Posted by Ian FAIRNIE on Jul 01, 2024

The Rotary Foundation* - the gift that keeps on giving 

Chris introducing The Rotary Foundation at a recent meeting (website click here)
One of the first things I noticed about Applecross Rotary, after I moved from Perth Rotary nearly 10 years ago, was how Applecross used Rotary Foundation funding to make even bigger differences in needy communities.  Our current resident expert is Chris Whelan so it was very appropriate that he spoke about this at our recent meeting, explaining to new members (and reminding older members) how it all works.
Every year, Rotary Clubs plus many individual Rotary members, contribute to the Rotary Foundation (TRF) Annual Fund, and a portion of those contributions are allocated back to our District 9423 and held in a District Designated Fund (DDF), which can be used to support a variety of Rotary initiatives, mostly projects being developed by individual Clubs, that address immediate needs here and abroad. These “District Grants” usually range from $2000-5000.
In contrast, Global Grants support large international projects with long-term sustainable outcomes in one or more of Rotary’s areas of focus:
  • Peace and conflict prevention/resolution.
  • Disease prevention and treatment.
  • Water and sanitation.
  • Maternal and child health.
  • Basic education and literacy.
  • Economic and community development.
Over the last 10 years, Applecross Rotary has won four Global Grants for international projects in Sri Lanka, Cambodia and two in Kenya, costing a total of USD340,000, of which USD239,000 was sourced from TRF, either directly or via District Designated Funds.
The Cambodia Hospital project in 2017 began with USD150 from Applecross funds and thanks to other Clubs, the District and TRF, the original investment of USD150 was leveraged up to USD48,000.
Chris used the recent presentation by Mark Fitzpatrick, CEO of Telethon Speech and Hearing to show us how to put a Global Grant application together, to reduce the prevalence of infant deafness in the Eastern Wheatbelt, and the long term consequences of this condition for the local community.  This would tick four of the six Areas of Focus.
If this became a reality it would be our Club’s first Global Grant that seeks to improve the lives of communities in Australia, something we often get asked: “I think what you have done in Sri Lanka, Kenya and Cambodia is great, but aren’t there major (health) issues you can focus on in Australia?”.
The application would need to be supported by Districts and Clubs outside of Australia as well as other Clubs in our District 9423.  Chris has already gained the support of two overseas Districts, and we have approached two other overseas Districts, as well as Clubs in those Districts.  
What is needed now is Applecross members visiting Clubs in our District to pitch the project and ask for a donation ($500+) to help make it happen, to join us in beginning to reduce the appalling high incidence of infant hearing loss in Wheatbelt communities.
Let President Tom know if you’d like to help - he is chairing the next stage of getting the Global grant application completed (with Chris cheering us on from the sidelines).
* The Rotary Foundation is a 4 Star Charity, indicating that most of the funds raised (88%) are used for charitable acts.  Since 1946, over USD6.5 billion has been donated, addressing Rotary’s six areas of focus.