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 seven 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 service project ideas to life.

 

Our Club, like most, has a local grant program that is not funded by The Rotary Foundation. We also raise and spend money for priorities our Club considers important, such as scholarships for Chimacum High School students. These committees and activities are not funded by our donations to The Rotary Foundation.

The Rotary Foundation funds a number of different types of grants, two of which our Club employs on a routine basis. The two types are Global Grants, and District Community Grants (DCG's).  

Global grants support large international activities with sustainable, measurable outcomes in Rotary’s areas of focus. Clubs are encouraged to work together to respond to needs within the supported community. Most global grants address large-scale challenges found outside the boundaries of the United States. 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. 

The minimum budget for a global grant project is $30,000. The Foundation provides a minimum of $15,000 and maximum of $300,000. 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.  There are hundreds of global grants in action at any given time in Rotary.

Our most recent Global Grant was a project supporting the construction of composting toilets for a village in the African country of Togo. Our project prior to that was supporting construction of fresh-water wells and water distribution systems in rural Honduras. Previous global projects our Club has supported have included establishing bathrooms and hand-washing stations in rural Ecuador, a water treatment facility in Thailand, and a dental clinic in Kenya,  Africa. We are beginning to develop a follow-on global grant to support the construction of composting toilets for another village in the African country of Togo.  

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.

District Community Grants are year-long projects, much less complicated to develop than global grants. DCG’s are generally 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 most recent District Community Grant supported our construction of the Horticulture Pavilion at Chimacum High School. We are currently developing a DCG to support construction of two Tiny Houses in partnership with the Port Townsend Noon Rotary Club and the Community Boat Project in Port Hadlock. There are thousands of District Community Grants approved by Rotary Districts every year.

In the next installment, we'll look more closely at what we donate to The Rotary Foundation as Rotarians.