Humanitarian Grants: District Grants and Global Grants

Humanitarian grants from the Rotary Foundation enable Rotarians to support service projects that provide water wells, medical care, literacy classes and other essentials to people in need. Rotarian participation is key to the project's success.

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District Grants for 2020/21

updated 5th May 2021

District Grants are awarded for projects that benefit local or international communities.Projects can be in partnership with other clubs or managed by a single club. Clubs should submit an outline application by 25th May 2021 for grants to be awarded for the Rotary year starting July 2021. In 2021/22 grants of up to £1,500 will be awarded. (The maximum amount will be confirmed in June by the Grants Committee.) The grant is matched by club funds and the amount depends on club giving to the Rotary Foundation.

The grants team will meet in mid/late June and clubs will then be notified of decisions. Funds will be transferred to clubs after the full application form has been completed, after Peter Ballard has confirmed that all criteria have been met and after the funds (the block grant) have been received by the District from the Evanston Head Office.

Applications can be for local or international projects, for projects related to the COVID-19 pandemic or for unrelated projects.

In the Rotary year ending June 2018 we awarded grants for 32 projects run by 23 clubs. 17 of these were for international projects and 15 for local projects.

In the Rotary year ending June 2019 we awarded grants for 29 projects run by 24 clubs. 9 of these were for international projects and 20 for local projects.

In the Rotary year ending June 2020 we have awarded grants for 27 projects run by 25 clubs. 13 of these were for international projects and 14 for local projects.

Download the forms for district grants

District 1090 Preliminary Grant Application Form (March2021)

District 1090 Full District Grant Application Form (May2020)

Criteria for receiving District Grant Funds May 2021

Rotary Grants Terms & Conditions (updated Nov2019)

All completed projects supported by a District Grant should be uploaded into Rotary Showcase. Read the guidance on how to use Rotary Showcase.

A financial report should be completed for each district grant funded project. Use either the Word template or Excel template

District Grants - for Local COVID-19 Projects

We were delighted to receive lots of applications from clubs for grants for COVID-19 projects in Spring 2020. 
Our Rotary Foundation head office colleagues in Evanston announced some flexibility for Foundation grants to allow us to use funds for the Rotary year starting July 2020 and to allocate these early for COVID-19 projects that had started on or after 15th March 2020. We approved awards totalling just over £20,000 for 17 club projects. 

Clubs can still apply for grants to support COVID-19 projects but they should now follow the standard approach for district grants, as above. The next deadline is 25th May 2021.

Read about some of the grants awarded for pandemic projects.


District Peace Grants

Visit the peace pages of this website to read about the latest round of district peace grants and to read about the success of the projects funded by the previous grants awarded in February 2019.


Global Grants

Global grants help Rotary Clubs and Districts carry out humanitarian projects with clubs or districts in other countries. The Rotary Foundation provides a 50% match of the club contributions and 100% match for the district contribution.

The Grants Committee will provide up to $10,000 to match against club funds of $10,000 or more. Clubs are advised to complete the prelimary form and send to Peter Ballard so that they can get advice right at the start of the application process and project planning.

The Grants Committee members also hear about international projects that are seeking support from UK clubs. These projects may also be eligible for the above funding. Contact Peter Ballard to find out more about these opportunities.

Visit the Rotary International 'My Rotary' webpages to read more about the activities funded by Global Grants, including graduate scholarships and Vocational Training Teams. Read more about graduate scholarships funded by global grants on our Rotary Scholars pages.

In addition to fitting with one or more of the Areas of Focus, grant-funded projects have to demonstrate that they address a community need and that they will be sustainable.

Vocational Training Teams – What are they?

The Vocational Training Team (VTT) is the Rotary Foundation scheme for teams of non-Rotarians to travel overseas with a Rotarian leader to take part in a training project that fits one of the Foundation’s Areas of Focus as listed below. Vocational Training Teams are designed to deliver a sustainable benefit to a community in need of help, in addition to providing a fantastic opportunity for the professional development of the team members.

A VTT will have a Rotarian team leader and could have a mix of Rotarian and non-Rotarian team members. A VTT can provide or receive training. Given the range of projects in low and middle-income countries that District 1090 clubs are involved with, it is likely that 1090 VTTs will be travelling overseas to provide training. However it does not have to follow this model. Since a VTT will normally be funded by a Rotary Foundation Global Grant, it is important that the training contributes to the sustainability of the project. For example, the team members may focus on supporting the local teachers or local nurse tutors to ensure that they can continue to deliver the new training to others after the team members have left.

Any Rotary Club in District 1090 could propose a Vocational Training Team. If a club is planning a large overseas project and its members think that the project could benefit from a team of Rotarians and non-Rotarians providing training then members of the District Grants Committee would be happy to advise and discuss the opportunities. The VTT costs would be added to the project costs and all included in the Global Grant application, so it is important that details are discussed at the early stages of the project planning.

Examples of VTTs might be

1. A team of education professionals visiting a school. This could be linked to the provision of teaching equipment or refurbishment of school buildings.

2. A team of engineers visiting a village where wells are being dug or solar panels being installed.

3. A team of medical professionals visiting a hospital to provide training on new equipment.

Teams may be made up of people from the same or from different disciplines.

Read about our current Vocational Training Team, teaching emergency birth skills in Uganda.

The Six Areas of Focus

All grant-funded projects need to fit with one or more of the Rotary Foundation Areas of Focus. These cover the majority of the projects that our clubs are interested in. To read more about the Areas of Focus, visit the Rotary International 'My Rotary' webpages. You do not need to be logged in to access these pages.

Sterling £ or US Dollars $ ???

Donations to The Rotary Foundation Annual Program Fund, from clubs and individual Rotarians are recorded in US dollars and held by The Rotary Foundation in Evanston (USA). The District Designated Fund (DDF) is the amount returned to our District to award as district grants for small projects, and to give to clubs to support global grant applications that are submitted to The Rotary Foundation in the USA. The funds for district grants are held in sterling, but the funds for global grants are held in US dollars.

The RI exchange rate is shown on the My Rotary Exchange Rates page.

The District Grants Committee

The Grants Committee members are here to help clubs across District 1090 with any grant application queries.

Peter Ballard (chair) - Misbourne Matins

Gillian Pearce - Maidenhead Bridge

Fred King - Burnham Beeches (Stewardship Officer)

Mike Ware - Bourne End & Cookham


updated April 2024

Humanitarian Grants: District Grants and Global Grants pages:

The difference a District Grant can make

more A synopsis of the report to The Rotary Foundation on completion of a District Grant supported project.

Community awareness and iodized salt distribution program at Maini School, Rampur

Preventing Iodine Deficiency Disease in Nepal

more For over ten years Rotarians in Jordans and District Club and in Dharan Ghopoa Club in Nepal have been working together to reduce the incidence of iodine deficiency disease in Nepal.

Rotary Foundation grants supporting our local communities during the Covid-19 pandemic

more Clubs and the Rotary Foundation have responded to use grants to support their local communities

Misbourne Matins water tanks in Bali

International projects funded by district grants

more Examples of overseas projects run by clubs across our district and funded by district grants. Some are new projects, others show an ongoing relationship between Rotary and the community.

Improving Maternal Health at Kamuli

more With the support of a Rotary Global Grant, Maternal and Child Health Care at Kamuli Mission Hospital, Uganda has been substantially enhanced

The Life Education Bus supported by Misbourne Matins Rotary Club

Projects across the district that are funded by District Grants

more Just a few examples of how clubs have used district grants to support their community activities

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