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Focusing Our Impact


As we look to the future, we continue to build on Rotary’s core values and develop dynamic partnerships to create lasting, positive change in communities worldwide. A cause-driven approach to Foundation grants increases our impact.

In Ghana, Rotary members partner with USAID and national and local government agencies in a large-scale USD$4 million program to improve access to clean water and sanitation services. 2019.

2009: Rotary-USAID Partnership

Our unique public-private partnership with the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID) begins in 2009. It combines our members’ business skills and community leadership with USAID’s technical expertise and government relationships to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene.

2013: New grant model focuses on impact

The Foundation rolls out a simplified grant model that includes district and global grants. The matching grant, ambassadorial scholar, and Group Study Exchange programs are discontinued.

  1. Rotary members in Tamil Nadu, India, use a global grant to equip a new hospital with oxygen supplies, intensive care unit beds, and dialysis beds during a surge of COVID-19 cases in 2019.

  2. In Korea, Rotary members use a global grant to provide horticultural facilities and a vocational training program for students with intellectual disabilities, autism, and emotional disabilities in 2014.

  3. A global grant-supported microcredit program offers loans and business training to women in Honduras in 2013.

  4. Residents in the village of Tonosuano, Ghana, have improved access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, through a project that installed wells and trained community members to operate and repair them in 2013.

  5. A project between clubs in Brazil and Japan provides equipment for a neonatal intensive care unit and prenatal care workshops in Brazil's Ribeira Valley.

  6. At Emcee Skool in Chicago, Illinois, USA, in 2021 young adults learn about the origins of hip-hop, the fundamentals of the music business, and how they can harness their craft to serve as a positive asset to their community through violence prevention and restorative justice.

  7. Members of Rotary clubs in Costa Rica and the U.S. partner in 2019 with the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) to support an ecotourism cooperative in Costa Rica through business and aquaponic gardening training.

2014: Progress against polio

India was once thought to be one of the most challenging places to end polio. In 2014, India goes three full years without a case of polio caused by the wild polio virus and the World Health Organization (WHO) South-East Asia region is certified polio free. In Nigeria sustained efforts to vaccinate children, who previously couldn’t be reached because of a lack of security in the country’s northern states, finally results in that country reaching the three year milestone. The WHO African region is certified wild poliovirus-free in 2020.

  1. During a weeklong campaign to vaccinate children against polio in Uttar Pradesh, India, in 2019, Rotary members, health workers, and other volunteers operate more than 1,500 immunization booths.

  2. A Rotary member teams up with a local health worker during Subnational Immunization Days in Uttar Pradesh, India, in 2019. Continued immunization in places that have stopped the transmission of the wild polio virus is necessary to eradicate polio.

  3. Technicians take water samples Bhalswa Lake in Delhi, India, to test for poliovirus at the National Environmental Polio Laboratory in 2019. Ongoing environmental surveillance is an important part of the polio eradication strategy.

  4. A group of volunteer community mobilizers during a polio immunization campaign in Borno State, Nigeria, in 2019. Local volunteers help immunization efforts by addressing cultural barriers and fostering community education.

  5. Health workers prepare supplies for a door-to-door polio immunization campaign in Borno State, Nigeria, in 2019. The cooler is vital for keeping the polio vaccine cold and useable.

A community health worker in Zambia tests a patient for malaria with a rapid diagnostic test kit. Health workers use bicycles and mobile phones to report cases and share data with the national health system.

2019: Programs of Scale supports large-scale initiatives

The Foundation creates Programs of Scale in 2019 to support evidence-based programs that have already demonstrated success. This highly selective grant provides members with longer-term resources to implement large-scale, high-impact programs in Rotary's areas of focus. In 2021, Partners for a Malaria-Free Zambia is named as the first Programs of Scale recipient.

Explore more of Rotary's history