The Foundation is the $1 billion charitable arm of Rotary International. To mark the centennial, Rotary aims to raise $300 million by July 2017 for its campaign to eradicate polio and for service in communities around the world.
Established in 1917 with a donation of $26.50, The Rotary Foundation is dedicated to advancing world understanding, goodwill, and peace. Through grants and other resources, Rotary members develop sustainable projects that promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, support education, save mothers and children, and grow local economies.
Rotary’s top priority is the global eradication of polio. Rotary launched its polio immunization program, PolioPlus, in 1985 and in 1988 became a leading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative along with the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and more recently, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Rotary has contributed more than $1.5 billion and countless volunteer hours to eradicate polio. Through 2018, every dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication will be matched 2-to-1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, up to $35 million a year. Since the initiative began, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases a year to less than 71 confirmed in 2015.
Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. For more information, visit Rotary.org.
The Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into projects that change lives both close to home and around the world. As the charitable arm of Rotary, we tap into a global network of Rotarians who invest their time, money, and expertise into our priorities, such as eradicating polio and promoting peace. Foundation grants empower Rotarians to approach challenges such as poverty, illiteracy, and malnutrition with sustainable solutions that leave a lasting impact.