February-March 2023 | Features

Rotary Foundation FAQs

Rotary Foundation FAQs

A collection of key questions relating to The Rotary Foundation answering questions such as how it functions, how can clubs use it and what it actually is.

What is The Rotary Foundation?

  • The Rotary Foundation is Rotary’s own charity. It exists to support Rotarians and their clubs in the charitable activities that clubs choose and undertake themselves.
  • The mission of The Rotary 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.
  •  The Rotary Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees.
  • The headquarters of The Rotary Foundation is in Evanston, Illinois, USA, but it also has associate foundations in other countries, including The Rotary Foundation of the United Kingdom.
  • All contributions to either The Rotary Foundation directly or any of its associate foundations are essential to securing and growing Rotary programmes throughout the world.
  • Since it was founded over 100 years ago, The Rotary Foundation has spent $4 billion on life-changing, sustainable projects around the world. It currently awards grants averaging about $1 million per day.

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Where can I get current information on my Foundation giving?

  • Log in to My Rotary and open “My Account” by clicking on your name in the top corner. The drop-down box has a tab for “My Donations”.

How difficult is it for a club to withdraw funds from the Foundation?

  • Clubs do not “withdraw funds” as such, but apply for grants.
  • Funds are made available to districts on an annual basis for the purpose of supporting club projects. These are known as District Grants. The process is managed by individual districts.
  • Global Grants can be applied for projects in excess of $30,000. An international partner is required. Districts have access to The Rotary Foundation funds DDF (District Designated Funds) which are available to support projects. This also can attract matched funding from the World Fund of The Rotary Foundation.

How do I give to The Rotary Foundation?

  • If you are a UK taxpayer contributions should be made to The Rotary Foundation (to gain the benefit of Gift Aid). Use this link www.rotarygbi.org/donate to see how to donate and the variety of funds that the gift can be directed towards.

How do the investment performance and investment costs and charges of the Foundation compare with other similar sized funds?

  • Programme awards and operations amount to 92% of the expenditure of The Rotary Foundation (leaving 8% for administration and fund development).
  • Most international charities have administration expenses ranging between 20% and 40%.

What is the difference between a PHF and a PHS?

  • PHF (Paul Harris Fellow) recognises a gift, or accumulation of a gift, of $1,000 (or the donor can award a PHF to a third party in recognition of service, having given $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation themselves).
  • PHS (Paul Harris Society) recognises an individual’s commitment to contribute $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation (any of the programmes) every year that they are able to.

Why do districts get only 50% back from the Foundation, of the donations they make?

  • A small amount helps cover costs but the majority is held in the World Fund which clubs and districts can access for additional financial support for Global Grant projects.

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