The mission of The Rotary Foundation 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. The Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world.

Supporting The Rotary Foundation is one of the four pillars of an effective club in the Club Leadership Plan. It is recommended that each club have a club Rotary Foundation committee to develop and implement a plan for supporting the Foundation through program participation and financial contributions.

The Foundation’s programs are:


After 25 years of hard work, Rotary and its partners are on the brink of eradicating this tenacious disease, but a strong push is needed now to root it out once and for all. It is a window of opportunity of historic proportions.

Reaching the ultimate goal of a polio-free world presents ongoing challenges, not the least of which is a hundreds of million dollar funding gap. Of course, Rotary alone can’t fill this gap, but continued Rotarian advocacy for government support can help enormously.

Educational Programs

Rotary has a long tradition of fostering peace and international understanding through education.

Since 1947, Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarships have given more than 41,000 men and women the opportunity to study abroad. Although the program will come to an end in 2013, new scholarship opportunities through the Foundation’s new district and global grants will give Rotarians greater flexibility to sponsor scholars.

Rotary Peace Centers offer a master’s degree in international relations, sustainable development, peace studies, and conflict resolution, or a professional development certificate in peace and conflict studies.

Humanitarian Grants Program

Humanitarian grants enable Rotarians to support service projects that provide water wells, medical care, literacy classes, and other essentials to people in need. Rotarian participation is key to the projects’ success. Through the Humanitarian Grants Program, Rotarians have received US$1.6 billion in grant awards since 1947.

  • District Simplified Grants enable districts to support service activities or humanitarian endeavors that benefit local or international communities. Requests may be submitted between 1 July and 31 March, and funds are available the following July.  Read more
  • Matching Grants help Rotary clubs and districts carry out humanitarian projects with clubs and districts in other countries. The Rotary Foundation provides a one-to-one match for each US$1 District Designated Fund/SHARE contribution and a $0.50 match for each new $1 cash contribution. Applications are accepted from 1 July to 31 March.Read more and apply for a Matching Grant .
  • During 2009-10, two former grant programs — Health, Hunger and Humanity (3-H) Grants and Volunteer Service Grants — were phased out. Read more

Grant funds may be used for capital on revolving loans, also called microcredit or village banking, which allow low-income people, usually women, to borrow money, animals, or equipment to facilitate small businesses. Read more

The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers is a group of volunteer Rotarians who provide technical expertise and advice to Rotarians planning and implementing projects around the world. Cadre members support Foundation programs by reviewing, monitoring, and evaluating projects and ensuring the proper stewardship of grant funds.

Ways to involve club members in The Rotary Foundation include:

Spotlighting a Rotary Foundation program each quarter by asking alumni presenters to highlight the benefits of their participation

Encouraging club members to get involved by volunteering for a project

Inviting a different Rotarian to make a short presentation at each club meeting about their personal involvement in The Rotary Foundation – a Rotary Foundation moment – to show how The Rotary Foundation saves and changes lives

Encouraging club members to attend the district Rotary Foundation seminar

Club members can financially support The Rotary Foundation by making contributions to:

Annual Programs Fund (Every Rotarian, Every Year)

Permanent Fund

PolioPlus Fund

See the Club Rotary Foundation Committee Manual for more information on how your club can support The Rotary Foundation.

The Rotary Foundation Quick Reference Guide is useful in helping new club members learn about Foundation programs and contributions.