The Rotary Foundation

The Rotary Foundation helps millions for people across the world.

It is said that every minute of every day, Rotary will touch the lives of millions somewhere in the world.


The mission of The Rotary Foundation is:

'To enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty'.
  • In 1917, RI President Arch C. Klumph proposed that an endowment be set up 'for the purpose of doing good in the world'.
  • In 1928, when the endowment fund had grown to more than US$5,000, it was renamed The Rotary Foundation, and it became a distinct entity within Rotary International.
  • Two years later, the Foundation made its first grant of $500 to the International Society for Crippled Children.
  • The Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world.
  • After Rotary's founder, Paul P. Harris, died in 1947, contributions began pouring into Rotary International, and the Paul Harris Memorial Fund was created to build the Foundation.
  • That year, the first Foundation program, the forerunner of Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarships, was established. In 1965-66,  new programs were launched: e.g.  Group Study Exchange   and Grants for Activities in Keeping with the Objective of The Rotary Foundation; which was later called Matching Grants .
PolioPlus was announced in 1984-85. For more than 30 years, Rotary has been a leader in the global effort to eradicate polio. After years of hard work, Rotary and its partners are on the brink of eradicating this tenacious disease.  A strong, final push is now needed to root it out once and for all.  This window of opportunity is of historic proportions and remains Rotary's No.1 priority.

The first Peace Forums were held in 1987-88, leading to the Foundation's peace and conflict studies programmes. Fellowship recipients prepare for a leadership role in peace and conflict resolution. Rotary Peace Fellows are leaders promoting national and international cooperation, peace, and the successful resolution of conflict throughout their lives, in their careers, and through service activities. Fellows can earn either a master's degree in international relations, public administration, sustainable development, peace studies, conflict resolution, or a related field, or a professional development certificate in peace and conflict resolution.

Since the first donation of $26.50 in 1917, the Rotary Foundation has received contributions totaling more than $1.2 billion. To date, more than one million individuals have been recognized as Paul Harris Fellows (PHF) - people who have given $1,000 or have had that amount contributed in their name to the Annual Programs Fund; in Rotary GB&I a PHF, generally, is awarded for meritorious service.

Rotary Grants support Rotarians in their humanitarian, vocational, and educational activities. Funding for grants depends on Rotarians and just $100 per year, £66 or £53 + gift aid i.e £1.00 per week, will enable our District to double its contribution to the annual programme fund. And it need not necessarily come from our own pockets! 

Such strong support, along with Rotarian involvement worldwide, ensures a secure future for The Rotary Foundation as it continues its vital work for international understanding and world peace.

Rotary in the SouthWest Peninsula is making a difference in our mission to do good in the world. Can we do even more?

The District 1175 Rotary Foundation Committee is here to provide information and support to  Clubs. It administers the District funding in support of clubs' humanitarian action aiding the underprivileged worldwide. 

Thank you for your continuing support.

Simon WoodContact Simon Wood about this page:

(ALL fields required)

(If you are a Rotarian, please name your club.)

The Rotary Foundation pages:

Wheal Coates Engine House

World Polio Day

more Rotarians Light Up Wheal Coates to celebrate World Polio Day

Polio Eradication


Vocational Training Teams


Rotary Peace Scholars