Ruritan National has nearly 34,000 members throughout the United States, that work to improve more than 1,200 local communities. Since the organization¬ís beginning in 1928, Ruritan Clubs have served America with Fellowship, Goodwill, and Community Service. Ruritan is a civic service organization made up of local clubs in small towns and rural communities.

     Ruritan's purpose is to create a better understanding among people and through volunteer community service, make America's communities better places in which to live and work. The slogan of Ruritan is "Fellowship, Goodwill and Community Service." Club membership represents a cross-section of the community in which the club serves, and is not restrictive with regard to occupation, social position, or any other specific criteria. 

Unlike most civic service organizations, Ruritan rarely has national programs. Rather, each club surveys its own community as to the needs of that community and then works to meet some of those needs. Nearly all clubs work locally with FFA, 4H and other organizations serving youth. Nearly one in every three Ruritan clubs sponsors a Boy or Girl Scout unit. 

     Many clubs provide and supervise community recreational centers, sponsor Little League and other athletic programs, involve themselves in anti-litter campaigns, help the sick and needy, and perform a wide range of services to help their communities. 

Sixteen members are required to form a Ruritan club, usually with the assistance of an existing club. When a club applies for membership in Ruritan, it submits a charter application along with a charter fee. Upon chartering, the club receives supplies and assistance necessary for its organization and continuance.

In the Ruritan Student Program, many Ruritan clubs select two or more high school students and pay their entire membership (including meals) in the club for one year. The purpose of the Ruritan Student Program is to introduce students of all ages to the Ruritan spirit of Fellowship, Goodwill and Community Service.