At the 1917 convention, outgoing Rotary president Arch Klumph proposed setting up an endowment “for the purpose of doing good in the world.” That one idea, and an initial contribution of $26.50, set in motion a powerful force that has transformed millions of lives around the globe.
Today the Rotary Foundation still transforms the gifts it receives into projects that change lives both close to home and around the world. During the past 100 years, the Foundation has spent $3 billion on life-changing, sustainable projects.
Here is an overview of how The Rotary Foundation spends the money raised
Rotarians have mobilised by the hundreds of thousands to ensure that children are immunised against this crippling disease and that surveillance is strong despite the poor infrastructure, extreme poverty and civil strife of many countries. Since the PolioPlus program’s inception in 1985 more than two billion children have received oral polio vaccine.
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Humanitarian Grants Programs
This area of activity within Rotary Foundation facilitates clubs in their support for disaster preparedness and recovery. District Simplified Grants support short-term service activities of districts in communities locally or internationally. Matching Grants provide matching funds for the international service projects of Rotary clubs and districts. Since 1965, more than 20,000 Matching Grants projects in 166 countries have been funded at a cost of more than US$198 million.
Rotary Foundation supports focussed programmes of education that includes Scholarships, Group Study Exchange and Rotary Peace Fellowships.
Group Study Exchange allows paired Rotary districts to provide travel expenses for a team of non-Rotarians from a variety of vocations. Rotarians host a four- to six-week itinerary of educational and cultural points of interest. Since 1965, almost 48,000 individuals in more than 11,000 teams from more than 100 countries have participated at a cost of US$85 million.
Rotary Peace Fellowships select up to 100 fellows every year to undertake a master’s-level degree in peace and conflict studies at one of six Rotary Peace Centres at leading universities in Australia, England, Sweden, Japan, the United States and Thailand.