At our meeting of December 6, former District Governor Carl Kaliszewski, pictured here at left, discussed how our donations to the Rotary Foundation enable us to make a difference by Doing Good in the World.  Donations fund Global Grants, local and international projects through matching grants, and Rotary's signature program, Polio Plus. For the 2016 - 2017 Rotary year, the 100th year of the Rotary Foundation, Clubs in District 7910 contributed $205,000 to the Annual Fund and an additional $1.3 million for endowments and major gifts. As a Club, Westborough Rotary's per capita contribution exceeded $200 per member, resulting in a total contribution in excess of $13,000. For 2017-18, the District goal is to generate $300,000 for the Annual Fund, and a two year total of $2,000,000 for major gifts and endowment.   Fifty percent of all donations to Rotary's Annual Fund are returned to each District for use by Clubs to support projects here at home and abroad.  With matching grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for Polio Plus, and from Rotary International for Global Grants, our contributions to the Rotary Foundation are multiplied up to three fold. 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 leading charitable fund rating site Charity Navigator rates the Rotary Foundation four stars, the maximum possible, with scores of 100% for financial management, transparency and accountability.  Of funds raised, 91% go directly to charitable programs, making the Foundation one of the most efficient charitable organizations operating today.  Of the approximately $250 million disbursed this past year, $115MM went to support Polio eradication, bringing our total contribution to over one billion dollars. Additionally, approximately $100MM went toward District & Global Grants, and $34MM supported a range of additional causes, including the training of hundreds of peacemakers through the Rotary Peace Center program, which enables fellows to pursue a master's degree or professional certificate at one of Rotary's partner universities.
In his presentation, Carl acknowledges that we may never meet the people nor see the direct results of our contributions personally.  He does, however, relate a story from his Church upbringings that demonstrates how our donations really do provide tangible benefits.  For this, along with some of Carl's humorous anecdotes, see his entire presentation on our Facebook page.
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