TRF Chair Message – November 2016

Celebrate Rotary Foundation Month

Back in 1956, the Rotary International Board of Directors designated a week in November ­urging all clubs “to devote a programme to The Rotary Foundation.” In 1982, the Board determined that the entire month of November should be dedicated to the Foundation.

Since then our Foundation has grown and flourished in ways that few Rotarians could have imagined. In 1985, Rotary took on its first corporate project — a bold campaign to ­immunise the world’s children against polio and create a polio-free world.

Our humanitarian programmes grew so rapidly that the ­Foundation could not process the volume of requests for grants efficiently. That led to the creation of a new grant model that supports global grants with greater and long-lasting impact and district grants which fund small-scale, short-term ­activities. And we fulfilled Rotarians’ long-held dream for a “peace ­university” with the launch of the Rotary Peace Centres.

Rotarian financial support has skyrocketed as well. In 1982–83, contributions barely totaled $19 million. Compare that with 2015–16, when the figure jumped to $265.6 million.

This November, we’ll celebrate not just Foundation Month, but also The Rotary Foundation’s centennial. The Rotary ­website offers many creative ideas for honouring this very ­special occasion, but there are three activities that I especially recommend.

The first is to hold an event for the entire community that spotlights the Foundation’s 100 years of Doing Good in the World. Second, plan and sponsor a project that addresses a ­critical problem. It could be done from locally raised funds, or you might seek a global grant. There are so many options to choose from — from providing clean water, to ensuring basic education for girls in every part of the world, to tackling malaria or HIV/AIDS or any number of preventable diseases.

The third activity I recommend is for every Rotarian to make a centennial donation. Let’s never forget that The Rotary Foundation belongs to all of us. You and I provide the funding for just about every bit of good that our Foundation is doing in the world — and has been doing for an entire century. Let’s make sure we continue that tradition for the next 100 years.

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Kalyan Banerjee
Foundation Trustee Chair

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