Annual Fund key to usher in a better world

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TRF Trustee Seiji Kita and his spouse Nobuko with (from L) TRF Trustee Gulam Vahanvaty, Madhavi and RID Bharat Pandya.

With a comprehensive fundraising goal of $400 million for 2019–20, the Foundation has asked every Rotarian to contribute at least $100 to meet the Annual Fund target of $140 million. “The Annual Fund is crucial to TRF’s ability to continue funding many of our life-changing programmes and projects,” said Seiji Kita, TRF Trustee from Japan at the Indore Institute.

Around 80 per cent of Rotary clubs across the world give to the Annual Fund and the goal is to increase this percentage, said Kita during his speech on the topic Connect with Rotary Foundation. Ending polio will continue to be the number one priority of Rotary for “we must fulfil our promise to every child for a polio-free world and finish the job.”

Share the polio story

He urged Rotarians to “share the amazing story of polio eradication in our communities to increase public awareness on Rotary’s role to end this crippling disease. This ensures the success of our current work and to ­leverage that success to create a legacy for future undertakings.” On the World Polio Day (Oct 24), Rotary’s Online Global Update streamed on Facebook across time zones and different languages. “The online update was viewed 176,400 times and 5,790 events were registered, of which 187 were from India.”

For polio, the Foundation target is $50 million this year, and if that goal is reached, the Gates Foundation will match it with $100 million, bringing the total Polio Fund to $150 million.

Kita asked Rotary districts to fully utilise the DDFs either through district grants, global grants or by making contributions to PolioPlus and the Rotary Peace Centres. “There are many ways to utilise these funds to form transformative partnerships,” he said. Besides the Polio Fund of $150 million and Annual Fund of $140 million, the Foundation has targeted to net $75 million for the Endowment Fund in outright gifts and commitments, while the global grant funds and other outright gifts is poised to touch $35 million, thus reaching the overall fundraising goal of $400 million this year.

Last year, the Foundation received $395 million, thus surpassing the fundraising goal of $380 million.

TRF Endowment

Rotary is aiming to build a TRF Endowment of $2.025 billion by 2025 with a minimum of $1 billion in net assets. “Imagine the good we will be able to do with a $2 billion endowment. The investment earnings will provide nearly $100 million a year for Rotarians to do all kinds of life-changing projects,” he said.

Charity Navigator, a top evaluator of charities in the US, has given TRF its highest 4-star rating for the 11th consecutive year. “This rating recognises our strong financial health and our commitments to accountability and transparency. Only one per cent out of ­thousands of charities had received this distinction,” he said.

Rotary India centenary

Seiji Kita congratulated Rotary leaders in India as they would be celebrating the 100th anniversary of RC Calcutta in Jan 2020. “The event will be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate your amazing history. While membership in North America and other parts of the world is declining, India’s 150,000 membership is still growing which means the country plays a leadership role in all Asian regions,” he pointed out.

Last year, the Foundation received $395 million, thus surpassing the fundraising goal of $380 million. During the year, TRF awarded 1,403 global grants worth $86.6 million and 494 district grants worth $26.3 million.

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