Feb. 8 – The Rotary Foundation, Andrew Shenkan, Foundation Chair, Rotary Club of Lexington
This meeting will also be on Zoom. For the Zoom link please email, [email protected].
If you would like to have lunch, please contact [email protected] to reserve your meal.
ROTARY INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION DAY 2024
“Whatever Rotary may mean to us, to the world it will be known by the results it achieves,” Paul Harris, Rotary Founder
Rotary Founder Paul Harris spoke the above words in 1914, nearly a decade after Rotary was formed in Chicago. A few short years later at the 1917 convention and with the world still in the throes of the “war to end all wars, outgoing Rotary president Arch Klumph proposed setting up an endowment “for the purpose of doing good in the world”. Add to that an initial contribution of $26.50 and the Rotary International Foundation was on its way. And, has it ever achieved results!
Each year our Club devotes a meeting to highlight the Foundation and its efforts throughout the world and locally and to highlight the contributions of our own members in making the Foundation a success. Today’s meeting will be led by Andrew Shenkan, Chair of our Rotary Foundation Committee.
Since its beginnings more than 100 years ago, the Rotary Foundation has spent more than $4 billion on life-changing, sustainable projects. In 2022-23, the Foundation made grants totaling $98 million. Those grants came of the form of district grants ($26 million), disaster relief grants ($15 million), global grants ($55 million), and program of scale grants ($2 million). The largest grant category, global grants, supported Rotary’s seven areas of focus: basic education and literacy, community economic development, disease prevention and treatment, maternal child health, peacebuilding and conflict prevention, water/sanitation/hygiene, and the environment.
The Foundation is perhaps best known for its efforts to eradicate polio. Those efforts have been ongoing for more than thirty-five years. As noted on the Rotary website, “Rotary members have contributed more than $2.1 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect nearly 3 billion children in 122 countries from this paralyzing disease.” Through its advocacy efforts Rotary has leveraged its own contributions to obtain more than $10 billion from governments to help in the fight. Today polio is endemic only Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The Foundation has proven time and again to be good stewards of the funds with which is entrusted. 88% of funds are spent on program awards and operations. In 2022, the Foundations received its fourteenth consecutive four star rating from Charity Navigator, a widely recognized independent evaluator of charities in the United States.