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The Rotary Foundation of RI is a not-for-profit corporation whose mission 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.

Financial Support
In 2005-06, The Rotary Foundation received contributions totaling US$111.9 million and spent $108 million in support of humanitarian and educational programs implemented by clubs and districts. Contributions from Rotarians go into one of three main funds:

  • Annual Programs Fund, which provides grants and awards through Foundation programs
  • Permanent Fund, an endowment from which only a portion of the earnings are spent in support of Foundation programs, ensuring the long-term viability of the Foundation
  • PolioPlus Fund, which supports Rotary's dream of a polio-free world

Every dollar contributed by Rotarians funds the humanitarian, educational, and cultural programs and program operations. Clubs and districts apply for and receive Foundation grants to carry out many worthy projects worldwide. The Every Rotarian, EveryYear initiative, designed to encourage worldwide annual per capita giving of $100 or more, supports vital Foundation programs.

Educational Programs
These programs promote international understanding by bringing together people from different countries and cultures.

Ambassadorial Scholarships, an international program for university-level studies, sends about 800 students each year to serve as ambassadors of goodwill while abroad.

Rotary World Peace Fellowships are awarded to individuals for study in master's degree programs at the Rotary Centers for International Studies in peace and conflict resolution.

Rotary Peace and Conflict Studies Fellowships are awarded to individuals for study in a short-term certificate program at the Rotary Center for Peace and Conflict Studies in Thailand.

Group Study Exchange is a short-term cultural and vocational exchange program between districts in different countries for non-Rotarian professionals ages 25-40.

Rotary Grants for University Teachers are awarded to higher- education faculty to teach abroad in an academic field of practical use to people in a low-income country.

Humanitarian Grants Program
Humanitarian grants enable Rotarians to increase their support of international service projects that provide water wells, medical care, literacy classes, and other essentials to people in need. Rotarian participation is key to the success of these projects.

Matching Grants assist Rotary clubs and districts in carrying out humanitarian projects with clubs in other countries.

District Simplified Grants enable districts to support service activities or humanitarian endeavors that benefit local or international communities.

Volunteer Service Grants support the travel of qualified Rotarians and their spouses as they plan needed projects or provide essential services in a community.

Health, Hunger and Humanity (3-H) Grants fund long-term, self-help, and grassroots development projects that use a sustainable, integrative approach to address humanitarian needs.

The PolioPlus program provides funding for vaccine and transportation for mass immunization campaigns as well as support for social mobilization, surveillance, and laboratories to help carry out the final stages of global polio eradication. Rotarians have raised funds that will amount to more than $650 million in support and provided hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours. Rotary is a spearheading partner with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the initiative to eradicate polio worldwide. As a result of their efforts, two billion children under age five have received the polio vaccine, five million people who might otherwise be paralyzed are walking today, 500,000 new cases of polio are prevented each year, and the number of polio cases has declined by 99 percent worldwide.

Key Meetings
Several key meetings bring Rotarians together to share ideas, celebrate successes, enjoy fellowship, and plan for the future.

RI Convention The RI Convention, the largest Rotary meeting, is held in May or June in a different part of the Rotary world each year. This lively, four-day event features speeches by world and Rotary leaders, spectacular entertainment reflecting the local culture, and unparalleled opportunities to experience the true breadth of Rotary's international fellowship.

District conferences Rotarians are encouraged to attend their district conference, an annual motivational meeting that showcases club and district activities. A family event, the district conference mixes fellowship with learning and allows Rotarians to become more directly involved with charting their district's future.

Did you know?

  • Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarships is the world's largest privately funded scholarship program.
  • The Rotary Foundation has contributed more than $420 million in grants for development and humanitarian aid in the developing world.
  • Rotarians have established a host of organizations dedicated to various humanitarian causes, including ShelterBox, HungerPlus, Gift of Life, and Rotary Doctor Bank.
  • Providing vitamin A supplements during polio National Immunization Days has averted an estimated 1.5 million childhood deaths since 1998 testimony to the "plus" in PolioPlus.
  • RI representatives work with many major international organizations, including the UN and several of its agencies, the Organization of American States, the Council of Europe, and the African Union.