Posted by Pete Leenhouts on Nov 04, 2019

A portion of the money we donate to The Rotary Foundation is made available for us to use in the form of grants. Working within the framework of our six Causes, Rotary members contribute their skills, expertise, and resources to help solve some of the world’s toughest problems. From providing clean water to promoting peace worldwide, Rotary Foundation grants bring our local and global service project ideas to life. This entry provides a brief background to the two types of grants we use as a Club, global and district community grants.

The Rotary Foundation funds several types of grants, two of which our Club uses. The two types are Global Grants, and District Community Grants (DCG's).  

Our Club, like most, has local grant programs that are not funded by The Rotary Foundation. The Local Grants Committee is chaired by Karen Griffith. We also raise and spend money for priorities our Club considers important, such as scholarships for Chimacum High School students. The Scholarship Committee is chaired by Chuck Boggs. These committees and activities are not funded by our donations to The Rotary Foundation.

Global grants support large international activities with sustainable, measurable outcomes in Rotary’s areas of focus. We are encouraged to work together with other Clubs to respond to needs within the supported community. Global grants may fund humanitarian projects, scholarships for graduate-level academic studies, and vocational training teams, which are groups of professionals who travel abroad either to teach local professionals about their field or to learn more about it themselves. Most global grants address large-scale challenges found outside the boundaries of the United States. 

The minimum budget for a global grant project is $30,000. The Foundation provides a minimum of $15,000 and maximum of $200,000. Clubs and districts contribute funds and/or cash contributions to a developing project, and individual Rotarians may donate to a global grant once it has been approved.   

Global grants are fairly complicated entities, given the amount of funding involved, the extensive coordination required, and the time and effort they require for success. They yield significant and long-lasting benefits to the supported local community.  The Rotary International Global Grants webpage provides a great deal more information. There are hundreds of global grants in action at any given time in Rotary.

In August, our Board approved allocating $2,000 to support the global grant under development, "Dignity Toilets for Togo". President Paul Wynkoop has facilitated the development of this global grant via the leadership of the Norwester Rotary Club of Port Angeles. All seven Olympic Peninsula Rotary clubs are supporting this grant under development. We will contribute this money when the global grant is approved for execution by The Rotary Foundation (TRF).

The global grant we most recently supported was a project to dig fresh-water wells and help to establish water distribution systems in rural Honduras. Previous global projects our Club has supported have included building bathrooms and hand-washing stations in rural Ecuador, a water treatment facility in Thailand, and the dental clinic in Kenya which member John Barrett continues to support on an annual basis.

In contrast to global grants, District Community Grants (DCG's) are local projects funded with a combination of money contributed by the Club and our Rotary District, District 5020.  District grants fund small-scale, short-term activities that address needs in our community and communities abroad. We can use district community grants to fund a variety of district and club projects and activities, as well as humanitarian projects, including service travel and disaster recovery efforts; scholarships for any level, length of time, location, or area of study;  youth programs, including Rotary Youth Exchange, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), Rotaract, and Interact; and vocational training teams.

District Community Grants are year-long projects, much less complicated to develop than global grants. DCG’s are developed a year in advance of their approval and execution, and are approved for execution and completion within the following Rotary Year (in other words, start in July, complete no later than the following June).  DCG's may involve projects requiring up to $7,000, half of which the Club itself must contribute. So, most Clubs have one project in execution and one or two projects in development at any given time.

Our current project is construction of the Rotary Horticulture Pavilion at Chimacum High School, led by Paul Wynkoop and Morris James. There are thousands of District Community Grants approved by Rotary Districts every year.

In the next installment, we'll look more closely at how the Club's donation goals are developed, and what we donate to The Rotary Foundation as Rotarians.   

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