NOVEMBER IS FOUNDATION MONTH.
Here is some history about the foundation.
June 18, 1917, as war rages across Europe, 2,588 attendees gather in Atlanta Georgia, USA, for Rotary’s eighth annual convention. Midway through his lengthy address, President Arch Klumph makes what could almost seem an offhand suggestion: “It seems eminently proper that we should accept endowments for the purpose of doing good in the world. “ Within a month Rotary receives $26.50, the first donation for “the Endowment Fund suggested by President Klumph.
The mission of The Rotary Foundation is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.
In 1914, the Rotary convention adopted a resolution proposed by the Rotary Club of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, that the International association of Rotary Clubs “lends its influence to the maintenance of peace among the nations of the world.
In 1921 Rotary’s constitution added the goal “to aid in the advancement of international peace and goodwill through a fellowship of business and professional men of all nations united in the Rotary ideal of service”
After World War II clubs struggled with the concept of international service. They performed community service but how could one Rotary club bring about better understanding between people and nations?
At that time Rotary leaders rewrote the Foundations immediate objectives so that every Rotarian and individual club could support international service by donating to the clearly outlined Rotary Foundation activities:
- Rotary Foundation Fellowships for Advanced Study.
- The extension of Institutes of International Understanding in nations where they have not been developed
- The fostering of any tangible and effective projects which have as their purpose the furthering of better understanding and friendly relations between the peoples of different nations, such as: assisting Rotary clubs in obtaining speakers who can discuss with authority world agencies organized within the United Nations Organization.
- The providing of emergency relief for Rotarians and their families wherever was or other disaster has brought general destitution and suffering.
- Finally Rotarians could clearly understand why the Foundation was necessary.
At the Tokyo Convention in 1978 Rotary’s newest program: health, hunger, and humanity or the 3-H was coined. RI President Jack Davis introduced the RI Board’s support of the World Health Organization’s upcoming International Year of the Child.
In 1979 Rotary began their efforts to eradicate Polio in the Philippines. Rotary launched the 3-H program with the World Health Organization to eradicate Polio.
In 2005 the Future Vision Committee was appointed. Their report established the following priorities:
- Simplify all programs and operations
- Align program outcomes/descriptions with the Future Vision Plan
- Increase participation and sense of ownership at district and club levels
- Provide sufficient resources to achieve the program goals
- Develop a business model that supports the Future Vision Plan
The Six Avenues of Focus were developed:
Peace and conflict prevention/resolution
Disease prevention and treatment
Water and sanitation
Maternal and child health
Basic education and literacy
Economic and community development
The Future Vision Plan simplified the entire grant-making proves and turned over much of the administrative and decision-making work to the districts. All humanitarian and educational programs, except PolioPlus and the Rotary Peace Centers, were converted to a grant model offering three types of grants: district, global and packaged.
The Rotary Foundation helps fund our humanitarian activities, from local service projects to global initiatives. Club or districts can apply for grants from the Foundation to invest in projects and provide scholarships. The Foundation also leads the charge on worldwide Rotary campaigns such as eradicating polio and promoting peace..
(These are excerpts from “Doing Good in the World” by David. C. Forward.)