December marks a special time of the year. It’s a time of holiday gatherings and family reunions (Covid-19 permitting). It’s also the halfway point of the Rotary year, when we look back on our goals, reflecting on the what and the why of our work.
First, the what. This year, to stay on course to reach our goal, we need to raise $50 million for PolioPlus, with a 2-to-1 match by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation bringing the total to $150 million. To keep our Rotary Foundation programmes running strong, we set a goal to raise $125 million for the Annual Fund. We also aim to raise $95 million for the Endowment Fund in outright gifts and new commiments, and a further $40 million for other outright gifts.
So how do we reach our grand total of $410 million? We must remember that in all great endeavours, including Rotary, we are part of a TEAM: Together, Everyone Achieves More.
You can’t have a great team without great PEOPLE. P stands for pride in our organisation, our achievements, and our potential. E is our empathy for others, which we transform into service. O has two parts: the tremendous opportunities to make a difference that Rotary has granted us, and an obligation to pull others up and to increase our ranks. Our second P is for perseverance, helping us stick to our goals, like polio eradication, when the going gets tough. L stands for leadership, and E for enthusiasm — the fuel of Rotary.
While we are revisiting our goals, we also need to remember the why. For me, this needs little explanation. Why wouldn’t you help expectant mothers and their children survive and thrive by supporting a Rotary Foundation grant? And why wouldn’t you initiate programmes to help preserve the environment, our cherished home? The pandemic has only renewed my conviction that life is precious, and we must seize every opportunity to enhance the lives of others.
You are one of the PEOPLE on our TEAM. I encourage you this month to join other leaders who participate in Rotary’s strong tradition of philanthropy by making a gift to The Rotary Foundation. It is the season of giving, and every gift counts. Please contribute any amount that feels right by Dec 31, and your gift will keep on giving in 2022 and for years to come. There are many ways to give, as a club or an individual — why not set up a giving plan? TRF offers us countless opportunities to help make a difference in the world. Let us never squander those opportunities, nor take our Foundation for granted.
Judy and I wish you the happiest of holidays.
John F Germ
Foundation Trustee Chair