Foundation Notes: Leverage The Rotary Brand
By Ralph Hammond
Thank you for your continued support of The Rotary Foundation - both programmatically (for taking on such creative district-grant projects each year) and financially (by your growing commitment to supporting those wonderful projects).

It is easy to figure that $1,500 from the District 7910 for a District Grant is a dumb investment because a club of 30 members will actually need to contribute at least $3,750 to the Annual Fund-SHARE just to qualify for that $1,500 reimbursement.  
However, look over that growing list of projects, below. Each and every project is fantastic, can be easily replicated, and can have a profound impact on the community.  With the Rotary brand attached to a project, the value of that project can grow beyond expectations.  Actually, more and more clubs are picking up on other club projects, so with a simple $3,000 project, when amplified across both several Rotary districts and time, the impact of your most kind contribution, not just in cash but more importantly in creative participation, is what in the end will mean the most. 

Individually as people, we can do okay. As an individual club, we may be okay. However, with the network and inspiration of the Rotary Foundation, even greater things can happen. The Rotary Club of Wellesley’s $3,000 District Grant for its Peer Mentoring project grew to a $35,000 Global Grant in Puerto Rico, and expansion to Chile or Nigeria is beginning to be explored.    

Keep an eye on the District Grant project through the Rotary Club of Concord related to its Summer Music Project for Youth in Lawrence and Concord. This model could possibly be picked up by every club in our district and go global with contacts already established in England and Germany.  High-school music and art programs in our area have taken a huge budget hit and have nearly been dropped from the school curriculum. Do you think it could be Rotary and the Rotary Foundation that can become a key turn-around opportunity for our basic culture?   

In the end, $1,500 linked to the Rotary brand can become worth millions. And, you and your club can be the key to making all this happen.   

Ten Rotary clubs in our district now have projects entered into the queue for the launch next April 1 of the new Grant Cycle:

1. Lowell: Youth Educational Success After-School Program
2. Natick: Food Bank Project
3. Concord: Syrian Refugee Project, in partnership with Save the Children
4. Athol-Orange: Backpacks for Breakfast Project
5. Nashoba Valley: The Healing Garden, located in Harvard
6. Worcester: Refrigerator for Food Pantry Project 
7. Westborough: Pre-Global Grant planning trip to Central America toward a medical-mission project
8. Bedford: Food Bank and Meal Packing Project in partnership with Stop Hunger Now
9. Maynard: Dental, Basic Health, and Summer Education for Children in Ecuador
10. Concord: Status Planning for Summer Music Project for Youth in Lawrence and Concord

We need at least 12 more possible project titles to submit a “spending plan  to the Rotary Foundation in order to get the $38,000 that will be available for District Grants for the 2016-2017 Grant Cycle. Feel free to send in a title or two from your club and also enter those titles in Club Central as you pull together your goals for Pat and Skip Doyle’s year as district governor, which begins next July 1. 
Ralph Hammond, chair of District 7910's Foundation Grant Coordinator Team, may be reached at