Each year The Rotary Club of Ingleburn makes a donation to The Rotary Foundation. Our minimum donation is $100 per member that goes to the Annual Fund. In some years we have made additional donations to the PolioPlus Fund and sometimes we have made additional donations to the Annual Fund when we can afford it.. The article below provides some information about The Rotary Foundation, how funds are invested and why the The Rotary Foundation should be a Rotarian’s charity of choice.

The Rotary Foundation transforms donations into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world. Since it was founded more than 100 years ago, the Foundation has spent more than US$4 Billion on life-changing sustainable projects.

The Mission of the Foundation of Rotary International is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.

Rotary is dedicated to seven areas of focus to build international relationships, improve lives, and create a better world to support our peace efforts and end polio. The areas of focus:

  • Promoting Peace
  • Fighting Disease
  • Providing Clean Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
  • Saving Mothers and Children
  • Supporting Education
  • Growing Local Economies
  • Supporting the Environment

For the 12th consecutive year, The Rotary Foundation has received the highest rating – four stars – from Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator of charities in the USA. The Foundation earned the recognition for demonstrating both strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency. Attaining a 4-star rating verifies that The Rotary Foundation exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in its area of work.

The Foundation needs a more predictable level of financial support for revenue to pay its annual operating expenses and provide an operating reserve therefore, to ensure the Foundation’s long-term financial sustainability, the Trustees approved a funding model, effective 1 July 2015. Investments are critical to the sustainability of Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation.

The Office of Investment is responsible for managing Rotary’s investments according to policies set by The Rotary Foundation’s Trustees and Rotary International’s Board of Directors. Through a commitment to stewardship and excellence, they seek to establish a legacy that distinguishes Rotary as a prudent investor, supports Rotary’s objectives, and promotes sustainability.

The Annual Fund is the primary source of funds that support The Rotary Foundation’s programs and areas of focus. Contributions to the Annual Fund are invested for three years to generate earnings to meet the Foundation’s operating expenses.

To achieve the objective of the Annual Fund, the portfolio is invested conservatively with an emphasis on liquidity and income over capital appreciation.

The objective of the Endowment Fund is to provide a permanent and sustainable source of funding. Contributions to the Endowment Fund are invested in perpetuity and investment earnings are used to provide a permanent source of income to support Foundation programs.

The long-term nature of the Endowment dictates a bias toward equity investments because of the higher return potential in comparison to fixed income investments. Hence, 85 percent of the Endowment portfolio is targeted for investments in assets expected to produce equity-like returns.  

The PolioPlus Fund has always been invested in fixed-income securities (i.e., bonds) because of the need to protect and preserve the funds contributed toward the effort to end polio.

In the past, when the time horizon for both investment and grant-making was longer, the investment portfolio held longer-term bonds that generated higher yields. The PolioPlus Fund portfolio benefited from the long cycle of declining interest rates.

Today, the investments are limited to short-term fixed-income securities because the Foundation is raising and disbursing funds within a short time frame as we get closer to reaching our goal.

As Rotarians, the Rotary Foundation should be our charity of choice due to clubs benefiting from grants for humanitarian projects both at home and around the world.

How Can Donations be Made?

Each year, when Rotary Clubs are assessing how they distribute their funds, The Rotary Foundation should be high on their list. Ideally a donation of US$100 per member is a guide for Clubs. The donations have a double barrel effect:

  • They support the Foundation programs applied for by Rotary clubs.
  • The giving each year is held and invested by the Rotary Foundation for a three-year period;
  • This investment return helps fund the Foundation operations.
  • After three years, the Rotary Foundation returns to each Rotary District 50% of their giving, from three years prior, to be used by that District in defined ways, referred to as District Designated Funds (DDF).
  • Part of that DDF is to be distributed via District Grants for projects planned by clubs and approved by the Rotary District.
  • District Grants can fund up to 50% of the planned project.

Rotary Foundation Giving is a good way to help fund the many Rotary Programs. For individuals wanting a Tax deductible receipt, donations can be made to The Australian Rotary Foundation Trust.

Types of giving programs individuals can participate in:

  • Personal Donations.
  • Every Rotarian Every Year (EREY) program – Donation size is a choice, usually a club member collaborative decision, but not necessary. Every Rotarian refers to every member of a club adopting this protocol.
  • Become a Member of the Centurion Club – Donate $100 in a Rotary (Fiscal) year.
  • Rotary Foundation Sustaining Member – Donate US$100 or more per year to the Annual Fund.
  • Paul Harris Society Member – recognises Rotary members and friends of The Rotary Foundation who elect to contribute US$1,000 or more each year.
  • Benefactor – When the Endowment Fund is included as a beneficiary for $1,000 or more in your estate plans or when you donate US$1,000 or more to the fund outright.
  •  Major Donor – When cumulative donations reach US$10,000.
  • Arch Klumph Society – When cumulative donations reach US$250,000.

The foregoing donations are predominately directed the Annual Fund unless as indicated i.e. Endowment Fund programs, however another Fund that is of significant benefit is the Polio Eradication Global Project Fund, PolioPlus. For the Polio Eradication Fund, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has for ten years sponsored this fund by contributing $2 for every $1 contributed by Rotarians. Why – ‘Because they know Rotarians get the job done’ and are therefore happy to invest in this worthy project, now in the final 1% stage.

As we continue with the series on the Rotary Foundation (TRF), I want to reiterate the Mission of the Foundation of Rotary International as this is the principle which underpins its Grant system.

The Mission is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty. The TRF transforms donations into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world.

Rotary members contribute their skills, expertise, and resources to help solve some of the world’s toughest problems. From providing clean water to promoting peace worldwide, TRF grants bring service project ideas to life; projects must have measurable goals, be sustainable and based on community needs, and centred on at least one of the TRF six areas of focus.

To apply for a Grant, the applicant must be a member of a Rotary club.

District Grants are intended to fund short-term projects (completed within the current Rotary year) of individual clubs in the District.  Funds available for the District for allocating to individual clubs is based on the District portion of the Annual Programs (SHARE) Fund giving from three years prior. 

District grants fund small-scale, short-term activities that address needs in a club’s community and communities abroad. Each district chooses which activities it will fund with these grants.

Global grants support large international activities with sustainable, measurable outcomes in Rotary’s areas of focus. By working together to respond to real community needs, clubs and districts strengthen their global partnerships.

Global grants can fund:

  • Humanitarian projects
  • Scholarships for graduate-level academic studies
  • Vocational training teams, which are groups of professionals who travel abroad either to teach local professionals about their field or to learn more about it themselves

Global grants have a minimum budget of US$30,000 and a maximum World Fund award of US$400,000. Grant sponsors can use a combination of District Designated Funds (DDF), cash, and/or directed gifts and endowment earnings to fund a global grant. The Foundation will provide a 100 percent World Fund match for all DDF contributions. There is no minimum World Fund match.

The TRF and clubs invest in our future leaders and philanthropists by funding scholarships for undergraduate and graduate study.

Types of scholarships:

  • Rotary clubs offer scholarships for secondary, undergraduate, or graduate study, open to anyone except Rotary members and their families. Students must be studying in one of the Rotary’s six areas of focus.
  • The TRF offers scholarships for college graduates and professionals to study peace and conflict resolution; Rotary peace fellowships are available to candidates who want to participate in a master’s degree or certificate program at one of our six partner universities. 

Scholarships last from one to four years and can include an entire degree program. Global grant scholarships are funded using cash or DDF matched by the World Fund.

Rotary members can advance peace in troubled areas around the world by promoting peace fellowships and supporting peace fellow candidates through the application process.

A small insight into what is available through the Rotary Foundation grant system, applicants will need further understanding to apply.

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