If you’ve been in Rotary for longer than you can recall, you probably don’t need to read this! But if you’re not a Rotarian or you didn’t choose The Rotary Foundation as your charity of choice, we ask you to read on.
What is The Rotary Foundation? And why is it important?
Earlier this year, Beaumaris Rotary Club Members agreed a refresh of their Club Purpose statement; such that it now reads:
“To create lasting change: through worthwhile and sustainable service both globally and in our local community.”
We like to call it the thread that joins us together.
Our Club’s reach or ability to support causes is dependent on our success in raising funds. In good years, we’ve been able to rely on our Farmers’ Markets, Golf Day and other initiatives. This has enabled us to play our part in supporting both local and overseas projects.
But what happens if the ‘lasting change’ we want to create needs more funding than we can generate ourselves? Aside from working in tandem with other Clubs, this is where The Rotary Foundation comes in!
The Rotary Foundation
Way back In 1917, the Rotary International President, Arch C. Klumph, proposed an endowment “for the purpose of doing good in the world.”
Hence, you’ll often see reference to the words ‘Doing Good in the World’ in various Rotary brochures and leaflets!
Arch’s vision became The Rotary International Foundation. Now simply known as The Rotary Foundation.
Over the past 100 years, charitable donations into The Rotary Foundation have gone towards supporting life-changing, sustainable projects.
Rotarians call them “service projects”. It’s about ensuring less-fortunate people around the world get clean water, medical care, literacy classes and much more.
Some of these projects are enormous, such as the eradication of polio. And involve big numbers: $billions.
Why is this relevant to our Club?
Back to the question: what happens if the ‘lasting change’ we want to create needs more funding than we can generate ourselves? This is particularly important if we’ve identified a project with potential Australia-wide or even global significance.
Individual Rotary Clubs can apply to The Rotary Foundation — both through their Rotary District and Rotary International — for grants towards their projects. Which means, funds contributed to The Rotary Foundation can be ‘returned’ to us to support our own projects.
This year, we successfully secured a Rotary District grant of $2400 for the ‘Zero Schools Drop Out Project’, which will supplement the Club’s own $2400 contribution towards this project.
How do we support the Rotary Foundation?
Quite simply, individuals make The Rotary Foundation their charity of choice and make individual tax-deductible donations of AUD$100 or more per annum (that’s only $1.92 per week!).
What happens to the donations?
Donations are invested for three years, after which 50% of the donated money goes into something called ‘The World Fund’, designated for global grants and programs and 50% comes back to Districts, as District Designated Funds, for use in Rotary Foundation programs and projects, such as the ‘Zero Schools Drop Out Project’ mentioned earlier.
But that’s not really the question we should be asking. We need to look beyond the monetary mechanics.
Charitable donations into The Rotary Foundation support life-changing, sustainable projects. It’s another way that we ‘create lasting change’.
$100 per year helps Rotary provide three backpacks filled with supplies for primary school children in Honduras; fifty malaria diagnostic tests to prevent, diagnose and treat malaria in Mali; and one biosand filter and water-hygiene training for a family in Peru.
$1,000 per year helps Rotary provide 14 HIV antiretroviral drugs to prevent the transmission of HIV from infected mothers to their babies in Liberia; one bicycle to play sports for youth with disabilities in France; and sexual assault and domestic abuse education for young women in Texas.
$1.6 billion since 1985 helps Rotary contribute towards the successful eradication of polio worldwide. Although, it must be added that Rotarians also contributed their time to the cause of polio eradication; advocating for government support; serving as volunteers to help immunise children; and raising awareness in their communities.
What do we each need to do?
At Beaumaris Rotary, we add an optional donation of $100 to our annual membership invoice. Our Club Treasurer makes a bulk payment to Rotary International Parramatta with a list of members making the payment. And simultaneously provides the details to the District Chair of Foundation. It’s all very transparent.
We have a Rotary District goal to encourage at least 50% of Rotarians to contribute the $100 to The Rotary Foundation.
During November, we are encouraging Members, who have yet to donate to the Foundation to make a donation into our Club Rotary Project Account.
If you would like details of how to make a donation to the Foundation, please contact
Treasurer: James Glenwright
email@example.com Tel 0418 578 114
And finally, you may have heard of the EREY or Centurion programme.
What does it mean to be part of the EREY (“Every Rotarian every year“) or Centurion programme?
It pretty much amounts to the same thing! It means supporting The Rotary Foundation.
Want to create your own lasting change? Or simply want to learn more about Rotary?
Please contact Megan: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0418 578 114
Megan’s our Beaumaris Rotary Membership Director. The title sounds a little formal but trust us, she’s the friendliest person you’ll ever meet!