In recognition of Rotary Foundation Month, our own Mike Olsaver, past president and veteran committee chair of the club’s RI Foundation, spoke to us about the monies raised and its goals. This foundation, of course, is separate from the Adrian Foundation which is chaired by Mark Murray, Mike pointed out.


The RI Foundation is a 4-Star Charity (THE highest rating!) according to Charity Navigator, Mike said. The Foundation gives 91% of the money that it spends directly to important programs worldwide. The other 9% covers administrative fees. Mike then showed a video produced by Rotary International. Here is some of what it spoke about: The Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world. During the past 100 years, the Foundation has spent $3 billion on life-changing, sustainable projects.


It went on to say: At the 1917 convention, outgoing Rotary president Arch Klumph proposed setting up an endowment “for the purpose of doing good in the world.” That one idea, and an initial contribution of $26.50, set in motion a powerful force that has transformed millions of lives around the globe. There are 6 areas of focus that are causes the RI Foundation supports around the world. Through our service projects, peace fellowships, and scholarships, our members are taking action to address the underlying causes of conflict, including poverty, inequality, ethnic tension, lack of access to education, and unequal distribution of resources.


Further it said: Rotary also expands access to quality care, so mothers and children everywhere can have the same opportunities for a healthy future. An estimated 5.9 million children under the age of five die each year because of malnutrition, inadequate health care, and poor sanitation — all of which can be prevented.


Each year, Mike said, the RI Foundations takes in about $100M and in return distributes $105M for humanitarian and educational programs (6 areas of focus – Promote Peace, Fighting Disease, Providing Clean Water, Saving Mothers & Children, Education and Growing Local Economies) around the world. The additional $5M is interest generated from investments on the monies raised.


Rotary has Peace Institutes around the world, Mike said, where scholars learn about such things as conflict resolution so that we as a world can resolve our issues peacefully rather than through conflict. The second video clip Mike showed dealt with clean water. Here is some of what it addressed: Rotary doesn’t just build wells and walk away. Rotary members also integrate water, sanitation, and hygiene into education projects. When children learn about disease transmission and practice good hygiene, they miss less school. And they can take those lessons home to their families, expanding our impact.


Mike said that our club’s goal each year through the “Every Rotarian Every Year” program is $6,000. We have actually raised more than that over the past several years thanks to the generosity of our members. Mike said that if we want to participate in the District’s Matching Grant Program, we have to meet that goal. Among some of the programs our club has participated in through RI with grant money include: Donation to Ghana, the 3rd Day Farm Project, renovations of the Pathways & Interconnections facility. Mike concluded by telling members that they can go online to set up automatic deductions to RI directly. Should you want to know how to do this you can contact Mike or Yours Truly for written instructions. Thanks, Mike for all you do for the RI Foundation and our club.