Every year we celebrate November as Rotary Foundation Month. How fortunate we are to have a world-class Foundation that allows us to do so much good in the world. We should all take pride in the fact that something good happens every second of every day because of Rotarians and our Rotary Foundation.
Remember how excited we were at the 2017 Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, where we celebrated the Foundation’s first 100 years? The fundraising goal for that year was $300 million, and, as you recall, we raised $304 million to exceed that goal. It was a landmark year for the Foundation.
In the 2017–18 Rotary year, as the Foundation entered its second century of service, we had an even more ambitious fundraising goal of $360 million. At the convention in Toronto in June, outgoing Trustee Chair Paul A Netzel told attendees that we once again had a landmark year for our Foundation, setting a one-year fundraising record of $373 million.
This year our fundraising goal totals $380 million. Our goal for polio is $50 million, which will be turned into $150 million through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation matching grant. Add to that a $137 million goal for the Annual Fund, $61.5 million for the Endowment Fund, and $31.5 million for global grant cash and other outright gifts, and our many programmes will be fully funded and Rotarians will be completely equipped and empowered to continue making real change.
Now, it’s up to you and me. We have the chance to forge a path of ever-increasing relevance and influence — to choose the direction and tempo of the Foundation’s second century.
I’m challenging you to increase your involvement in our Foundation — by doing, by giving, and by inspiring. Together we can make tomorrow even brighter than today. We can make every month Rotary Foundation Month. So, Be the Inspiration, build your Rotary legacy, and let’s make this yet another landmark year in our history.
Ron D Burton
Foundation Trustee Chair