R. I. President Message

RI President 2017-18 Ian H.S. Riseley, - Nov. 2017

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Dear Fellow Rotarians,

The Rotary Foundation is an invisible presence in our clubs. Most of what we do in our clubs and our districts, on a weekly basis, we do without the active involvement of the Foundation. But our Foundation is invisible in our clubs in the same way the foundation of a building is invisible when you're in it: Just because you don't see it doesn't mean it's not holding you up.

The Foundation that enabled Rotary to take on poli...o is, in many ways, the foundation upon which our Rotary service is built. For 100 years, since it came into existence with a first donation of $26.50, the Foundation has supported and strengthened our service, enabled our ambitions, and allowed us to be the organization that we are. Because of the Foundation, Rotarians know that if we have the ambition and put in the work, very little is truly beyond us.

It is an incredibly effective model that we have here in Rotary, one that no other organization can match. We are completely local and completely global: We have local skills, connections, and knowledge in over 35,000 clubs, in nearly every country of the world. We have a deserved reputation for transparency, effectiveness, and good business practices, and because we are highly skilled professionals as well as volunteers, we achieve a level of efficiency that very few other organizations can approach.

To put it simply, a dollar given to The Rotary Foundation has a great deal more muscle than a dollar given to most charities. If you want to spend a dollar on Doing Good in the World, you can't do better than to spend it with the Foundation. That is not just me speaking out of pride; it is verifiably true and is reflected in our rankings by independent organizations.

In the Foundation's centennial year, Rotarians surpassed our goal of raising $300 million. If you were part of that achievement, you have been part of something tremendous. Somewhere in the world, someplace you have probably never been, people you may never meet will lead better lives because of you. Ultimately, it is our Foundation that lets us make good on our core beliefs: that we can make a difference, that we have an obligation to do so, and that working together, as well and as efficiently as we can, is the only way to effect real and lasting change.

Ian H.S. Riseley
President 2017-18

Trustee Chair's Message - November 2017

What do the Trustees do, anyway?

A few months ago, I raised the question, "What do the Trustees do, anyway?" I reflected that a critical role of ours is to listen. This month, Rotary Foundation Month, I can happily report that you speak volumes – and that you are heard.

The late RI President-elect Sam F. Owori said he saw in Rotarians "an incredible passion to make a difference" and wanted to "harness that enthusiasm and pride so that every project becomes the engine o...f peace and prosperity."

From your letters, reports, and wonderful stories, we know you share Sam's vision of a world where Rotarians unite and take action to create sustainable change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves. Last year we saw an increase in the number of global and district grants initiated and another record high in Rotary Peace Fellowship applications. We also saw increased totals in overall giving, reflecting your passion for what we do as "People of Action." A special thanks to Rotary's club and district leaders for providing continuity in all our endeavors.
Recognition as the World's Outstanding Foundation by the Association of Fundraising Professionals at its international convention affirms the work you are helping make possible. AFP's committee of judges cited Rotary's comprehensive campaign to eradicate polio as a major factor in the Foundation's selection.

To Benefactors, Bequest Society members, and all levels of Major Donors, thank you! You are building financial stability for the future. Our Endowment Fund continues to grow because of your belief in the Foundation and its continually evolving programs. We are well underway with our "Building TRF Endowment: 2025 by 2025" initiative – to achieve $2.025 billion in gifts and commitments by 2025.

As one Rotarian to another, from my heart to yours, please accept my personal thanks for your unflagging work and many accomplishments over the years. One of the genuine privileges of serving in a key leadership role in Rotary is being able to continue learning from Rotarian friends as passionate and committed as you.

Let us celebrate Rotary Foundation Month together!

Paul A. Netzel
Trustee Chair 2017-18

 


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