The Rotary Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation that supports the efforts of Rotary International to achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational, and cultural exchange programs. It is supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world.

The Foundation was created in 1917 by Rotary International’s sixth president, Arch C. Klumph, as an endowment fund for Rotary “to do good in the world.” It has grown from an initial contribution of $26.50 to more than $1 billion. It is one of the largest and most prestigious international fellowship programs in the world.

Rotary Foundation flowchart

Some of the programs supported by the Foundation include:

District and Global Grants: District grants fund small-scale, short-term activities that address needs in the community or abroad.  Districts may use up to 50% of their District Designated Fund to receive one district grant annually.  Global grants support international activities with sustainable, measurable outcomes in Rotary’s areas of focus.  Grant sponsors form international partnerships that respond to real community needs.  The minimum budget for a global grant activity is $30,000.  The Foundation’s World Fund provides a minimum of $15,000 and maximum of $200,000.  Clubs and districts contribute District Designated Funds and/or cash contributions that the World Fund matches.  District Designated Funds are matched at 100%, and cash is matched at 50%.

District Simplified Grants support the short-term service activities or humanitarian endeavors of districts in communities locally or internationally. This program began in 2003-2004.

DSG Ankleshwar

Group Study Exchange (GSE): This is a unique cultural and vocation exchange opportunity for business people and professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 who are in the early stages of their careers.  The program provides travel grants for teams to exchange visits in paired areas of different countries.  for four to six weeks, team members experience the host country’s culture and institutions, observe how their vocations are practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships and exchange cultural ideas.

Matching Grants provide matching funds for international service projects of Rotary clubs and districts in two or more countries.  The Foundation provides a one-to-one match for District Designated Fund (DDF)/SHARE contributions and a $0.50 match for every new $1 cash contribution.  Grant awards range from $5,000 to $200,000.

PolioPlus: Rotarians have mobilized by the hundreds of thousands to ensure that children are immunized 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, and the number of polio cases has been reduced by 99%!  By the time the world is certified polio-free, Rotary’s contributions to the global polio eradication effort will exceed $1.2 billion.


How to Donate: To make a donation to the Rotary Foundation or to learn more about the programs that benefit from contributions, please click here.  Or, if you would like to print out a contribution form, please click here.  You can give your completed form and donation to to Jim Stock or to Sandra Logan.