What is  the ROTARY FOUNDATION?  What makes up the three FUNDS?  How about those Grants they offer? and...most importantly:  How Can YOU help??


Take a minute to learn more or review what it is all about...

The Rotary Foundation

The Rotary Foundation is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace across the globe.  Supported solely by voluntary contributions, the Foundation provides an avenue whereby Rotarians and Friends of the Foundation can support and share its vision of a better world.

There are three main funds where individuals, Clubs and Districts can direct their donations and these include:

•    The Annual Programs Fund, which provides grants and awards through various Foundation programs.  Approximately 47% of all contributions to the Foundation are directed to this fund and these dollars are invested for three years.  After the three years 50% of the original money is returned to the Districts through the District Dedicated Fund (DDF) and is used to fund grants for our projects here at home or around the world.  The other 50% goes to the World Fund to support other Foundation programs within our districts and around the world.  Investment earnings are used to support administrative costs and may be used to benefit the Foundation programs as well.

•    The Permanent Fund, is an endowment fund where only earnings are spent to expand existing programs and underwrite new programs.  Approximately 6% of all donations are directed to the Permanent Fund through outright gifts of property, cash or investments donated through charitable trusts, wills and estate plans.  

•    And lastly is the PolioPlus Fund, which is the corporate program of Rotary International and its Foundation.  PolioPlus is our most recognized program and Rotarians have mobilized by the hundreds of thousands to ensure that children are immunized against this crippling disease.  Since its inception in 1985, more than one million Rotarians worldwide have contributed over $800 million to PolioPlus and during this time more than 2 billion children have received polio vaccine.  As Rotarians we have been challanged to raise an additional $200 million by June of 2012 to match a grant of $355 million that has been offered by the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation.  As long as polio threatens even one child anywhere in the world, children everywhere remain at risk.  The stakes are that high and Rotary is dedicated to our vision of a polio-free world.  

The following are a few Rotary Foundation Grant programs available to Rotary Clubs around the world:

Health, Hunger and Humanity (3-H) Grants:  Large-scale 2 to 4 year projects that enhance health, help alleviate hunger, or improve human development.

Matching Grants:  Provide matching funds for international service projects of Rotary clubs and Districts.

District Simplified Grants:  Support the short-term service activities or humanitarian endeavors of districts in communities locally or internationally.

The following are a few other programs funded by Rotary International:
Rotary World Peace Fellowships:  Each year, up to 60 (non-rotarian) individuals pursuing a master’s degree in international relations, peace, and conflict resolution are sponsored to study at one of the seven Rotary Centers for International Studies in peace and conflict resolution.  If we are ever to see peace in the world, we need to continue supporting programs like this.   

Ambassadorial Scholarships:  The Foundation sponsors one of the largest international scholarship programs in the world.  Scholars study in a country other than their own where they serve as unofficial ambassadors of goodwill.

Group Study Exchanges:  These annual awards are made to paired Rotary districts to provide travel expenses for a team of non-Rotarians from a variety of professions.  Host Rotarians organize a 4 to 6 week itinerary of vocational, educational, and cultural exchanges to advance our shared interests of goodwill and understanding abroad.

Through Foundation grants and programs, Rotarians and other contributors can help change the world.  They can finance a well for a village that lacks clean water, improve the environment, or provide scholarships to educate the next generation.  The grants and programs available to Rotarians allow them to realize Rotary’s humanitarian mission throughout the world, including its number-one goal of eradicating polio.


How can You help?

To assist in the Foundation’s mission, many Rotarians make voluntary donations on an ongoing basis.  The Paul Harris Society was established as a special program to recognize individuals who wish to support The Rotary Foundation in a more substantial way each year.  Donors of $1,000 or more (over time) are recognized as Paul Harris Fellows.  Most club members choose to become a Sustaining Member of the Paul Harris Society by being billed $25 per quarter ($100 per year) with their regular dues.  Currently 23 of Cloquet’s 30 members are Paul Harris Fellows.  19 of these are Sustaining Members and continue to contribute even though they have reached Paul Harris status as there are multiple Paul Harris levels beyond the first $1,000 of giving.

Now $1,000 sounds like a big number and it is but if you are willing to become a Sustaining Member, our Club and its Paul Harris Fellows have a way to help you reach Paul Harris recognition in less than three years.  You see for every dollar we contribute after reaching the first $1,000 level, we not only receive the tax deduction but we also receive 1 bonus recognition point that can be transferred to another member to help them become a Paul Harris Fellow.  Now wouldn’t it be great for our Club to have every member a Paul Harris Fellow?  This is the way to do it.

The Foundation is truly the charity of choice for us Rotarians and I would also challenge all of you members, who have already reached Paul Harris Status but are no longer giving, to renew your commitment to the Foundation and your fellow Club members.  

As Rotarians we share a common vision of a better world and there is no doubt Rotary and The Rotary Foundation will continue to accomplish this goal with your help.  If you have any questions regarding The Foundation, its various programs and how to donate, or if you are interested in becoming a Sustaining Member of the Paul Harris Society, feel free to contact your Club’s Foundation Chairperson.  

Additional information on The Rotary Foundation may also be found on