JNR Service Projects
Rotary International Foundation

The Rotary Foundation of RI is a not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.

Financial Support

In the year ended 30 June 2009, The Rotary Foundation received contribu­tions totaling $223.8 million and spent $187.8 million in support of hu­manitarian and educational programs implemented by clubs and districts and global polio eradication activities. Contributions go into one of three main funds:

  • Annual Programs Fund, which provides grants and awards through Foundation programs
  • Permanent Fund, an endowment from which only a portion of the earnings are spent in support of Foundation programs, ensuring the long­term viability of the Foundation
  • PolioPlus Fund, which supports Rotary's goal of a polio-free world

Every dollar contributed to the Foundation funds the humanitarian, educational, and cultural programs and program operations. Clubs and districts apply for and receive Foundation grants to carry out many worthy projects worldwide. The Every Rotarian, Every Year initiative, designed to encourage worldwide annual per capita giving of $100 or more, supports vital Foundation programs.

Educational Programs

These programs promote international understanding by bringing together people from different countries and cultures.

Ambassadorial Scholarships, an international program for university-level studies, sends about 500 students each year to serve as ambassadors of goodwill while abroad.

Rotary Peace Fellowships are awarded to individuals for study in master's degree and professional certificate programs at one of the six Rotary Centers for International Studies in peace and conflict resolution.

Group Study Exchange is a short-term cultural and vocational exchange program between districts in different countries for non-Rotarian professionals ages 25-40.

Humanitarian Grants Program

Humanitarian grants enable Rotarian: to increase their support of international service projects that provide water wells, medical care, literacy classes, and other essentials to people in need. Rotarian participation is key to the success of these projects.

Matching Grants assist Rotary clubs and districts it carrying out humanitarian projects with clubs and districts in other countries.

District Simplified Grants enable districts to support service activities or humanitarian endeavors that benefit local or international communities.


Eradicating polio is Rotary's top priority. The PolioPlus program provides funding for mass immunization campaigns and support for social mobilization, surveillance, and laboratories to help carry out the final stages of global polio eradication.

Rotarians have raised funds that will amount to more than $1.2 billion in support by the time the world is certified polio-free and have provided hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours. Rotary is a spearheading partner with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in this initiative.  As a result of their efforts, over two billion children under age five have received the polio vaccine, five million people who might otherwise be paralyzed are walking today, 500,000 new cases of polio are prevented each year, and the number of polio cases has declined by 99 percent worldwide.

Rotary's $200 Million Challenge

In 2007 and 2009, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recognized Rotary's leadership in the polio eradication effort with challenge grants of $100 million and $255 million. Grant funds are spent on immunization and other polio eradication activities. Rotary's challenge aims to raise $200 million in matching funds by 30 June 2012, and every Rotary club is asked to help by organizing an annual public fundraising event. The $555 million generated will be a vital catalyst to help achieve Rotary's top priority.