“Ask anyone who has been touched by The Rotary Foundation what it is and every answer will be different. Ask anyone who has been touched by The Rotary Foundation just how important it is, and every answer will be identical.”
The Rotary Foundation was born as an endowment fund in 1917, the brainchild of RI President Arch C. Klumph. It was reborn 12 years later in the form we know today, The Rotary Foundation of Rotary international. However, it wouldn’t be until after the passing of Paul P. Harris in 1947 that TRF would reach the financial health and world importance that it enjoys today. Technically speaking, it 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.
Its expenses are borne solely by the interest earned on its contributions over a three year period. As an endowment fund for Rotary "to do good in the world," its initial contribution was US $26.50 in 1918. When it became The Rotary Foundation in 1928, it had a value of US $5,739.07. In the most recent year that we have complete figures, the Foundation had more than US $73 million contributed in 2000-01. But, that's not what The Rotary Foundation is all about. Its event-filled 85 years has been a story of Rotarians learning the value of service to humanity, and the citizens of the earth benefiting from that service.
The Humanitarian Programs of the foundation help fuel international Rotary projects to improve the quality of life, providing health care, clean water, food, education, and other essential needs primarily in the developing world.
A major Humanitarian Program is PolioPlus, which seeks to eradicate the polio virus worldwide. Through its Educational Programs, the Foundation provides funding for students to study abroad each year. Grants are also awarded to university teachers to teach in developing countries and for exchanges of business and professional people. Even its former participants in the Foundation's programs can continue their affiliation with Rotary as Foundation Alumni.
Rotary Foundation Mission: The mission of the Rotary Foundation 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.
Rotary Foundation Motto: Doing Good in the world
You are all invited to join us on the following Saturday mornings:
The program on Wednesday this week was a video is a talk showcasing Nick Vujicic – and we were all inspired.
Nick Vujicic was born in Australia to a Serbian immigrant family, with a rare disorder characterized by the absence of all four limbs. Most of his childhood he struggled with depression, and after a suicide attempt he decided to concentrate on what he did have instead on what he didn't. He realized that his life story inspires many people.
The early days were difficult. Throughout his childhood, Nick not only dealt with the typical challenges of school and adolescence, but he also struggled with depression and loneliness. Nick constantly wondered why he was different than all the other kids. He questioned the purpose of life, or if he even had a purpose.
Since his first speaking engagement at age 19, Nick has traveled around the world, sharing his story with millions, sometimes in stadiums filled to capacity, speaking to a range of diverse groups such as students, teachers, young people, business professionals and church congregations of all sizes.
Today this dynamic young evangelist has accomplished more than most people achieve in a lifetime. He’s an author, musician, actor, and his hobbies include fishing, painting and swimming. In 2007, Nick made the long journey from Australia to southern California where he is the president of the international non-profit ministry, Life Without Limbs, which was established in 2005.
Those in attendance were Jerome up late in Birmingham, UK, John, Kitty and Lesli. For those unable to attend, you can find the video here:
A story about Rotary Zones 33 and 34 – and the District Governors of 2015-16. This article was written by
When asked, “why doesn’t Rotary spend more money on PR?”, RI President Ravi Ravindran responded with the easily predictable answer, “We don’t have the money to do a massive media campaign.” But what he said next was worthy of our attention. Speaking to a Town Hall Meeting of forty District 7620 Club Presidents, he related the following advice. “If you want to solve all of your membership and PR problems, find a solution to a major problem in your community. We have many smart Rotarians in our clubs. Come up with the plan and the sweat equity to get the project done. Don’t worry about the money. The money will find you. When the community understands that Rotary helped solve an important problem in your town, all of your membership and PR problems will be solved.”
My initial thought upon hearing this advice, coming from a guy who built what…twenty two elementary schools and a hospital in his home country of Sri Lanka, was ARE YOU KIDDING? Who is going to teach our clubs how to do deals like that? But the more I think of it, the more I think he is exactly right. What important, impactful, community changing projects are we involved with in our Rotary clubs? And how do you figure out how to do such a project? Who do you partner with? How do you assess the big needs in your community? How do you get the funding? I’ve come to the conclusion that we might not be thinking big enough in Rotary, at least at the club level.
While I’m on the subject of The Magic of Thinking Big, let me strongly recommend you read the classic book on the subject by David J. Schwartz. It’s one of those books that might change your life.
Here’s a real life “big idea” story that just happened in Zone 33-34. When the DG class of 2015-16 first got together as DGN’s, they took the measure of each other and realized that collectively they had a remarkable lack of ego. As they got to know each other better the notion of doing a service project together was broached over an appropriate number of beverages at a hospitality suite at the following year’s Zone Institute in Asheville, NC. After watching a spellbinding presentation by Marion Bunch, Founder and CEO of the Rotary Action Group, Rotarians for Family Health and Aids Prevention (RFFHA), at that same Institute, Marion was asked a simple question. Since we had 29 Districts in our Zone, and if hypothetically all of them contributed $2,000 of DDF to a project, and if we got matched by TRF dollar for dollar, then we would be dealing with a chunk of change of about $116,000. The question was, “hey…can we do a deal with you where we can fund a Rotary Family Health Day for about a $100,000 price point?”
Guess what? The answer was yes and the Zone 33-34 Ghana Family Health Day project was born. As it turns out, no one at Rotary International knows of another project that was funded (as it ultimately turned out) by 22 Districts. Not clubs. Districts. Yes, different DGs in the Zone handled the fundraising in different ways, with some getting club contributions. But most found a way to fund the project using District DDF. The Ghana Rotary Family Health Day project benefited 40,000+ Ghanians. The total cost of the project was $114,000. My District’s investment in the project was $3,000 of DDF. I hope you will take a second to watch this three and one half minute video about how this got put together.
NOTE: The video itself was conceptualized, written, and produced, in about three hours at this year’s Zone Institute in San Destin, Fla. The video itself is a tribute to how a big idea can come to fruition when you have motivated, talented, and passionate Rotarians involved. We are rewriting the script to focus more on Rotary clubs and I will post the final version on RFA when its complete. In the meantime, take a look at this.
If you happen to be looking for a great program for the month of November (Foundation Month), why not check out this award winning documentary produced by RI all about RFFHA and Family Health Days. It’s twenty four minutes long and perfectly tells a story about a Rotarian who learned about thinking big. (Click on About Us and then Documentary.)
Let’s try to take RI President Ravi’s advice and think bigger. After all, there is nothing limiting the scale of the service projects we take on other than our own imagination, our skill, our ability to create partnerships, and our determination. Since its Foundation Month, it might be a good time to remember that if you want to do a BIG project, the Rotary Foundation is standing by to help. All you need is a great idea that falls into one of the six areas of focus, a bunch of qualified partner clubs who share your vision, a strong international partner, and someone who can write a grant. Why not? Let’s do this!!
You can subscribe to DG Ken Solow’s blog at the following link:
In honor of Rotary Foundation Month we would like to remember a former Past President of The Rotary Club of St. Thomas and Past Assistant Governor of USVI North who sadly is no longer with us. He leaves behind a legacy of dedication and commitment to Rotary and the Rotary Foundation. Many in our E-Club knew and loved Don. Thank you Roger for this tribute. Click here to view it.
Leadership in an E-Club often requires more dedication to detail and more time in nurturing members and understanding their needs.
As Rotarians, we expect and are expected to volunteer our time beyond a simple weekly meeting.
Here are some strategies which may help us to become better leaders and Rotarians.
Leadership Strategies for Rotarians:1*
A team is more than the sum of the parts. Picking the right mix of people is key (experienced vs. newbies; identifying professionals related to the project moves things along, etc.)
Be effective with your own time and take matters to closure. Clarity and delegation are important. Time is valuable. Keep the process moving.
Know the problem and empower others to break through barriers with their own solutions. Preparation is obvious, but empower committee to find solutions.
We are Rotarians. Recognize the work/life balance. Each goal must be made worth the effort by stressing the meaningfulness of the goal, recognition, and the expectations of the leader.
Solve problems with the right questions. Start with consensus building. Follow-up with questions to get to the real issues involved with the project as preparation so everyone is aware of the challenges and can contribute to the solutions.
Listen! Leaders are tempted to add input into new ideas from the team, which is often counterproductive. Be enthusiastic and supportive. The team needs to feel ownership in the endeavor. Part of the Rotary leader’s job is to make winners of the volunteers.
Build your Rotarian leadership pool. The more experienced, knowledgeable and motivated Rotarians you have in your pool, the more you will be able to accomplish. Partnering, mentoring, and succession planning, are effective techniques to make this happen. Every key person in your organization should have a replacement trained and ready to do the job if called upon. Recognizing your mentors, but placing the responsibility on them to have a replacement, is key.
1www.Superperformance.com , Kathleen O’Connor. 7 Leadership Strategies to Help You Handle Change *”volunteer” changed to “Rotarian” for emphasis
ANNUAL FUND is the primary source of funding for all Foundation activities. Our annual contributions help Rotary Clubs take action to create positive change in communities at home and around the world. Our gift helps strengthen peace efforts, provide clean water and sanitation, support education, grow local economies, save mothers and children and fight disease.
Through our annual Sustaining Member contributions of $100 or more, the Rotary E-Club of the Caribbean, 7020 has been a 100% EREY contributor since we were chartered in 2013. Let us continue to support The Rotary Foundation (TRF) through our annual donations.
We have been and continue to “Be a gift to the World”.