Future Vision the catalyst for change
Rotary Foundation Trustee Vice Chair Ron Burton tells incoming district governors that the Future Vision Plan will help Rotary and the Foundation reach new heights. Photo by Rotary Images/Monika Lozinska-Lee
The Future Vision Plan is the catalyst that will help Rotary and The Rotary Foundation reach new heights, Trustee Vice Chair Ron Burton told incoming district governors at the International Assembly in San Diego, California, USA, on Tuesday afternoon.
The Future Vision Plan offers simplified and streamlined procedures and more ownership of Foundation activities at the local level. Burton acknowledged that such dramatic change can sometimes bring discomfort, but he believes the plan’s benefits will erase any initial reservations.
“The Rotary Foundation’s programs have not changed significantly since they were established,” Burton said. “Yet the world has changed significantly since these programs first started. The Foundation has to remain relevant to address priority world needs of those most in need: the children, the poor, the hungry, and the less fortunate with limited resources and opportunities.”
In anticipation of The Rotary Foundation’s 100-year anniversary in 2017, the Trustees set out to develop a plan to move the Foundation toward its second century of service. The Future Vision Plan pilot, which begins 1 July 2010, is a three-year test of the new grant structure that simplifies the process into two types of grants: Rotary Foundation District Grants and Rotary Foundation Global Grants.
District governors-elect will have an opportunity after the assembly to apply to be a pilot district. The pilot district application is available through Member Access.
The pilot is “a critical step in validating the strategies and assumptions in the plan,” Burton told the incoming governors. “We are confident in the plan, but we also recognize that it will have challenges and unknowns that will be addressed and evaluated by the districts that agree to participate in the pilot.”
Burton admitted that some aspects of the plan may need adjusting. “But I believe we need to change and recognize that the Future Vision Plan is moving our Foundation in the right direction,” he said.
District governors-elect had mixed opinions about the plan. Arlan Gadeken, of District 5080 (part of British Columbia, Canada; parts of Idaho and Washington, USA), said his district won’t be applying for the pilot because it doesn’t want to lose the relationships it already has with other districts on grant projects.
“It seemed too complicated to us to make sure all those districts were entering into the pilot,” Gadeken said. (Read about how pilot and nonpilot districts can work together.)
Martin Gudde, of District 1130 (England), said his district plans to apply for the pilot, but he still wants more details on the specifics. He’s also concerned the plan could change substantially before it’s finalized.
“Our mission is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty,” Burton said. “That’s what the Future Vision Plan is all about.”
“This will all be made possible because of your efforts and the efforts of Rotarians worldwide to help improve our Foundation.”