The Rotary International Foundation is the joint effort of over 34,000 Rotary Clubs around the world. The foundation funds educational and exchange programs such as Group Study Exchange, Ambassadorial Scholars and makes matching grants for international projects proposed by individual districts or clubs around the world. The Rotary International Foundation also funds health, hunger and humanitarian programs, of which PolioPlus, which seeks to eradicate polio from among the world’s children by the year 2005, is perhaps the most well-known.
The Madison Rotary Club provides $20,000+ per year in support to the Rotary International Foundation through semi-annual contributions. Also the Paul Harris Fellow Program (which consists of $1,000 donations made by or in the name of individual club members to Rotary International) is also a significant funding source for the international foundation.
The Madison Rotary Foundation is supported in an annual fund drive of the Rotary Club of Madison members at the end of each year, and supports local social projects, youth activities and awards and locally selected international projects. These local grants are made out of the proceeds of the annual fund drive, as well as out of the earnings from the corpus of the foundation. The annual grants are made in accordance with criteria adopted by the foundation and are periodically updated to reflect the charitable giving wishes of the Madison Rotary Foundation members – which is all members of the Rotary Club of Madison.
Four Rotary Club of Madison Committees evaluate grant requests of agencies and programs and make recommendations for disbursements to the Club and Foundation Boards. These four committees are the Community Grants Committee, the Youth Awards Committee, the Youth Exchange Committee and the International Service Committee.
It is important to understand that there is no direct relationship or cross-funding between the local club foundation and the international foundation – except if the local foundation nominates and makes contributions for Paul Harris Fellows, or unless the local foundation contributes to a project which is eligible for matching funds by Rotary International.