November 28, 2018 - Past District Governor and current Foundation Chair Michael Bell visited Toronto Sunrise this morning with an update on The Rotary Foundation - history, where we are now and where we would like to be.  Michael encouraged us to look beyond ourselves to see the bigger picture, reminded of the value of regular giving, and described some new partnerships with other NGOs that offer opportunities for the Foundation to do even more.  This includes a maternal and child health project with CUSO in Ethiopia where, through matching, $1,000 can become $15,000 (!), and then buy and equip 30 Midwife Birth Kits and save hundreds of lives.   Photo, from left to right: Wayne, thanking PDG Michael; Michael; Toronto-Sunrise President Ian.
The Rotary Foundation is our own charity.  Over the past 100 years, the Foundation has spent $3 billion on life-changing, sustainable projects around the world.
How does The Rotary Foundation use donations?

Our 35,000 clubs carry out sustainable service projects that support our six causes. With donations like yours, we’ve wiped out 99.9 percent of all polio cases. Your donation also trains future peacemakers, supports clean water, and strengthens local economies.

What impact can one donation have?
It can save a life. A child can be protected from polio with as little as 60 cents. Our partners make your donation go even further. For every $1 Rotary commits to polio eradication, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $2.

What we do: Our Causes:
Rotary is dedicated to six areas of focus to build international relationships, improve lives, and create a better world to support our peace efforts and end polio forever.

  1. Promoting peace:  Rotary encourages conversations to foster understanding within and across cultures. We train adults and young leaders to prevent and mediate conflict and help refugees who have fled dangerous areas.
  2. Fighting disease:  We educate and equip communities to stop the spread of life-threatening diseases like polio, HIV/AIDS, and malaria. We improve and expand access to low-cost and free health care in developing areas.
  3. Providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene:  We support local solutions to bring clean water, sanitation, and hygiene to more people every day. We don’t just build wells and walk away. We share our expertise with community leaders and educators to make sure our projects succeed long-term.
  4. Saving mothers and children:  Nearly 6 million children under the age of five die each year because of malnutrition, poor health care, and inadequate sanitation. We expand access to quality care, so mothers and their children can live and grow stronger.
  5. Supporting education:  More than 775 million people over the age of 15 are illiterate. Our goal is to strengthen the capacity of communities to support basic education and literacy, reduce gender disparity in education, and increase adult literacy.
  6. Growing local economies:  We carry out service projects that enhance economic and community development and create opportunities for decent and productive work for young and old. We also strengthen local entrepreneurs and community leaders, particularly women, in impoverished communities.

How much of your donation goes directly to programs?
Charity Navigator has awarded The Rotary Foundation 4 stars - its highest level.  The Rotary Foundation is one of the world's most efficient large charities - 91% of funds are spent directly on programs.  For comparison, the Red Cross spends 89% on programs and United Way of Greater Toronto 83% (2017 data).

The Association of Fundraising Professionals recognized The Rotary Foundation with its annual Award for Outstanding Foundation at its 2017 conference in San Francisco.  The award honors organizations that show philanthropic commitment and leadership through financial support, innovation, encouragement of others, and involvement in public affairs. Some of the boldest names in American giving — Kellogg, Komen, and MacArthur, among others —are past honorees.