In many ways, the Rotary Foundation is the life blood of our organisation.

A century-old institution that’s been pivotal in realising dreams as big and diverse as ending polio throughout the world, and enriching kids in southern New Zealand by ensuring they have reading books they might not otherwise have had.

Watch our video to get an overview of the good Rotary does in our world.


Foundation Grants

Using Rotary Foundation grants, our 34,000 clubs worldwide develop and carry out sustainable humanitarian projects, and provide scholarships and professional training to promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, sustain mothers and children, improve education, and strengthen local economies.

As well as supporting major international campaigns, such as ending polio, the Foundation provides crucial grants to our homegrown causes here in the lower South Island, Rotary District 9980.  Supplementing our own fundraising efforts, the Foundation’s made possible countless local initiatives, most recently our District's Cyber-Bullying Prevention Programme, which was launched in 2015.

Supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share Rotary’s vision of a better world, it’s a credit to those who’ve headed the Foundation through the past century that the amount donate each year continues to grow. 
What’s more, over 90 percent of funds raised go directly to programmes and services, just part of why the Foundation has a top four-star rating from charity analysts Charity Navigator. Clubs access Foundation grants through a clear and transparent application process.  To find out more contact a local club
Click to view the History of the Rotary Foundation


As well as awarding grants around the world, district and global grants totalling in the hundreds of millions each year, the Rotary Foundation runs three targeted programmes: Vocational Training Teams, Scholarships and Polio Plus.
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Generous scholarship funding is provided through the Rotary Foundation Global Grant. The scholarship funds graduate-level coursework or research covering anywhere from one to four academic years. Hundreds of peacemakers are trained 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. Through academic training, study, and practice, the fellows become leaders who promote peace and aid conflict resolution in their communities and around the world.
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Vocational Training Teams


A Vocational Training Team comprises a group of Rotary-sponsored professionals who travel to another country either to learn more about their profession, or to teach local professionals about a particular field, or to learn more about their own.

Building on the Foundation’s long-standing commitment to professional development, the programme, which can be funded through district and global grants, continues to greatly help host communities solve problems and improve the quality of life. 
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Polio Plus


The worldwide elimination of polio has been Rotary’s top priority since 1985.

Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, the World Health Organisation and the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, have immunised more than 2.5 billion children, reducing the incidence of polio by 99 percent. For its part, Rotary has contributed more than $1 billion and many thousands of hours to the eradication effort.

Today, we’re right on the cusp of making history. Polio is set to become only the second human disease ever to be eliminated from the world (smallpox was the first).
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