TRF-DIRECTThe Rotary Foundation has three main program areas:

- Educational Programs
- Humanitarian Grants Program
- PolioPlus


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.
The Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world. 

There are as many reasons to support The Rotary Foundation as there are ways to do good in the world.

By contributing to the Foundation , you help support the Foundation's six areas of focus, which help to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty. By giving US$100 a year through the Every Rotarian, Every Year (EREY) initiative, you become a Rotary Foundation Sustaining Member. Contributions to EREY are the primary source of funding for Foundation programs.

Top five reasons to support The Rotary Foundation TRF-yellow-rgb

 

Here are a few ways your contributions are making change possible.  

5. Fighting hunger

In Romania, orphans and sick children have eggs, milk, and meat because of a Foundation grant that benefits local farmers. The farmers are able to buy everything from animal feed to packaging materials. There is one stipulation: They must donate a portion of their products to children's hospitals, schools, and orphanages.

In Alaska, USA, the Rotary Club of Anchorage East is also fighting hunger by distributing food to low-income families through a mobile food pantry.

Projects such as these help address the areas of focus of maternal and child health as well as economic and community development.  

4. Reducing child mortality

The Rotary clubs of Jaela-Kandana, Western Province, Sri Lanka, and Madras Northwest, Tamil Nadu, India, are helping to reduce child mortality by providing improved sanitation facilities for 15 families in a small community in Sri Lanka. With a Rotary Foundation Matching Grant , the clubs have built 14 toilets, helping to prevent diarrhea and other diseases related to poor sanitation.

According to the World Health Organization, 1.8 million children die of diarrhea every year, making it the second leading cause of death among children under five. Proper sanitation can reduce the rate of child mortality in many communities by up to a third. Water and sanitation is the third area of focus.

3. Promoting peace and conflict resolution

Watching civil war tear apart his homeland of Côte d'Ivoire instilled in Rotary Peace Fellow Kouame Remi Oussou a passion to resolve conflict.

He is now working for the United Nations Development Programme in the Central African Republic, a country that weathered periodic internal fighting before a comprehensive peace accord took effect in 2007. Read more about Oussou .

Rotary Peace Fellows are leaders in promoting national and international cooperation, peace, and conflict resolution. Help support the Rotary Peace Centers . Peace and conflict prevention/resolution is the first area of focus. Read about four Rotary Peace Fellows and their visions for peace .

2. Basic Edcuation and literacy

Education helps rebuild lives, whether it's in small rural towns or in war-torn countries. For example, a literacy project sponsored by U.S. Rotarians in conjunction with the International Reading Association (IRA) is helping Sudanese refugees rebuild their communities by equipping them to teach future generations.

The Southern Sudan Teacher Training Initiative provides refugees of the country's decades-long civil war, who are known as the Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan, with teacher training materials, guidance, and support to help them teach students in kindergarten through eighth grade. "People returning from refugee camps to rebuild their lives in Duk County are hungry for books and school supplies," says John Dau, a Lost Boy, humanitarian, and founder of the John Dau Foundation. Read more about the project .

1. Eradicating polio

Around the world, Rotarians are taking millions of steps in walkathons, diving into icy ocean waters, and participating in other fundraisers to help Rotary fulfill its promise to rid the world of polio. Si Burgher, of the Rotary Club of Bloomfield, Indiana, USA, raised almost $1,600 by having his shaggy eyebrows shaved.

Rotary launched its PolioPlus program in 1985. Since then, eradicating polio has been the organization's top priority. End Polio Now and help fulfill its promise.  

Foundation History

In 1917, RI President Arch C. Klumph proposed that an endowment be set up "for the purpose of doing good in the world." In 1928, when the endowment fund had grown to more than US$5,000, it was renamed The Rotary Foundation, and it became a distinct entity within Rotary International.

Five Trustees, including Klumph, were appointed to "hold, invest, manage, and administer all of its property . . . as a single trust, for the furtherance of the purposes of RI."

Two years later, the Foundation made its first grant of $500 to the International Society for Crippled Children. The organization, created by Rotarian Edgar F. "Daddy" Allen, later grew into the Easter Seals.

The Great Depression and World War II both impeded the Foundation's growth, but the need for lasting world peace generated great postwar interest in its development. After Rotary's founder, Paul P. Harris, died in 1947, contributions began pouring into Rotary International, and the Paul Harris Memorial Fund was created to build the Foundation.

That year, the first Foundation program - the forerunner of Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarships - was established. In 1965-66, three new programs were launched: Group Study Exchange , Awards for Technical Training, and Grants for Activities in Keeping with the Objective of The Rotary Foundation, which was later called Matching Grants .

The Health, Hunger and Humanity (3-H) Grants program was launched in 1978, and Rotary Volunteers was created as a part of that program in 1980. PolioPlus was announced in 1984-85, and the next year brought Rotary Grants for University Teachers . The first peace forums were held in 1987-88, leading to the Foundation's peace and conflict studies programs .

Throughout this time, support of the Foundation grew tremendously. Since the first donation of $26.50 in 1917, it has received contributions totaling more than $1 billion. More than $70 million was donated in 2003-04 alone. To date, more than one million individuals have been recognized as Paul Harris Fellows - people who have given $1,000 to the Annual Programs Fund or have had that amount contributed in their name.

Such strong support, along with Rotarian involvement worldwide, ensures a secure future for The Rotary Foundation as it continues its vital work for international understanding and world peace.