Rotary Foundation of Rotary International Overview
Eradicating polio, a top Rotary priority, requires the immunization of every child in the world. As a result of the efforts of Rotary International and its partners, one billion children have been immunized against polio since 1987. Rotarians will celebrate the certification of a polio-free world by the year 2005, Rotary"s centennial year.
Through The Rotary Foundation"s PolioPlus Program, Rotarians will have contributed a half billion US dollars to the eradication effort. Of even greater significance has been the hundreds of thousands of local volunteers mobilized by Rotary clubs around the globe for polio eradication activities.
The Rotary Foundation's Humanitarian Programs support a wide range of international service activities. Organized by Rotary clubs in at least two countries, humanitarian grants support projects that provide health care and supplies, clean water, food, job training and education -- particularly in the developing world.
The most widely used program is Matching Grants, which makes one-time awards to match contributions raised by clubs and districts for projects involving Rotary clubs in two or more countries. Each year, some 1,000+ Matching Grants are awarded by The Rotary Foundation.
Large-scale Health, Hunger and Humanity (3-H) Grants support sustainable projects that improve health, help alleviate hunger, or enhance human development. 3-H Grants normally range from $100,000 to $500,000 and fund projects from one to three years.
Other Rotary Foundation programs include: Carl P. Miller Discovery Grants, which provide funds for travel and related expenses incurred by Rotarians in exploring and planning new international service projects; Grants for Rotary Volunteers which cover travel costs and expenses for Rotarians, Foundation alumni, and Rotaractors who volunteer their services and professional expertise in another country; and Rotary Peace Programs which partially subsidize international conferences that focus on conflict resolution and ways to enhance the search for peace. Grants are also available to support international projects in non-Rotary countries and for disaster relief efforts.
Educational Programs The Rotary Foundation Educational Programs promote international understanding and peace through scholarships and cultural exchanges.
The Ambassadorial Scholarships Program sponsors some 1,300 scholars each year to study in a country other than their own. It is the largest privately sponsored international scholarships program in the world. While abroad Rotary scholars act as "ambassadors of goodwill," giving presentations about their homeland to Rotary clubs and other groups.
The Rotary Foundation's Group Study Exchange (GSE) program pairs Rotary districts in different countries to send and receive professional, non-Rotarian study groups.
The Rotary Foundation is supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and others who share its vision of a better world. Contributions to the Foundation''s Annual Programs Fund are invested for three years, with interest being used to cover all administrative costs. Fully 100 percent of every dollar donated supports program expenditures three years later. Gifts to the Foundation''s Permanent Fund are invested, with only the earnings being used to support programs.
The Foundation was conceived as an endowment fund in 1917 "for the purpose of doing good in the world." Although The Rotary Foundation was formally established in 1928, significant contributions were not received until 1947, when the death of Rotary founder Paul Harris generated an outpouring of support. Since that time, more than US$991 million has been spent on Rotary Foundation programs.
All Rotary Foundation awards are initiated by local Rotary clubs and districts.