August – September 2022 | Comment

Ian Riseley – Foundation Trustee Chair’s Column

Ian Riseley – Foundation Trustee Chair’s Column

Rotary Foundation Chair Ian Riseley discusses how the work done by the Foundation helps the image and visibility of Rotary Great Britain and Ireland.

During my travels, Rotary often comes up in conversation. Most people associate us with local projects and fundraisers — which is great — but few know what a global force Rotary is.

It’s easier to understand this aspect of Rotary through an example, such as how Rotary responded to the devastating bushfires in Australia in late 2019 and early 2020.

The result of extreme drought, global warming, and adverse weather conditions, the fires caused catastrophic damage. The need for help was obvious and substantial.


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No stranger to forest fires themselves, Canadian Rotarians knew the best way to help was through The Rotary Foundation. They were soon joined by Rotary clubs and districts in other countries and Taiwan, resulting in three Foundation global grants totaling $280,000 to support the economic recovery of farmers affected by these fires.

One farmer wrote a letter of thanks on behalf of the remote communities we helped, saying they “were in disbelief that Rotary clubs from other countries would step up and help our relatively small farming region” and adding that “they were very grateful and honoured to be considered worthy of such aid.”

Friends, this is the kind of impact your Foundation has every single day around the world and why it deserves the support of all Rotary members.

The most significant projects done in Rotary’s name are those accomplished through The Rotary Foundation. The list goes on and on.

Think of the impact of our polio eradication efforts, our peace education programmes, and our Programmes of Scale grants. All these efforts to make the world a better place emanate from our Foundation.

Most people associate us with local projects and fundraisers — which is great — but few know what a global force Rotary is.”

The Foundation also impacts our club experience, membership, partnerships, and so much more.

The more visibility and impact we have through Foundation projects, the more people want to be part of what we are doing as partners or as members. Everybody wins.

To me, Rotary and its Foundation are inseparable — you can’t have one without the other. They are two sides of the same coin.

I love the friendship and fellowship and projects I experience as a member of the Rotary Club of Sandringham, Australia; but I am also thrilled to be part of a global movement that is changing the lives of countless people through The Rotary Foundation.

Remember that other side of the Rotary coin and support your Foundation. By doing so, you will also be supporting your fellow members who are bringing to life the projects our world truly needs.

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