Rotary in Australia & NZ Celebrating 100 years 1921 - 2021
Over the coming weeks, at our weekly meetings, our Rotarian Noel Trevaskis, OAM, will explain some facts on The Rotary Foundation.
Part 1
The Rotary Foundation is a non-profit organisation that supports the efforts of Rotary International to achieve World understanding and peace through international humanitarian educational and cultural exchange programmes.
It was established by Past RI President Arch Klumph in 1917 who said "We should not live for ourselves alone but for the joy in doing good for others."  He also said "It seems eminently proper that we should accept endowments for the purpose of doing good in the World."
His idea for an endowment fund dedicated to "doing good in the World" has grown from the initial donation of $26.50 where there is now almost two billion dollars in Rotary Foundation.
The Rotary Foundation has spent over $3 billion on programmes and projects to support humanitarian efforts and scholarship throughout its 100 year history.
In 1979, Rotary began immunising 6 million children in the Philippines against polio; in 1980 Rotary committed to eliminating polio from the World through immunisation.  It was estimated that over 360,000 children contracted polio worldwide each year.  As a result of Rotary, polio is in only two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Part 2
The Rotary Foundation’s motto is “Doing Good in the World”.  The motto for Rotary International is “Service Above Self”.  In 1947 when the founder of Rotary International Paul Harris died, Rotary members contributed US$ 1.3 million in his memory.
In 1957, Paul Harris Fellow recognition began – the first form of donor recognition, expressing appreciation of contributions of US$1,000.  Individuals, Clubs and Districts and non Rotarians can contribute to the Rotary Foundation.  The naming of a person as a Paul Harris Fellow is not an award, it is recognition that US$1,000 has been donated.  There is no such thing as a Paul Harris Fellowship. People can belong to the Paul Harris Society which means they contribute US$1,000 annually to The Rotary Foundation.  Centurions are Rotarians who contribute US$100 a year to The Rotary Foundation.
All contributions to The Rotary Foundation Trust are held in trust for three years.  After three years of investment, 50% of what was given in a year is available for districts and clubs throughout the World through different grants and programmes enabling them to participate in projects anywhere in the World.  District Designated Funds from The Rotary Foundation are available for clubs to use for projects in their district or elsewhere in Australia if they want to.
Contributions to the Australian Rotary Foundation Trust are tax deductible.  Those donations go onto The Rotary Foundation.