In August, we focus on membership — exploring ways we can expand Rotary’s ranks and reach. As we form new clubs and answer RI President Shekhar Mehta’s call of Each One, Bring One, let’s consider how these efforts will have a positive impact at every level of our organisation.
Rotary’s two greatest assets are its members and The Rotary Foundation, and they are linked. Our organisation is made up of more than 48,000 Rotary and Rotaract clubs, and without our dedicated club members, we can’t perform service. Our members also carry out the Foundation’s mission of doing good in the world, by working on grassroots projects and making contributions that support countless Foundation programmes and grants.
With more members in Rotary, the Foundation could do even more good in the world. We would have more hands to set up water, sanitation and hygiene projects, so that more people could access clean water. We would have more minds to plan global grant projects that support prenatal services, so that more babies could live. We could fund more district grants that support literacy, so that more people could learn to read.
Today, roughly a third of our members actively support the Foundation through annual giving or other means. Imagine how we could extend Rotary’s reach if we were to increase that engagement, even by just a little. More Rotarian contributions would mean additional funding for the Rotary Peace Centers, as well as more matched contributions to help eradicate polio, thanks to our partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
TRF is a powerful force that efficiently carries out impactful and sustainable projects around the world; Charity Navigator has recognised TRF with a four-star rating annually for 13 consecutive years. All Rotary members can be proud of this. And how great it would be if all Rotarians would support the Foundation in whatever way they could.
I have a simple request this month. Please take 10 minutes during your next club meeting to discuss ways to get more involved in the Foundation this year. It could be planning an online fundraiser to benefit the Foundation or partnering with other clubs for a global grant project.
Whatever you do, remember that our members — all of us — drive Rotary’s efforts and sustain our Foundation.
John F Germ
Foundation Trustee Chair