Posted by Mike Weaver on Nov 17, 2017



You can bet that when The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation decides to invest some of their billions of dollars into an organization and its projects, they do their due diligence carefully. Each of us has the opportunity to piggyback on their thorough investment research and give annually to The Rotary Foundation, the nonprofit organization that received the highest possible score by Charity Navigator (100 out of 100) and was named as the World’s Outstanding Foundation” by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. 

There is a reason that Rotarians donate to The Rotary Foundation.  It is a simple way to achieve your philanthropic goals, whether it’s supporting clean water, eradication of polio, or a particular global grant. “Even the smallest gifts can be donated to a specific fund – a global grant, polio, or an area of focus within the World Fund,” says April Jensen, a member of the Rotary Club of Evanston, IL who works in fund development for the Foundation.



The Rotary Foundation was created in 1917 by Rotary International’s sixth president, Arch C. Klumph, as an endowment fund for Rotary “to do good in the world.”  It has grown from an initial contribution in 1917 of $26.50 from the Rotary Club of Kansas City, Missouri to more than 2.663 billion dollars in total contributions. The Rotary Foundation made its first grant of $500.00 to the International Society for Crippled Children in 1930, and to this day, it continues to “do good in the world” in the name of Rotary.

(If you cannot see the video below on your device, click here).


The Rotary Foundation is funded in two different ways: The Annual Fund and the Endowment Fund.  As the primary source of unrestricted support for the programs of The Rotary Foundation, the Annual Fund supports programs in more than 200 geographical regions. From digging clean water wells for villages in Africa to reaching basic literacy skills to children in Latin America, during any given moment in a day, thousands of Rotarians volunteer their time and expertise to ensure that all contributions given to the Annual Fund are spent wisely on quality Rotary projects. 



“To ensure that the funds for the projects are there when needed,” says Past RI President Ron Burton, “all contributions to the Foundation’s Annual Fund are invested for three years.” When the three years period is up, the investment earnings of your gift go toward the operating expenses of the Foundation. Your principal id split 50/50, with half going to our District Designated Fund and half going into the World Fund, a pool that the Trustees of The Rotary Foundation use to match grants where they are most needed. 91% of the money the Foundation spends goes to programs and grants, with only 9% of expenses going toward administration.


The Rotary Foundation spends charitable contributions on multiple programs and grants. From the eradication of Polio to scholarships, vocational training teams, Rotary Peace Centers, and Humanitarian projects.  The funds are used for programs and projects Rotarians feel passionate about. With 1.2 million Rotarians over-seeing the funds at a grassroots level you can have confidence that are funds through Rotary are in amazing hands doing amazing work here and abroad. 

The Board of Trustees of The Rotary Foundation encourages EVERY ROTARIAN to participate in a Foundation program that truly makes a difference in the world each and EVERY YEAR, and Encourages EVERY ROTARIAN to contribute to the Foundation’s Annual Fund at an amount in which they are able, EVERY YEAR.  The Rotary Foundation recognizes clubs where every member contributes some amount to the Foundation and the annual per capita is US$100 and for clubs where every member contributes at least US$100 per year. 


(If you cannot see the video below on your device, click here).



Think about what YOU can do to help meet your club and our district Annual Giving goals, which together will allow The Rotary Foundation make positive change in the world.

Give to The Rotary Foundation!

Mike Weaver is the Annual Funds Chair on the D5240 Rotary Foundation Committee and a member of the Rotary Club of Ojai


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