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. The Rotary Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation that is supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world.
The Foundation was created in 1917 by Rotary International’s sixth president, Arch C. Klumph, as an endowment fund for Rotary “to do good in the world.”
Rotary Foundation Programs are:
- PolioPlus. Rotarians have mobilized by the hundreds of thousands to ensure that children are immunized against this crippling disease and that surveillance is strong, despite the poor infrastructure, extreme poverty, and civil strife of many countries.
- PolioPlus Partners is a program that allows Rotarians to participate in the polio eradication effort by contributing to specific social mobilization and surveillance activities in polio-endemic countries.
- Health, Hunger and Humanity (3-H) Grants fund large-scale, two- to four-year projects that enhance health, help alleviate hunger, or improve human development..
- Matching Grants provide matching funds for international service projects of Rotary clubs and districts.
- District Simplified Grants support the short-term service activities or humanitarian endeavors of districts in communities locally or internationally.
Individual Grants support the travel of individual Rotarians, spouses of Rotarians, Rotaractors, and qualified Foundation alumni who are planning or implementing service projects. In October 2005 this program was retired and has been replaced by Volunteer Service Grants.
- Solidarity in South Asia. Shortly after the deadly tsunami struck south Asia on 26 December 2004, The Rotary Foundation established the Solidarity in South Asia fund to assist Rotarians in supporting long-term recovery efforts in affected communities.
- Disaster Recovery. Created in 2005-06, this program allows Rotarians to contribute funds in response to specific disasters.
- Rotary World Peace Fellowships. Each year up to 60 scholars are sponsored to study at one of the six Rotary Centers for International Studies in peace and conflict resolution for a master’s-level degree
- Ambassadorial Scholarships. The Foundation sponsors one of the largest international scholarship programs in the world.
- Rotary Grants for University Teachers are awarded to faculty members to teach in a developing nation for 3 to 10 months.
- Group Study Exchange (GSE). These annual awards are made to paired Rotary districts to provide travel expenses for a team of non-Rotarians from a variety of professions.