General Criteria
Rotary Foundation District Grants and Rotary Foundation Global Grants support a wide variety of humanitarian and educational activities in local communities and abroad. All projects and activities funded by these grants must:
  1. Relate to the mission of The Rotary Foundation
  2. Include the active participation of Rotarians
  3. Exclude any liability to The Rotary Foundation or Rotary International except for the funding amount of the grant
  4. Adhere to the governing laws of the United States and the country where the activity is taking place and not harm individuals or entities
  5. Only fund activities that have been reviewed and approved before their implementation. Grants will not be approved to reimburse clubs or districts for projects already completed or in progress. Planning for grant activities ahead of approval is allowed and encouraged, but expenses may not be incurred before approval.
  6. Demonstrate sensitivity toward another country’s/geographic area’s tradition and culture if grant activities will take place outside of the grant recipient’s country/geographic area
  7. Comply with the Conflict of Interest Policy for Grant Participants as outlined in section 7.030 of The Rotary Foundation Code of Policies
  8. Comply with the policy regarding the proper use of Rotary Marks as outlined in section 1.060.9 of The Rotary Foundation Code of Policies
Additionally, district grants
Support local and international humanitarian and service projects, scholarships, and vocational training teams relating to the mission
Can fund projects and activities in Rotary and non-Rotary countries and geographic areas where permitted by applicable governing laws and in accordance with Foundation policies
 
Sponsor Criteria
For a district or club to receive a grant from The Rotary Foundation, all districts involved must be qualified by The Rotary Foundation, and the clubs involved must be qualified by their district. In addition, districts and all grant committee members must be in good standing with Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation. Individuals prohibited from serving on a grant committee include RI fiscal agents, national treasurers, and officers and paid staff of a cooperating or beneficiary organization associated with the grant. When acting as a primary sponsor, each district or club is limited to 10 open grants at a time.

District Grants
Districts must establish a grant committee of three Rotarians, including the district governor of the implementation year, the district Rotary Foundation committee chair, and the district grants subcommittee chair.

Eligibility Criteria
In addition to the general criteria for Rotary Foundation District and Global Grants, specific allowable activities have been identified for both grant types. District and global grants can fund:
  1. Construction of infrastructure including but not limited to toilet blocks and sanitation systems, access roads, dams, bridges, storage units, fences and security systems, water/irrigation systems, and greenhouses
  2. Renovation, repair, and refurbishment of structures that are currently occupied or operational in which individuals live, work, or spend a significant amount of time, which may include the provision of new services or upgrade of utilities (i.e., electrical, plumbing, and heating), repair of roofs, additions to existing schools or hospitals, elevators, and renovation of bathrooms
  3. Purchase and distribution of contraceptives for use in disease prevention and maternal health projects
  4. International travel for scholars, vocational training teams, and project beneficiaries
  5. Domestic travel for scholars, vocational training teams, project beneficiaries, and those professionals (Rotarian and non-Rotarian) needed to implement the project
  6. Direct costs, fees, contracted labor costs, stipends, or honorariums related to project implementation
  7. Activities involving vaccines and immunizations that are consistent with the best practices described by the World Health Organization
  8. Medical camps and lifesaving surgeries, providing that if they are funded by global grants, there must be appropriate follow up.
Additionally, district grants can fund
  1. International travel for project planning and direct service
  2. The removal of land mines in cooperation with an experienced partner organization (Rotarians may not personally participate in the physical removal of land mines)
  3. Administrative expenses, up to 3 percent of the grant award, necessary for grant implementation including: bank fees, postage, software, and an independent financial assessment
  4. Projects that involve the transfer of goods to India, if the district grant is originating from outside of India
Restrictions
Grants cannot be used to unfairly discriminate against any group, promote a particular political or religious viewpoint, support purely religious functions at churches and other places of worship, support activities that involve abortion or that are undertaken solely for sex determination, fund the purchase of arms or ammunition, support the following programs of RI: Rotary Youth Exchange, RYLA, Rotary Friendship Exchange, Rotaract, and Interact, or as a new contribution to the Foundation or another Rotary Foundation grant.

In addition, grants cannot fund
  1. Continuous or excessive support of any one beneficiary, entity or community
  2. Establishment of a foundation, permanent trust, or long-term interest-bearing account. Grant funds can be used to establish a microcredit or revolving loan fund if the sponsors comply with the revolving loan requirements found in section XIII.
  3. Purchase of land or buildings
  4. New construction of any structure in which individuals live, work, or engage in any gainful activity, such as buildings (schools, homes/low-cost shelters, and hospitals), containers, and mobile homes, or structures in which individuals carry out any type of activity including manufacturing or processing 
  5. Fundraising activitiesTerms and Conditions for Rotary Foundation District Grants and Global Grants (July 2012) 4
  6. Expenses related to Rotary events such as district conferences, conventions, institutes, anniversary celebrations, or entertainment activities
  7. Public relations initiatives not directly related to a humanitarian or educational activity
  8. Operating, administrative, or indirect program expenses of another organization
  9. Unrestricted cash donations to a beneficiary or cooperating organization
  10. Projects already in progress or completed
  11. Activities primarily implemented by a non-Rotary organization
  12. Transportation of vaccines by hand over national borders
  13. Humanitarian projects that consist primarily of research or data collection
  14. Travel to National Immunization Days (NIDs)
  15. International travel for youth under the age of 18, unless accompanied by their parents
  16. The inclusion of district grant projects that constitute the transfer of funding to India, if the district grant is originating from outside of India.
Timelines and Applications
The two-year business cycle includes a planning year, during which the district can first submit a district grant application, and an implementation year, during which the funds can be paid out and applied to projects. Districts are strongly encouraged to begin planning district grant projects and to submit applications during the planning year, but districts may also submit applications during the implementation year. The grant committee must submit a complete request for district grant funds, preferably during the planning year, which includes:
  1. Signed authorization to request and oversee the expenditure of the grant funds
  2. A general spending plan for the year in which the funds will be spent
  3. Agreement to comply with all standard district grant policies, guidelines, and criteria
Districts may apply for only one district grant per Rotary year, but this grant may support multiple projects. Any requests for an increase in the grant amount must be made before any portion of the grant has been paid out by the Foundation. The Rotary Foundation will not process or approve district grant applications after the end of the Rotary year for which the funds were requested. Click here to download the current application!


Financing and Contributions
District grants are funded by The Rotary Foundation solely with allocations from the District Designated Fund(DDF). A district may apply for a single grant per year to support one or more projects using up to 50 percent of its SHARE allocation, which represents 50 percent of the district’s annual giving.

Payments
Grant funds will be paid only to the district bank account identified by the district during the qualification process. District grant funds are available for payment in the implementation Rotary year, beginning 1 July, but will not be released until the previous Rotary year’s district grant is closed. Funds are not available after the close of the implementation year; if sponsors do not meet all payment requirements by 15 May of the implementation year, the grant will be canceled.

Reporting Requirements and Documentation
Grant recipients are responsible for reporting to the Foundation on the use of grant funds. Progress and final reports must be submitted via Member Access at www.rotary.org. These forms must be completed in their entirety for the report to be accepted. New grant applications will not be accepted by the Foundation if the grant sponsor has an overdue report for any Foundation grant. The Foundation reserves the right to review grants at any time, conduct an audit, send a monitor, require the submission of additional documentation, and suspend any or all payments if deemed necessary. The following reporting criteria also apply to grant recipients:
  1. Unused grant funds must be returned promptly to The Rotary Foundation.
  2. Districts must report the use of grant funds to their member clubs in accordance with the terms of qualification.
  3. Grant sponsors must maintain copies of all receipts and bank statements related to grant-funded expenditures in accordance with the terms of qualification and any applicable local and international laws.
  4. Grant sponsors who fail to adhere to Foundation policies and guidelines in implementing and financing projects must return misused grant funds in their entirety and may be barred from receiving future grants for a period of up to five years.
These additional criteria apply to district grants:
  1. Final reports documenting the disbursement of funds must be submitted to the Foundation within 12 months after the payment is received, or within 2 months of the grant’s total disbursement.
  2. All grant projects and activities funded by district grants must be completed within 24 months of disbursement by the Foundation or the local district to the club or project site.
  3. Unused grant funds must be returned promptly to The Rotary Foundation and will be credited to the district’s DDF.
Non-Rotarian Grant Recipients
Non-Rotarians receiving grant funding for scholarships and participation in vocational training teams are expected to demonstrate a good knowledge of Rotary and a solid commitment to participate in activities and service with their sponsors. The following criteria also apply to non-Rotarian grant recipients:
  1. Non-Rotarian grant recipients are required to participate in an outbound orientation session before departure.
  2. Non-Rotarian grant recipients are expected to participate in club and district activities as requested by their sponsors.
  3. Relatives of a vocational training team member may participate on the same team if they meet eligibility requirements.
  4. Scholars and vocational training team members who elect to travel after the grant must return to their international sponsor district within four weeks after the grant is completed.
  5. Non-Rotarian grant recipients should be proficient in the language of the host country.
  6. Scholarship recipients must reside in their host district.
Cooperating Organizations
Cooperating organizations are reputable non-Rotary organizations or academic institutions solicited by the sponsors that provide expertise, infrastructure, advocacy, training, education, or other support for the grant. Terms and Conditions for Rotary Foundation District Grants and Global Grants (July 2012) 8 Cooperating organizations must agree to comply with all reporting and auditing activities required by The Rotary Foundation and provide receipts and proof of purchase as required. No more than five global grants may be approved in a Rotary year for projects involving a single cooperating organization, with the exception of scholars studying at a particular university.
 
All funding provided to cooperating organizations must be used for specific project activities, and the district must maintain an itemized report of such activity.

Special Considerations for Rotary Foundation (India)
The Rotary Foundation and the Rotary Foundation (India) encourage all Rotary clubs and districts in India to become registered with the Government of India (GOI) under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). For general information about the FCRA, go to http://mha.nic.in/fcra.htm; for registration forms, go to http://mha.nic.in/fcra/intro/forms.html.In addition to all other terms and conditions, grants with full or partial payment to a Rotary club or district in India should follow these payment and reporting procedures to comply with the GOI laws and the FCRA:
  1. Grant funds will not be released to a bank account in India unless all general payment conditions listed below have been met. Either the sponsors provide documentation showing that the bank account is registered under the FCRA or staff determine that sufficient funds are available from contributions made within India. Otherwise, the payment will be placed in a queue and paid on a first-come, first-served basis only when additional contributions are made and sufficient funds are available. The sponsors of grants must ensure funds are not co-mingled.
Payment is contingent upon the approval of a detailed spending plan that includes an itemized budget for each listed project or activity. Grant funds will be paid only to the district bank account identified by the district during the qualification process. The nomenclature of the district bank account must be easily identifiable with the district and the project. (A proper naming example is (Rotary District 0000 District Grant 12345). District grant funds are available for payment in the implementation Rotary year, beginning 1 July, but will not be released until the previous Rotary year’s district grant is closed. Funds are not available after the close of the implementation year; if sponsors do not meet all payment requirements by 15 May of the implementation year, the grant will be canceled.