Greetings Fellow Rotarians. Welcome to Rotary Foundation Month!!
Back in 1956, The Rotary International Board of Directors designated a week in November urging all clubs “to devote a program to the Rotary Foundation.”  In 1982, the Board determined that the entire month of November should be dedicated to the Foundation.
When one looks back at the momentous 1917 Rotary Convention (held in Atlanta, GA), it is difficult to see what could have been contentious about the words of then-Rotary President Arch C. Klumph: “It seem eminently proper that we should accept endowments for the purpose of doing good in the world.”  Yet, at the time, support for the idea was far from unanimous.  Some thought an endowment fund would create more trouble than it was worth.  But Klumph’s idea received the support it needed in the form of an in initial donation of $26.50 from the Rotary Club of Kansas City, MO.
103 years later, we recognize Klumph’s idea as not only visionary, but revolutionary:  It set in place the mechanism that allowed Rotary to become the vast force for “doing good in the world” that it is today.
I’ll take a risk here – I think our Rotary Foundation is the foundation of Rotary as we know it.  It has created a mechanism for cooperation and partnership among clubs and between Rotary and other organizations; it has enabled us to be ever more ambitious in our work and to reach for goals of historic proportion, such as the eradication of polio.  It is impossible to quantify the good that has been done over the last century as a result of The Rotary Foundation.  All we can know for sure is that Arch Klumph, if he could see us, would be proud.
Many of our clubs celebrate Rotary Foundation Month by having special events and activities.  What is your club doing?  If you are looking for a bit of guidance, may I humbly suggest three activities that I recommend.
The first is to hold an event for your entire community that spotlights the Rotary Foundation’s 103 years of Doing Good in the World.  Perhaps use your Social Media resources to recall the events your Club has sponsored around the community and world.  Second, plan and sponsor a project that addresses a critical problem.  It could be done from locally raised funds, or you might seek a global grant.  There are so many options to choose from – from providing clean water, to ensuring basic education for girls in every part of the world, to tackling an environmental opportunity.
The third activity I recommend is for every Rotarian to make a donation to the Rotary Foundation.  Let’s not forget that The Rotary Foundation belongs to all of us.  You and I provide the funding for just about every bit of good that our Foundation is doing in the world – and has been doing for more than a century.  Let’s make sure we continue that tradition for generations to come.
Bill Pritchard
6250 District Governor 2020-2021