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The Rotary Foundation - My Choice of Charity


PDG Dennis Shore - Endowment / Major Gifts Adviser —

More and more people are donating to causes and Rotarians can do the same.

Article by PDG Dennis Shore - Endowment / Major Gifts Adviser

At the height of the 2020 Australian bushfires comedian Celeste Barber set up a crowd funding appeal for $30,000 to supply fire equipment for NSW Rural Fire Services (NSWRFS). She was blown away by the response and so was everybody else with more than $51 million being donated.

What a great outcome - or so it seemed. It turned out much of the money was donated with the expectation that it would go to a range of charitable purposes to support bushfire victims and the matter ended up in the NSW Supreme Court, which ruled that indeed the money could only be given to the NSWRFS.

With The Rotary Foundation, donors can be assured that their gift is going where they want it to go. Many Rotarians are happy for their donations to go to the Annual Fund knowing that it will be used to support Rotary’s causes – our seven Areas of Focus.

A growing number of Rotarians also want to support particular projects and are accordingly directing their donations more specifically. A good example is the signature project launched in the Centenary Year of Rotary in Australia and New Zealand. Rotary Give Every Child a Future has an ambitious goal to raise US $3.9 million to vaccinate 100,000 children in 9 Pacific Island Countries. These countries fall through a funding gap and would not otherwise be able to afford pneumococcal, rotavirus and human papillomavirus vaccines.

Mrs Vineeta Nand DGN District 9920 and Jonathan Veitch UNICEF Pacific Representative, accepting vaccines

Where is the money coming from? Well of course through The Rotary Foundation Global Grants supported by Districts, Clubs and importantly, by individual Rotarians who have stumped up more than US $900,000 to make this centenary project a reality.

This is only one of many such examples. Critical bushfire recovery Global Grants were also well supported, in addition to Foundation Disaster Relief Grants. One passionate and committed Rotary family supported to the tune of $100,000 substantial Global Grants to provide future protection for heavily impacted mid-north coast NSW communities (and a model project for other communities in the future) and to assist recovery of the almost totally destroyed Victorian community of Sarsfield.

On the right President Donna Ballard (Rotary Club of Taree on Manning) and PDG Maurie Stack (Chair Rotary Foundation Australia) handing over 100,000 litre water tank and ancillary equipment to representatives of the Bobin, NSW Community Hall Committee
Bushfire devastation at Sarsfield Victoria

At another level Rotarians can take the lead by making Directed Gifts, which we have touched on in a previous newsletter. A US $15,000 donation can put a Rotarian in the driver’s seat in developing a Global Grant that delivers an outcome that meets with the wishes of the donor.

Not everyone can donate funds of that amount but there are many Rotarians who have the capacity to make Directed Gifts – if not in this lifetime, certainly after they are gone by way of a bequest to the Rotary Foundation.

Most certainly any bequest can be set up so that the spendable earnings come back to their district to provide ongoing support for District Foundation programs to do our bit to make sure we continue to make a difference after we are gone.