A message from our President…
Last Saturday, Past-President Janine Payton and I attended a District 5170 workshop on The Rotary Foundation and District Grants. We’ll save info on the Grants program for a later day. Today’s column will deal with The Rotary Foundation (TRF).
“Rotary happens at the club level” is a popular refrain in the Rotary world. And, here in Campbell, we do spend most of our money and all of our time working with other groups helping to make our local area a better place. What is unique about us is that we are also a part of a larger, international organization that spends its time and money making the world a better place.
At this year’s Rotary International Conference in Sydney, I learned about clubs doing some amazing things around the world: There is a U.S. club that helps bring Nigerian sex workers off the streets, giving them sewing machines and the skills to go with them to allow the women to regain their dignity, and provide for their families in a safer way; clubs embark on water projects to allow women and children in third world countries to obtain clean, safe water in their own villages, thereby eliminating the need for hours of walking each day to collect water at some distant watering hole; we learned last week of the work of the Los Altos Club’s Childrens’ AIDS Prevention Project, and on and on. At first I thought how great it would be if our club could support projects like these. But WAIT. We DO! We do support these and other projects around the world every time we donate to TRF.
Here’s how that works: When we contribute to TRF, those funds are recorded along with contributions of other clubs in District 5170. Three years later, half of those funds come back to our District as “District Designated Funds” (DDF), the other half are retained by Rotary International for use by clubs around the world for matching global grants. When the District receives the funds each year, they use a mathematical formula to distribute funds back to each club in a proportion that the club donated to TRF. The more we give, each year, the more we get back, three years hence. It is worth noting that District 5170 is one of the few districts that provides DDF back to local clubs.
So this year our club is receiving over $3,400 in DDF based on our giving during the 2011-2012 Rotary Year. We are using these funds to help pay for back packs and to help fund scholarships for our local high school senior(s).
My goal for our club this year is to have 100% of us contribute SOME amount to TRF. So, when Dick Garland hands out the pledge cards in the coming weeks, lets all step up to the challenge and put our club into a better position three years from now!
- John Shannon