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We’ve been chasing our dream
for over 30 years now, and
while we sometimes get a
little frustrated about the fact
that we haven’t yet achieved
our objective, maybe it’s
time to look at the facts and
start taking pride in what we
As the 3H grant in the
eradicated polio from that
country, the world was facing
the huge task of dealing with
over 1000 reported cases a
day. In spite of the enormity of that task, we took
it on in 1985 and we took it on alone. We not
only believed it could be done, but we believed it
should be done.
Of course, it didn’t take long for our partners to
join us. They saw the impact we were having and
started to believe eradication was in fact a reality,
rather than a dream. The Global Polio Eradication
Initiative was formed in 1988 as a public/private
partnership that included Rotary, The World Health
Organisation, the US Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, UNICEF, the Bill and Melinda
Gates Foundation, and governments of the world.
Rotary’s focus is advocacy, fundraising, volunteer
recruitment and awareness-building. We made
progress, but the progress was slow and funding
played a large part in that.
We never lost faith and we continued to give.
By the time the world is certified polio-free,
Rotary’s contributions towards polio eradication
will exceed US$2 billion, including over US$985
million in matching funds from the Bill and Melinda
And when you think about the 100,000 cases a
day at the beginning, just remember that we only
had 22 cases for the whole of last year, and just
three cases so far this year. You helped make that
happen, but we need to keep the pressure on. I’ll
keep giving my $50 a month to polio, because,
if we fail, within 10 years there will be 200,000
children paralysed by polio each year. I don’t want
to tell my grandchildren we failed!
PDG Bruce Allen
A BIG DEAL
Grants make ideas a reality
The new grant model comes up frequently during
my visits with Rotarians throughout the world.
It is always disappointing to learn that a club
or district lacks interest in participating in
What are the reasons I hear most often?
Global grants are too complicated. They take
too much work, require too much money. Or the
available pool of District Designated Funds (DDFs)
may not be large enough to meet the demand.
Yet the numbers tell a story that can be perceived as positive.
During 2016-17 – The Rotary Foundation’s centennial year – 1260
global grants were awarded; an eight per cent increase over the
previous year. And the figures for the first half of this Rotary year
are running ahead of last year.
Your ongoing feedback and suggestions have helped make a
difference. Numerous upgrades have been made to the global
grant online application process. The time it takes to process global
grants has been significantly reduced. In 2016-17, the average was
129 business days from the time a grant application was submitted
to the first payment. The average was 107 business days for 2017-
18 as of February 1.
If your club has not participated in a global grant, I urge you
to take another look at the resources now available. Start by
looking at the newly redesigned Rotary Grant Centre at grants.
rotary.org. Explore the comprehensive resources linked in the
Our Foundation’s outstanding grants staff want to help, drawing
on their expertise and TRF’s collective experience. Establish a
relationship with the staff contact for your project district. The
Rotary Support Centre can provide contact information within one
business day (email@example.com).
The Rotary Foundation’s Cadre of Technical Advisers is a group
of volunteer Rotarians who also provide technical expertise and
advice to Rotarians planning and carrying out Rotary projects. If
you would like to receive guidance on project planning early in the
process, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A critical role of the Trustees is to listen. Rotary members
have spoken. Together, we are a powerful force of volunteers
who identify needs and respond with generosity, creativity and
passion. Rotary grants provide us with a unique opportunity to
bring ideas to reality and to make a lasting impact, whether
locally or globally.
Foundation Trustee Chair
What are your
challenges? I want to
hear your thoughts.
Email me at
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