R. I. President & Trustee's Theme & Message

RI President's Message, December 2016

I joined Rotary as an engineer. There are almost as many classifications in the profession of engineering as there are in Rotary, but I happen to be a mechanical engineer.

A mechanical engineer calculates the heating and cooling loads for a new building, makes sure the right lights are in the right places, and plans the plumbing so your hot water pipe doesn’t end in a drinking fountain.

Mechanical engineers don’t stand out in a crowd, and they don’t call attention to themselves with what they do. You probably haven’t thought much about the engineers who designed the buildings you use, the car you drive, or the traffic patterns you follow.

But every time you get in an elevator, turn the key in your ignition, or cross the street when the light says go, you are entrusting your life to an engineer somewhere whom you’ve never met. You trust that your elevator will open at the floor you want it to. You trust that your car will start and stop as it should.

You trust that the traffic light is going to turn red before the walk light goes on. Every day, you put your life in the hands of people whose names you do not know and whom you might never meet. You might not think about them at all – but they touch your lives every day.

I could draw the same parallel to any number of other vocations – ordinary occupations with the same kind of life-changing impact. In so many ways – some of which we see and some we don’t – our vocations allow us to help other people live better, safer, and healthier lives.

Just like the work we do in Rotary.

Through our vocations and in our clubs, in our communities, and across continents, we are touching the lives of people we don’t know and might never meet. And in every part of the world, every single day, whether they know it or not, people are living better, safer, and healthier lives because of the work of Rotary.

The people we help might not have met a single Rotarian. They might not even know that Rotary exists. But they are drinking clean water from a bore well that Rotary dug. They’re learning to read with books that Rotary gave them. They’re living lives that are better, happier, and healthier – because of Rotary Serving Humanity. -
John F Germ, President 2016-17

- John F Germ
President, Rotary International

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Dec. 2016 Trustee Chair's Message

Kalyan Banerjee

Trustee Chair 2016-17

Responsible investing for doing good

Rotarians frequently ask if The Rotary Foundation practices socially responsible investing by screening or restricting certain investments based on social, environmental, or political criteria. The answer is yes – and no.

Yes, the Foundation considers both financial and social returns when making an investment decision. Our Investment Committee encourages our investment consultant and its managers to invest in companies that comply with laws, regulations, ethical standards, and national or international norms and are aligned with Rotary values.

We also consider how each of our investment managers incorporates socially responsible investing as part of their process. Currently seven of these managers, responsible for about 36 percent of the Foundation's total assets, were signatories to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment.

These principles offer possible actions for incorporating environmental, social, and governance issues – such as climate change, public and workplace safety, and shareholder rights – into investment practice. Following these principles could reduce risk, improve returns, and better align our portfolio with our mission.

Does this mean the Foundation will categorically exclude specific companies or industries from investment? That's where the "no" part of my answer comes in. Given Rotary's diverse membership and its various cultural beliefs, agreeing on such restrictions would be extremely difficult.

The Trustees of The Rotary Foundation and the Rotarian financial experts on our Investment Committee take their job very seriously. Rotarians have entrusted us with millions of dollars that they have designated to do good in the world.

Our capacity to provide clean water and education, improve health care and economic development, and promote peace depends heavily on our investment income So it is especially important that we invest your gifts wisely.

Because The Rotary Foundation belongs to all of us, we believe strongly in transparency. To that end, we have posted a wealth of information on www.rotary.org. You can find audited statements for the Foundation for the past three years and tax returns for the past six years, along with extensive material on investment practices, philosophy, and historical returns. I hope this detailed information will reinforce your confidence in our Foundation and inspire your continued generosity


Trustee Chair's Message, November 2016


- Kalyan Banerjee, Trustee Chair 2016 - 17

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