As Orrin Mahoney, District 5170 Rotary Foundation Chair, explained at PNR’s Nov. 5th meeting, the Rotary Foundation creates funding opportunities for its myriad international projects by rewarding individual clubs that respond with donations.
The Rotary Foundation actually gives PNR and other Rotary chapters a return on their investments. For example, for every $20,000 donated to the foundation, half is returned to the club, along with matching funds of $8,000. The total adds up to $18,000 if the club secures a global grant for an international project, Mahoney said.
Securing a global grant is not easy, Mahoney explained, “but global grants are where the power lies because of matching grants.” Applications require a needs assessment, a sustainability analysis, and reliable, local partner in the often-remote, foreign community where the project is implemented.
But the process can work wonders by improving sanitation with composting latrines in Nicaragua, or supplying an internet-enabled digital library system, called RACHEL, along with laptops and uninterruptible power supplies for 1800 students at nine schools in Guatemala. Both global projects involved PNR and other Area 4 clubs.
Mahoney explained that members can contribute to The Rotary Foundation in multiple ways including the following:
Direct contributions to the foundation, which after the first $1000 in accrued donations qualify you as a Paul Harris Fellow,
Every Rotarian Every Year, a promise that every club member will donate at least $25 annually,
Rotary Direct, a mechanism for automatic monthly, quarterly, or annual donations,
Paul Harris Society membership for donating at least $10,000 over time,
Bequeathing $10,000 or more to the RI Foundation through your will and trust.
Rotary members also support the Polio Plus Fund, Rotary International’s long-running, highly successful polio eradication campaign, and global grant scholarships, which are prestigious $30,000 monetary awards to post-graduate students preparing for careers in public service.
Before Mahoney spoke, PNR had raised $9300 toward its $20,000 annual goal for the Rotary Foundation’s Annual Fund. When he finished, a senior member of PNR took the microphone to donate $5000, noting the advantages of donating to a qualified charity, such as the Rotary Foundation, to avoid federal taxes from the required minimum distribution of Individual Retirement Account (IRA) holders when they reach the age of 71 years, six months or 72 years in some instances.
Phil Stone, chair of the PNR Rotary Foundation Committee , noted that matching funds are available this year from the PNR’s own charitable foundation for up to $500 donated to the Annual Fund by our members.
Within minutes, 10 PNR members pledged $500 each to more than reach the club’s annual goal. The extraordinary response led Mahoney to say, “This is why I always love visiting your club.”