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October has seen the completion of our Club visitation program. All 49 clubs have been a treat to visit and hear of the past, present and planned work that you are engaged in to make your community a better place.  Thank you for the wonderful hospitality you have shown Janne and me as we visited your Clubs and a special thankyou from Janne for the great support of her Operation Cleft Project. We continue to be amazed at the generosity of Rotarians to support worthy projects, which by their implementation Light Up Rotary, person by person as we improve the world we live in.
November is Foundation month …
As many of you will know from my visits to your Clubs, The Rotary Foundation is Rotary’s only charity.  It is the powerhouse that enables Rotary to ‘do good in the world’ on the International stage, as well as locally and nationally.
There are three funds in The Rotary Foundation:  the Annual Fund, PolioPlus and the Endowment Fund. The Foundation provides the financial support for major International projects as well as providing support for those projects done by Clubs through District and Global Grants. 
Contributions to the Endowment Fund are invested in perpetuity and only the interest is used to fund ongoing operations.  Donations we make to the Endowment Fund will continue to provide for Rotary projects long after we have gone.  It is a great way to provide support for many years.  You might like to consider supporting the Endowment Fund by leaving a bequest in your will.  A bequest of USD1000 makes you a Benefactor, while bequests over this amount are recognised by membership of the Bequest Society.
Contributions to the PolioPlus Fund are used exclusively to support Rotary’s fight to eradicate Polio from the World.  There are no administration costs so every dollar donated finds its way to provide vaccinations for the children of the World.  Currently every dollar donated to the Fund through The Foundation attracts two dollars from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; a wonderful way to maximise your contribution.
 
Contributions to the Annual Fund allow Rotary to support major humanitarian projects, in water and sanitation, maternal and child health, education to name just a few, as well as funding Districts to enable Clubs to do projects at the local and national levels.  All of the funds donated are invested for a period of three years.  Then, 50% is used to fund Rotary International projects, such as the Peace Fellows Program, and 50% comes back to the District to be used in District and Global Grant support.  I wonder what other charity gives you back 50% of your donation to use in whatever way you think appropriate?  The cost for administering The Annual Fund is currently only 2.3% per annum, comparing favourably with more than most other funds.  For example, one of Australia’s best performing charities is Care Australia where the cost of raising funds is 6%.  Recently, Charity Navigator, one of the most respected charity evaluators in the United Sates, rated The Rotary Foundation with its maximum four-star rating.  This is the seventh consecutive four-star rating for The Foundation; only 2% of charities rated by Charity Navigator have achieved this distinction.  You can be confident your contributions to your Foundation – your charity – are well-managed and end up where you intend they should.
There are many ways you can support your Foundation.
Every Rotarian Every Year is a program encouraging Rotarians to contribute every year.  It doesn’t matter how much you donate; every dollar helps.  Perhaps you could add a couple of dollars to your meeting fee and ask the Club Secretary to remit this on your behalf to The Foundation.
The Centurion Program recognises Rotarians who donate AUD100 each year, while the Sustaining Member recognises a contribution of USD100 each year.  That’s only about $2 each week!
For less than the price of a good cup of coffee, Rotarians can become members of the Paul Harris Society where members contribute USD1000 each year.  The contribution can be made as a lump sum, or in increments.  Like many others, I have authorised $100 to be deducted from my credit card each month.  I hardly know it’s gone!
While I know we live in difficult economic time, we are very fortunate in Australia to have been spared from many of the financial woes affecting other parts of the World.  Perhaps we can provide support to those less fortunate than ourselves by contributing to The Rotary Foundation.  All contributions over $2 made through the Australian Rotary Foundation Trust are tax deductible.
Won’t you join me in supporting our Foundation?
Contributions can be made either through your Club or by contacting the Rotary International Office in Parramatta.  PDG Bruce Allan (8894 9840 bruce.allen@rotary.org ) or Mark Anderson (8894 9841 mark.anderson@rotary.org ) will be delighted to assist you in your support of our Foundation.
Cheers DGCharlie