October-November 2022 | Features

Recurring generosity

Recurring generosity

The Rotary Foundation is fundamental to supporting Rotary clubs during their work with their communities and projects.

The Paul Harris Society recognises donors from around the world who notify The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International of their intention to contribute $1,000 or more every year to the Annual Fund, PolioPlus Fund, or approved global grants. You have an entire year to fulfil your intent. Payments can be made on an ad-hoc basis or by regular payments.

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The Rotary Foundation is fundamental to supporting the Rotary clubs and districts to undertake a myriad of projects large and small within their local communities, within the district and around the world.

The Rotary Foundation is one of the most efficient charities in the world, with a high proportion of the money received going to fund projects and not administration noted for excellent stewardship.

Among the key characteristics of The Rotary Foundation are:
• The administration costs are very low
• All projects are in the hands of Rotarians
• Rotarians decide where projects are situated
• Members of the Cadre that audit projects are Rotarians
• Donations can go to the fund of your choice

A significant proportion of contributions come from Rotary clubs, but increasingly personal donations are being made directly by Rotarians to The Rotary Foundation and in Rotary Great Britain & Ireland to The Rotary Foundation UK.

Jamie Revord, Rotary International’s senior manager for the Foundation’s Annual Fund and Leadership Giving says that most Paul Harris Society members give to the
Annual Fund.

In 2020-21, nearly 18% of Annual Fund contributions – $24.8 million – came from just over 20,000 Paul Harris Society members, who make up less than 2% of total Rotary membership.

Society members can and do also give to PolioPlus, Disaster Response or an approved Global Grant.
Because the society is a district-led programme, everyone celebrates their Paul Harris Society members differently. Many districts present a certificate and Paul Harris Society chevron pin at a district or club event.

I became a Charter member of the Paul Harris Society in District 1130 (Rotary in London) in 2014. I wear my pin so people can ask me what it means. I say I’ve made a commitment to funding the Foundation and how proud I am of the work which the Foundation does.

When an individual Rotarian starts to make personal contributions to The Rotary Foundation (RFUK), they develop a personal interest in the type of projects which are undertaken and can feel pride in what the Foundation is achieving.

The carbon-absorbing properties found in mangroves’ ecosystems are reckoned to be up to five times more effective than tree-planting.

Increased awareness of the activities of the Foundation increases individuals’ enthusiasm for supporting and advocating for The Rotary Foundation.

Your contributions can do more good work through your clubs when you give to the Annual Fund. 47.5% of your donation becomes District Designated Funds which can be directed by District Leaders to pay for Foundation, Club and District projects. Another 27.5% is directed to the world fund to be spent where the need is greatest.

Carol Hallewell, from Cowbridge Rotary in South Wales, says: “I am proud to be a Rotarian, to see what can be achieved through The Rotary Foundation, our own charity. I give to the Paul Harris Society to help others and to make a difference in the world.”

You can access the online leaflet regarding the Paul Harris Society here.

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