Rotary is no exception to the stresses that the COVID-19 public health and economic crises have brought to many businesses and individuals.
We have shown however that we can respond quickly. In the past few months Disaster Response Grants totalling US$4.25million have been made by The Rotary Foundation to address needs in 172 Rotary Districts in areas as diverse as Central Africa, Italy and Ohio.
From personal protective equipment, to ventilators, to foodbanks – Rotarians, through our Foundation, have been helping support communities around the world.
When the pandemic hit, global grant submissions rose by a third as Rotarians moved into action.
Apart from our COVID-19 response, projects that Rotarians carry out under global grants have increased significantly. The gradual growth in global grants over the years, however, means that our Foundation expects the demand for global grants to dramatically exceed the capacity of its World Fund which matches funds from our Clubs and District for global grants.
An important change is therefore being implemented to global grant funding for 2020-21.
This change will not affect District grants which many of our Clubs apply to the District for each year. Applications for the current round of District grants are still due on 30 June 2020.
Because of the demand for global grants, the Trustees of The Rotary Foundation have decided that World Fund resources will be used to match only District Designated Fund (DDF) contributions – the funds our District controls. This match will remain at 100 percent. The match of 50 percent on cash contributions by Clubs or individuals to global grants will be eliminated, effective 1 July 2020.
As mentioned, there is no change to District grants. Our District will still match Club contributions at a proportion up to 100 percent, depending on the number of applications and whether they are successful.
It is now more important than ever for our Clubs, Rotarians and supporters to give to the Annual Fund of The Rotary Foundation. This is the fund that returns 50 per cent of our Club and individual contributions after three years for use as we in our District determine. Our District uses half of this returned amount for district grants and half of it we use for global grant projects – in the latter case, The Rotary Foundation will still match our District contributions on a 1:1 basis. The remaining 50 percent of our Club and individual contributions to the Annual Fund are used by the Foundation’s World Fund for global grant projects by Rotarians whether in our District or other Districts, including for scholarships, and peace fellowships.
Clubs are also reminded that their giving to the Annual Fund produces recognition credits that Clubs may use for Paul Harris Fellow recognition of Rotarians or community members.
The most recent global grant project initiated by Clubs in our District, coordinated by Masterton South Rotary, was the mobile health clinic that was sent to Rarotonga.

It is time for our next global grant project, so if any Clubs are contemplating a global grant project, please contact our incoming District Foundation Chair Martin Garcia as soon as possible at