Posted on Mar 09, 2020

EcoStewardship: Supporting the Rotary Foundation

We are ecstatic about our first major project as a club - increasing the ecological and economic sustainability of the hydroponic Freight Farm at Pillsbury United Communities by adding solar panels and a water catchment system - and we recognize that this project would not be possible without the generous district grant awarded earlier in the year. Grants like the one we received are possible because of the Rotary Foundation.  
As a beneficiary, we have made it a club goal to have 100% participation by club members to support the Rotary Foundation in 2020.  Donations can be of any size - from pennies to thousands of dollars, the Rotary Foundation model ensures that your funds are used in ways that make lasting and measurable impact.  
An astounding 92% of donated funds to the foundation go to local or global programs that support the six Rotary areas of focus: Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution, Disease Prevention and Treatment, Water and Sanitation, Maternal and Child Health, Basic Education and Literacy, Economic and Community Development.  Rotary believes that the health of the environment is intrinsic to each of these foci and is also considering the addition of Environmental Sustainability as an Area of Focus in its own right. 
Funds donated to the Rotary Annual Fund are redistributed after three years of investment in the form of grants. 50% of funds go back to the districts and fund local grants like the one we received.  50% of funds go to the World Fund to support global initiatives like the effort to eradicate Polio. It is amazing to know that 50% of every dollar you donate will come back to help fund our district projects.  
Global Grant projects have strict criteria including sustainability.  In this context sustainability means providing long-term solutions to community problems that community members themselves can support after grant funding ends.  There are also strict criteria for financial transparency and for monitoring and reporting outcomes.  This rigor is another reason you can be confident that your funds are materially contributing to the efforts you care about.  
The other unique element to donations to the Rotary Foundation is that projects require concrete Rotarian involvement and action.  This is no example of throwing money at a problem and then going about your business.  This requirement creates a more personal connection to the issues at hand as well as their solutions. 
As a Rotarian, every dollar you donate to the Rotary Foundation is tracked and if you reach $1000 donated in your lifetime, you are recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow.  You may not need the recognition, but it is a way for Rotary to acknowledge its immense appreciation to those who donate.  You may already be on your way to this milestone.  In 2019, its charter year, the Twin Cities Rotary EcoClub pooled funds gained through events and Happy Bucks and made a donation on behalf of every EcoClub member.  
The huge amount of positive change created by Rotarians over the years is perhaps one of the reasons you decided to become a Rotarian yourself.  The Rotary Foundation is key to that positive change. Please help the EcoClub meet our goal of 100% club participation and donate any amount to the Rotary Foundation today.