroad. Availability can be checked here: https://polaris.betteruptime.com/

The IT infrastructure is operated by Cloudtec, which is also responsible for software development. No other company or personnel have access to it.  

Who are the people behind Polaris?

The Polaris team currently consists of 5 members of Rotary clubs from Austria and Switzerland. They meet weekly in video conferences to discuss current issues and decide on the future of the program. In addition to this core team, there are former team members and Polaris ambassadors in various European countries. You can find out more here