History

Our History

The mission of The Rotary Foundation 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. The Rotary Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation that is supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world.

The Foundation was created in 1917 by Rotary International’s sixth president, Arch C. Klumph, as an endowment fund for Rotary “to do good in the world.” It has grown from an initial contribution of US$26.50 to more than US$110 million contributed last year. Its event-filled history is a story of Rotarians learning the value of service to humanity.

The Foundation’s Humanitarian Programs fund international Rotary club and district projects to improve the quality of life, by providing health care, clean water, food, education, and other essential needs primarily in the developing world. One of the major Humanitarian Programs is Polio Plus, which seeks to eradicate the polio virus worldwide. Through its Educational Programs, the Foundation provides funding for some 1,200 students to study abroad each year. Grants are also awarded to university teachers to teach in developing countries and for exchanges of business and professional people.