The Rotary Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation funded solely by voluntary contributions from members and friends of Rotary who support its mission to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace. Using Rotary Foundation grants, Rotary’s 34,000 clubs across the globe develop and carry out sustainable humanitarian projects and provide scholarships and professional training opportunities that promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, sustain mothers and children, improve education, and strengthen local economies.
The Foundation is a worldwide leader in the effort to eradicate polio through its partnership with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. When Rotary launched its PolioPlus program in 1985, more than 350,000 people were afflicted with polio each year, and the disease was endemic in more than 125 countries.
Since 1988, Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative have immunized over 2.5 billion children, reducing the incidence of polio by 99 percent and eradicating it from all but three countries. Rotary has contributed more than US$1 billion and many thousands of hours to the eradication effort.
The Foundation also funds the training of hundreds of peacemakers through the Rotary Peace Centers program, which enables fellows to pursue a master’s degree or professional certificate at one of Rotary’s partner universities. Through academic training, study, and practice, the fellows become leaders who promote peace and aid conflict resolution in their communities and around the world.