Message from the chair -- New opportunities for the Foundation
Dear family of Rotary,
Although The Rotary Foundation has faced considerable challenges in 2008-09, I am encouraged by the many positive events of recent months.
In January, we started the application process for the Future Vision Plan pilot. The Trustees are reviewing the applications and will announce the pilot districts this month. We are pleased to see that a large number of districts are eager to help us test this simplified and focused approach to grant-making.
Also in January, Bill Gates appeared at our International Assembly and announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation had awarded Rotary another grant for polio eradication – this one for US$255 million – in addition to the $100 million grant awarded in 2007. On the same day, we learned that the governments of Germany and the United Kingdom have committed $130 million and $150 million, respectively, to eradicating polio.
Rotarians are, of course, doing their part to respond to what is now Rotary’s US$200 Million Challenge. To date, we are more than one-third of the way toward meeting the challenge, and I have no doubt that we will surpass our goal by the deadline of 30 June 2012. We can and will End Polio Now.
In March, we announced an exciting alliance with USAID. Through our International H2O Collaboration, we will be developing large-scale water and sanitation projects in countries with active Rotary clubs and a strong USAID presence. This partnership and its projects should serve as a model for the Rotary Foundation Global Grant projects that will be developed under the Future Vision Plan.
Despite the current economic challenges, The Rotary Foundation remains strong. With the support of Rotarians and the organizations that have chosen to work with us, our Foundation will continue to be a vital force for good in our troubled world.
Foundation Trustee Chair