The Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into projects that change lives both close to home and around the world. As the charitable arm of Rotary, we tap into a global network of Rotarians who invest their time, money, and expertise into our priorities, such as eradicating polio and promoting peace. Foundation grants empower Rotarians to approach challenges such as poverty, illiteracy, and malnutrition with sustainable solutions that leave a lasting impact. Strong financial oversight, a stellar charity rating, and a unique funding model mean that we make the very most of your contribution. Give and become a part of Rotary’s life-changing work!
More than 2.5 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation facilities. At least 3,000 children die each day from diarrheal diseases caused by unsafe water. Our projects give communities the ability to develop and maintain sustainable water and sanitation systems and support studies related to water and sanitation.
Rotary, along with our partners, has reduced polio cases by 99 percent worldwide since our first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979. We are close to eradicating polio, but we need your help. Rotarians have helped immunize more than 2 billion children against polio in 122 countries. For as little as $0.60, a child can be protected against this crippling disease for life.
Today, 42 million people are displayed by armed conflict and persecution. Through our partnerships with several leading universities, Rotary Peace Fellows develop the skills to strengthen peace efforts, train local leaders to prevent and mediate conflict, and support long-term peace building in areas affected by conflict. We provide up to 100 peace fellowships per year at Rotary Peace Centers.
HISTORY OF THE ROTARY FOUNDATION
At the 1917 convention, outgoing RI President Arch C. Klumph proposed to set up an endowment “for the purpose of doing good in the world.” In 1928, it was renamed The Rotary Foundation, and it became a distinct entity within Rotary International.
GROWTH OF THE FOUNDATION
In 1929, the Foundation made its first gift of $500 to the International Society for Crippled Children. The organization, created by Rotarian Edgar F. “Daddy” Allen, later grew into Easter Seals.
When Rotary founder Paul Harries died in 1947, contributions began pouring in to Rotary International, and the Paul Harris Memorial Fund was created to build the Foundation.
EVOLUTION OF FOUNDATION PROGRAMS
1947: The Foundation established its first program, Fellowships for Advance Study, later known as Ambassadorial Scholarships.
1965-66: Three programs were launched: Group Study Exchange, Awards for Technical Training, and Grants for Activities in Keeping with the Objective of The Rotary Foundation, which was later called Matching Grants.
1978: Rotary introduced the Health, Hunger and Humanity (3-H) Grants. The first 3-H Grant funded a project to immunize 6 million Phillipine children against polio.
1985: The PolioPlus program was launched to eradicate polio worldwide.
1987-88: The first peace forums were held, leading to Rotary Peace Fellowships.
2013: New district, global, and packaged grants enable Rotarians around the world to respond to the world’s greatest needs.
Since the first donation of $26.50 in 1917, the Foundation has received contributions totaling more than $1 billion.