Where do you want your Foundation contributions to go?

By Sanjay Deshpande
The District’s leadership and its Foundation Committee thank you all for your generous contributions to The Rotary Foundation in 2016-2017, helping it carry out its mission of “doing good in the world.”
Contributions totaled $293,705, which calculated to $196 per member for the 1,498 members in the District at the beginning of the last Rotary year, on July 1, 2015. Our goal this year is to average more than $200 per member and have more than 1,500 members contributing during the entire year so that our total contributions will be $325,000. The benchmark for us is District 7890 in Southern Connecticut, which contributed almost $500,000 last year. We will get there soon.
In the past, both The Rotary Foundation and our District have emphasized contributions to the Annual Fund – SHARE because that designated fund finances all Foundation grants – District and Global, in particular - in which our Clubs participate actively and passionately.
Starting in ‘15-16, TRF adopted a broader approach and giving to all designated funds is equally encouraged. Recognition banners presented to the top three Clubs in the District consider contributions to all designated funds. Contributors get Paul Harris credits for all contributions - and not just for those to the Annual Fund – SHARE.
In the same vein, starting in ‘16-17, our District considers contributions to all designated Foundation funds for determining eligibility for participation in District and Global Grants. Previously, only contributions to Annual Fund-SHARE were considered in determining Club eligibility for District and Global Grants.
Why should you give to the Foundation?
The mission of TRF is to enable Rotarians advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty. Contributions to TRF make it possible for clubs to transform lives worldwide.
You can give to either the Annual Fund, which provides ongoing support today, or the Endowment Fund, which helps secure Rotary’s response to the pressing needs of tomorrow. This article will not cover the Endowment Fund hereafter because contributions to this fund are generally large ($10,000 or more) and only the spendable earnings from the Endowment Fund are used to support Rotary’s highest priorities, and to support the Annual Fund, if the contributor so elects. In the near future, there will be a separate communication on contributions to the Endowment Fund.
How do you decide where your contributions go?
Your smaller and regular contributions to the Foundations are made via either mail using the Rotary Foundation Contribution Form (Form 123en) or online through Rotary Direct.
Using Form 123en, you designate purpose of your contribution by checking one of three choices:
  1. Annual Fund – SHARE: Annual Fund contributions help support our humanitarian activities, from local service projects to global initiatives. Your Club or District can apply for grants from the Foundation to invest in projects and provide scholarships, all made possible through the ongoing financial support of Every Rotarian, Every Year. Contributions to this fund are shared (hence the name) 50-percent with the District after three years for supporting District and Global Grants undertaken by the Clubs. This would be the default designation of your contribution if you do not make either of the other two selections on Form 123en.
  2. PolioPlus Fund: Your gift to the PolioPlus Fund will continue the End Polio Now fight to protect more than 2.5 billion children against polio in 122 countries. Every dollar you contribute to PolioPlus is matched with $2 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, thus giving you the opportunity to multiply your contribution to $3 for fighting polio. Either District Polio Chair Carl Good III or members of his committee will be visiting your Club, or already have done so, to promote giving to the PolioPlus Fund.
  3. Approved Foundation Grant: You can elect to have your contribution be designated for your club’s TRF-approved Global Grant or to a TRF-approved Global Grant undertaken by another Club either in our District or anywhere in the world as long as you specify the grant number assigned by TRF. Note that TRF matches contributions to Global Grants 50-percent, thus giving you the opportunity to leverage your contribution to 1.5 times for the Global Grant you support.
When you decide to give online at rotary.org/give, you will have two more choices to designate the purpose of your contribution besides the three choices above. The additional choices are:
  1. Annual Fund – World Fund: These contributions will help TRF provide matching funds to Global Grants undertaken by Clubs around the world
  2. Annual Fund – Area of Focus: You can select the Area of Focus of your choice among the six designations of the Annual Fund. For example, if you are passionate about water and sanitation, you could designate your contribution to Annual Fund – Water and Sanitation. TRF would then pool the contribution for matching approved Global Grants that have water and sanitation as their focus anywhere in the world.
Note that you can elect to split your contributions among the choices available. If you use Form 123en, you would need to fill out a separate form for each designation for the amount you direct to it. If you contribute online, you would make separate contributions for the amount you direct to each designation.
Do you get Paul Harris Credit for any designation?
Yes! Your contribution to any and all designation on Form 123en and the designations online will give you Paul Harris Credit and Recognition Points. Paul Harris Credits count towards your Paul Harris Fellow recognition. In addition, you can transfer your recognition points toward PHF recognition for a family member, another Rotarian, or someone in your community who exemplifies the mission, values and principles of Rotary in his or her professional or personal life such as voluntary community service, or practice of the Four-Way Test or promoting world understanding, goodwill and peace.
Help our District meet its’16-’17 goal for Foundation contributions
Our District has set a goal of $325,000 for this Centennial Year of The Rotary Foundation. We need your help in achieving this record annual contribution. So please give, give early, give often and give generously.
If you have any questions, please contact District Grants Subcommittee Chair Jorge Yarzebski at yj.rotary@gmail.com, or me, District Rotary Foundation Committee Chair Sanjay Deshpande, at sanjdesh51@aol.com.
For the Foundation Note archive, click here
Learn more about District 7910 Foundation Grants: