November is The Rotary Foundation Month and we got highlights of the strength and impact of The Rotary Foundation from District Foundation Chair Brian Moon.

Lincoln South Rotary Club holds a fund drive every year in the months of December and January. Club Members can choose when and how to make donations to best fit their situation.

Brian stated that statistics show about ½ of all Rotary members join for fellowship and networking, and the other ½  join to participate in service to their community or world. Though Rotary can provide both, many members who initially joined for fellowship soon learn of the value of their membership and remain as members because of the service.

One way that we provide service to all of our communities is through The Rotary Foundation (TRF).

Funds that we donate are used all over the world, with half of the funds returned to the District to support local projects. As Rotarians, we see solutions to challenges in our communities, and we take action to bring those ideas to life. One of the benefits of being a Rotarian is access to funding from The Rotary Foundation to create meaningful grants both here in your community and elsewhere in the world. 

The Rotary Foundation empowers Rotarians to take action - it is the vehicle that we as Rotarians get to use to make a difference in the world.

TRF is carefully overseen by your fellow Rotarians on the Board of Trustees.  They ensure that your donations are invested well and spent wisely to do good in the world. In 2016, we received top ratings from Charity Navigator, the leading evaluator for nonprofits in the U.S., in recognition of our exceptional impact, accountability, and transparency. TRF consistently receives high rankings due to our sound financial practices and transparency.

The Rotary Foundation is dedicated to six areas of focus:

  • Promoting Peace
  • Fighting Disease
  • Providing Clean Water
  • Saving Mothers and Children
  • Supporting Education
  • Growing Local Economics

Brian shared examples of how the District and TRF match funds to multiply the impact of funds from clubs. One example is the Omaha Millard Rotary Club and other local clubs and organizations provide $33,743 for a Global Grant project for medical equipment in Mali. Through the matches, the actual funds for the project were $118,000.

There are currently 5 active global projects by clubs in our District. The clubs provided $147,173 but the total of the projects is $943,952 after matching.

Our donations to The Rotary Foundation are making a difference. We cannot individually support these projects, but through TRF we can be part of a big project such as these global projects.

Brian shared information with our club about the District Grants that we have successfully completed in the last 5 years. We have been able to make $13,000 in improvements in our community through the support of TRF and District Grants.

We also learned about the options for making contributions to The Rotary Foundation and the recognition pins and crystals for those contributions. Many members are Paul Harris Fellows (having given a total of $1,000 or more). Some members are Paul Harris Society Members (pledge of $1,000 per year). There are also members who have provided funds through endowment.

Brian thanked our club for our strong support of The Rotary Foundation.