Diane Donaher, Area 2 Annual Fund Coordinator gave us an update on The Rotary Foundation with particular focus on the Annual Fund. The Annual Fund refers to donations made by Rotarians to The Rotary Foundation of RI. This is our Foundation, funded, guided and supported by our fellow Rotarians all over the world. The good works supported by our Foundation enable Rotary members to achieve our mission of advancing world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education and the alleviation of poverty.
 
Foundation funds support projects on both an international and local level. Rotary has determined that grant projects must fall within one of six areas of focus including: peace building and conflict prevention, disease prevention and treatment, maternal and child health, community economic development, water/sanitation and hygiene, and basic education and literacy. All projects must be designed to be sustainable. This approach has proven to be tremendously successful.
 
Rotary has risen to the top of the ratings for charitable organizations. Charity Navigator gives Rotary a rating of 100% in both financial performance metrics and accountability and transparency metrics. We have now received this highest rating for 11 years in a row.
 
Globally Annual Fund contributions have been averaging over $120 million dollars in recent years. All of these donations support worthwhile humanitarian projects. This does not include donations which go to the Polio Eradication efforts and the Permanent Fund (provides a permanent and sustainable source of funding).
 
With all the challenges in the world today, as a Rotarian you can be part of the solution. Rotarians who donate $100/year are considered Sustaining Members. That is $2/week. An easy way to contribute is using Rotary Direct which bills your credit card a set amount on either a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. One-time contributions may be done online at Rotary.org. Per capita donations averaged about $120 in our District last year. It is always a great time to consider participating in this positive force for good in the world.