The Rotary Foundation's Vision for the Future
Giay Outlines Vision for the Foundation- Feb. 2006
The Rotary Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation that supports the efforts of Rotary International to achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational, and cultural exchange programs. It 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." It has grown from an initial contribution of US$26.50 to more than US$55 million contributed in 2002-03. Its event-filled history is a story of Rotarians learning the value of service to humanity.
"The Rotary Foundation, which awards grants for humanitarian and educational purposes, needs to be proactive, flexible, visionary, and trustworthy", said its incoming chair, Luis Giay, at Rotary's 2006 International Assembly.
Giay mentioned these characteristics in a speech about the future of the Foundation during Rotary's International Assembly, a training conference for incoming district governors taking place 16-23 February in San Diego, California, USA.
With respect to its short-term
future, Giay said the goals for the Foundation in Rotary year 2006-07
* Raise the Foundation's
profile as an advocate of peace and conflict resolution through partnerships
with institutions. (Promoting Rotary's goal of world peace, goodwill,
and understanding, The Rotary Foundation's Educational Programs include
Ambassadorial Scholarships, Grants for University Teachers, Group Study
Exchange, and Rotary Centers for International Studies in peace and
conflict resolution, and Rotary Peace and Conflict Studies Program).
* Work with Rotary International to enhance Rotary's public image Improve grassroots training to increase Rotarians' awareness of the Foundation's mission.
* Streamline management of the Foundation's educational and humanitarian programs
* Implement a plan for the future (To help with the latter, the trustees created the Future Vision Committee.)
The committee has consulted experts and surveyed more than 20,000 Rotarians. It is working on a so-called Future Vision Plan for the short, medium, and long term. It will go into effect gradually as of 1 July 2006 and should be fully operational by 30 June 2007, Giay said.
He said the committee wants
the Foundation to:
In addition to outlining
the Future Vision Committee's objectives, Giay also described his personal,
long-term vision for the Foundation. He said the Foundation should:
There are several grant
types that address different service needs and funding options. The
following grants are available to support these endeavors.
He said that by 2010 such programs should represent close to 90 percent of the overall program budget. The other 10 percent would be educational programs, he said. The Humanitarian Grant Program includes Matching Grants; Health, Hunger, and Humanity (3-H) Grants, and the corporate program, which is currently polio eradication.
Presently, humanitarian programs make up 75 percent of the program budget, he said. Under his idea, the amount of money given to educational programs wouldn't shrink; instead the money for humanitarian programs would increase.
* Increase the Foundation's funds by at least 10 percent a year. "In 2007, we will need $150 million and by 2010, $200 million - and these are annual figures," he said.
After Giay finished his speech, Rotarian and RI training leader Allan Jagger took the podium. Jagger said 70 percent of Rotarians do not contribute to the Foundation. He pointed out that Rotarians, not the trustees of the Foundation, decide what types of projects to spend the money on.
"I will let you in on a secret," Jagger said. "There is sufficient money in Rotary to fund every program that the imagination of Rotarians can come up with. The problem is, it's still in the pockets of Rotarians."
Jagger noted that during the next decade or two, a huge transfer of wealth will take place in the developed world as an older generation dies. He urged Rotarians to leave a legacy to the Permanent Fund, a fund in which the corpus is never spent and only the interest is used for Foundation programs.
"My generation is going to be leaving behind many assets, and there are no pockets in shrouds or banks in the sky," he said. "In my culture, to leave a legacy to a charity is a great way to avoid inheritance tax, and it's also a wonderful way to spend your children's inheritance."
After Giay's and Jagger's speeches, Rotarian Bill Patchett offered his opinion. The governor-elect of District 7070 agreed that Rotarians should get out their checkbooks. "We're retired and semi-retired and we lead a good life. So it's up to us to help those less fortunate," he said. "There's not a Rotarian that could not afford to do something."