The Rotary Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation that supports the efforts of Rotary International to achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational, and cultural exchange programs.  It is supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of The Rotary Foundation who share its vision of a better world.

The Rotary Foundation was created in 1917 by Rotary International's sixth President, Arch C. Klumph, as an endowment fund for Rotary "to do good in the world".  It has grown from an initial contribution of US$26.50 to more than US$245 million contributed in 2007-08.  Its event-filled history is a story of Rotarians learning the value of service to humanity.

The Rotary Foundation's Humanitarian Programs funds international Rotary Club and District projects to improve the quality of life, providing health care, clean water, food, education, and other essential needs primarily in the developing world.  One of the major Humanitarian Programs is PolioPlus, which seeks to eradicate the polio virus worldwide.


Main avenues:
  • Annual Fund – personal & club donations; invested for three years, then returned to district for club projects
  • Endowment Fund
  • Polio Plus
Donations to the Annual Fund are tax deductible – go to
In 2014-15 The Rotary Foundation put 92% of the funds into Rotary Programs - 2% administration, and 6% promotion.


  • Centurion membership for individual donations of A$100 a year – a district program
  • Paul Harris Fellow recognition for donations of US$1,000 by or on behalf of an individual – not an award but often given as a gift in recognition of service
  • Individual donations or commitments of US$1,000 a year become Paul Harris Society Members
  • Major donor recognition at $10,000 - $25,000 - $50,000 - $100,000 - $250,000


District Grants

Educational and Humanitarian activities consistent with the mission statement   “To do Good in the World”
For smaller activities or projects, local or international – to be completed within the Rotary year
Managed by District with grants up to $6,000 for International projects; $3,000 within Australia subject to a 100% match with club funding

Global Grants

For larger, longer term projects of at least $30,000 up to $200,000
Sustainable, measurable outcomes, Alignment with the six areas of focus, District and clubs must be qualified

2014-15 figures

  • Funds raised in our District US$343,520
  • Received by District from The Rotary Foundation US$425,839


  • Club raises $10,000 – matched at 50%
  • District funds $10,000 (say our own D9685 $6,000 plus $4,000 from overseas district) – matched at 100%
  • Matching by The Rotary Foundation $15,000 – the minimum global grant
  • Total Project Funding $35,000

Further Reference