left crumbHome » Projects » Rotary Foundation » 100 years of the Rotary Foundationright crumb
100 years of the Rotary Foundation

Celebrating Our Centenary
The Rotary Foundation is Rotary’s own charity and in 2016/17 we celebratied its centennial anniversary. Former Rotary International President Arch Klumph’s idea for an endowment fund dedicated to ‘Doing Good In The World’ planted the seed for The Rotary Foundation in 1917.
That one idea and an initial contribution of $26.50 set in motion a powerful force for good that has transformed millions of lives around the globe over the decades. Over the last 100 years, the Foundation has spent over $3 billion on humanitarian programmes across the world. This includes spearheading the movement to eradicate polio across the world, as well as facilitating projects which address Rotary’s Six Areas of Focus.
Who are we?
The mission of The Rotary Foundation is to enable Rotary members to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty. The Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotary members and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of creating a better world. This support is essential to make possible projects, funded with Foundation grants, that bring sustainable improvement to communities in need.

What do we do? – Rotary’s Six Areas of Focus
The work of Rotary begins in the community, and every community has its own unique needs and concerns. While we serve in countless ways, we’ve focused our efforts in six key areas to maximise our impact. These areas encompass some of the world’s most critical and widespread humanitarian needs, and we have a proven record of success in addressing them.

Discover more
Through our partnerships with several leading universities, Rotary Peace Fellows develop the skills to strengthen peace efforts, train local leaders to prevent and mediate conflict, and support long-term peace building in areas affected by conflict.
Did you know? - 90% of casualties in armed conflicts are civilians, and at least half are children.

Discover more
We aim to improve and expand access to low-cost and free health care in underdeveloped areas. Our members educate and mobilise communities to help prevent the spread of major diseases such as polio, HIV/AIDS, and malaria. Many of our projects ensure that medical training facilities are located where the workforce lives.
Did you know? - 1 in 6 people worldwide cannot afford to pay for healthcare. That’s over 1 billion people.
Discover more
Our projects give communities the ability to develop and maintain sustainable water and sanitation systems and support studies related to water and sanitation.
Did you know? - 2.5 billion people worldwide lack access to adequate sanitation facilities, with 783 million people living without access to clean water.
Discover more
We provide immunisations and antibiotics to babies, improve access to essential medical services, and support trained health care providers for mothers and their children. Our projects ensure sustainability by empowering the local community to take ownership of health care training programmes.
Did you know? - 80% of maternal deaths could be prevented with access to reproductive health services and trained health care workers.
Discover more
Our goal is to strengthen the capacity of communities to support basic education and literacy, reduce gender disparity in education, and increase adult literacy.
Did you know? - 775 million people worldwide over the age of 15 are illiterate, with 64% of them being women.
Discover more
We carry out service projects that enhance economic and community development and develop opportunities for decent and productive work for young and old. We also help strengthen local entrepreneurs and community leaders, particularly women, in impoverished communities.
Did you know? - 1.4 billion people – nearly half of which are employed – live on less than £1 per day.

How do we do it?
Projects within the Six Areas of Focus are funded by a grant system operated between Rotary clubs and The Rotary Foundation. This gives clubs the opportunity to apply for grants for projects which matter to them.

Whom do we do it with?
Once a project is identified, clubs in Great Britain and Ireland partner with Rotary clubs in the host country to undertake the project. Additionally, clubs have the opportunity to partner with approved agencies to provide specialist input in the Six Areas of Focus.

Can we work with you?
The great thing about Rotary is that is gives people the platform to make a difference and focus on the issues which matter to them. If you as an individual or an organisation, have a cause you are passionate about, set the wheels in motion and collaborate with clubs locally, nationally and internationally to make a difference.
You will have access to resources and programmes that can help you increase your personal and professional skills, gain world understanding, and make lifelong friendships—all while bringing about sustainable, positive change in communities. We are always looking for new ways of ‘Doing Good In The World’. We want to hear from you!