rotary foundationThe Rotary Foundation is the charitable trust fund of Rotary International. In simple terms it is OUR charity and it belongs to every one of us who holds membership of any Rotary club world-wide.

At the 1917 convention of Rotary International in Atlanta, Georgia, RI President Arch Klumph proposed the creation of an “endowment fund for Rotary… for the purpose of doing good in the world in charitable, educational and other avenues of community progress”.


Objective of the Rotary Foundation

The objective of the Rotary Foundation is the achievement of world understanding and peace through international charitable and educational programmes.

Administration of the Rotary Foundation

The Rotary Foundation is administered by a Board of Trustees (one of whom comes from RIBI) comprising members of high standing and wide experience in Rotary matters and equipped with enthusiasm to promote international understanding and to develop the activities of the Foundation with imagination and inventiveness.

Relevance to the individual Rotary Clubs

With a story unrivalled in the history of humanitarian activity, and with its programmes having had a profound effect on individuals, on organisations and on countries, the Foundation is Rotary’s world-wide success story!

There is a limit as to what any one individual can achieve, and no one person could have achieved a fraction of the good which has been formed under the auspices of the Foundation.

The Foundation enables the Rotarians of your club who work with those of all the other clubs in the world to achieve a level of success which would be undreamed of by any individual member, club, or even district.

Every single Rotary club in RIBI should be proud of its share in the ownership of the Foundation and should give it the support which it undoubtedly deserves.

The role of the committee chairman

Your role as the chairman of your club’s Foundation committee is to promote the Rotary Foundation within your club, under the guidance of your president and club council.

If your club is to give the Foundation its full support your members will undoubtedly wish to know what it is all about, and so it follows that your principal role is to keep your members fully informed about all aspects of the Foundation’s activities.

This leaflet will provide you with outline material which you can supplement by attending your district assembly, district Rotary Foundation seminar or other district rallies, and by obtaining copies of the wide range of publications which describe the Foundation’s activities in detail.

Also available are videos which provide more vivid illustration of particular aspects of the Foundation’s work and your district Foundation chairman will be able to advise you about the source of these additional materials.

Just as in other walks of life, words alone rarely achieve the success which most of us desire, and so if your club is to become enthusiastic about the Rotary Foundation – and there is much to be enthusiastic about! – then it must be involved in at least some of its programmes.

Please promote the various activities of the Foundation and actively encourage the support of your fellow members in them. The value of Foundation’s programmes will become obvious to Rotarians when they become involved in them.

You may be new to your job as club Foundation committee chairman. You are therefore advised to become knowledgeable on your subject as soon as possible so that you are able to deal with all the questions which may arise.

We should be proud of the work and achievements of the Rotary Foundation, and we should let the rest of the world know about the Foundation’s successes. If you have any stories which underline the Foundation’s achievements please try to get them publicised both within Rotary and in the local media. Discreet publicity can only do good both to your club and to the Foundation itself.

Several programmes of the Foundation are now being restricted due to lack of funds, and so one of our main roles during the year will be to motivate your club to make a worthwhile contribution to the Foundation and thus help its programmes to flourish in the foreseeable future.

With the honour of being your club’s Rotary foundation committee chairman comes a sizeable element of responsibility. No doubt you will wish to do well, and this will come more easily if you can run your committee meetings in a firm and businesslike manner. They can still be enjoyable but your members will appreciate your efficiency – particularly if it is coupled with success!

The Club

The Rotary Club of Corringham ThamesideThe most important part of the Rotary Foundation is the individual Rotarian within the Rotary Club.

It is the local Rotary club which sponsors applicants for scholarships, which provides candidates for Group Study Exchange teams, which offers hospitality and plans programmes for visiting scholars and GSE teams.

It is Rotarians in clubs throughout the world that provide the funds necessary to finance the increasing range and size of Rotary Foundation activities, grants and awards.

Please ask your club Treasurer to ensure that all contributions to the Foundation are sent to your District Treasurer or the Finance Manager at RIBI, Alcester. Cheques should be made payable to the Rotary Foundation (UK).

It is vital to the continued success of the Foundation’s programmes, including fundraising, that every club Foundation chairman is supported by a committee, and the committee should keep the club accurately informed about all activities of the Foundation so as to maximise the support which the Foundation needs and deserves.

Always contact your district’s Rotary Foundation chairman if you would like further information on any aspect of Foundation programmes.

You will also find helpful Foundation information on the Internet website:


In your district there will be a district Rotary Foundation chairman who should have a committee of at least seven members. Ideally each of those members should act as chairman of a sub-committee of three Rotarians with the exception of the treasurer. The seven members should be responsible for:

  •  SCHOLARSHIPS: selection and welfare of all incoming and outgoing scholars, including counselling and visits to clubs.
  • GROUP STUDY EXCHANGE: outgoing team member selection and instruction, programme arrangements, hosting of incoming team.
  •  MATCHING GRANTS AND 3-H PROGRAMME: looking for and helping to investigate applications for grants.
  • DEVELOPMENT: encouraging large increases in contributions to the Foundation from clubs and Rotarians.
  • ALUMNI: maintaining contact with all alumni; building an up-to-date alumni register, co-operating with representatives on the Foundation Alumni Resource Group committee.
  • BRAND PUBLICITY: taking every opportunity to make known the work of the Rotary Foundation within clubs and to the general public.
  • DISTRICT TREASURER: responsible for transfer of monies to Rotary Foundation (UK).


The RIBI Rotary Foundation Committee promotes the Foundation’s activities, and advises and assists district governors, district Rotary Foundation committee chairmen and clubs in Foundation matters. The committee maintains contact with the manager of the Rotary Foundation and the staff at RI Headquarters in Evanston, USA, and the committee is always ready and willing to assist Rotarians, clubs and districts with any questions which may arise.

The chain of contact should be club Rotary Foundation chairman – district Rotary Foundation chairman – RIBI Rotary Foundation committee representative – RIBI Rotary Foundation chairman – Rotary Foundation.

Queries can be answered locally within RIBI, and the Secretary of RIBI is also the Secretary of RF (UK).