Reaching into the future

This year, I urge all of you to think big about The Rotary Foundation. To reach our goals and make the impact we know we can make, we must think outside the box and embrace innovation. We must make bold plans to expand our reach today, tomorrow, and in the future.

Start by thinking big about ­Foundation-supported ­projects. If your club hasn’t engaged in a Rotary ­Foundation district grant or global grant, make this the year you do. ­Collaborating with your Rotary counterparts in another district on one of Rotary’s seven areas of focus can make a lasting impact beyond your wildest dreams. Explore ‘Rotary Showcase’ at or arrange a meeting between your club and your district Rotary ­Foundation chair to start a conversation.

Let’s also think big about our polio fundraising this year. Begin planning your World Polio Day fundraiser now for October 24 if you haven’t already. Let’s see how Rotaract and Rotary clubs can make this year’s fundraisers our best ever.

Thinking big about the Foundation also means remembering that through it, our impact goes beyond the current Rotary year. We see this through not only the emphasis on sustainability in our grant projects but also in initiatives such as Programs of Scale. The third Programs of Scale recipient will take on a big challenge: combating cervical cancer and enhancing women’s health in Egypt through ­awareness-raising and improved access to preventive care.

The success of the Programs of Scale grant model lies in our approach of closely collaborating with partners to amplify proven methods. Each year, The Rotary Foundation awards $2 million to a member-led programme that has demonstrated success and has the potential to reach more people through scaling up over a three to five-year period.

Our Programs of Scale are the epitome of thinking big: Through them, we aim to establish sustainable partnerships and cost-effective programmes that deliver tangible benefits beyond the funding period. This way, Rotary and its Foundation can reach and assist more people in more places.

Lastly, let’s remember that our efforts to make the world a better place should extend beyond our time on earth. As we strive to reach $2.025 billion by 2025 for Rotary’s Endowment, consider how you can leave a legacy by making a gift or a commitment to a Rotary endowment. This will ensure that Rotary’s future generations will have greater financial resources to create positive change, just as so many are doing now, in so many ways.

Barry Rassin
TRF Trustee Chair

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