Posted by Pete Leenhouts on Nov 06, 2018
The Grants program is central to any Foundation activity. We participate  in both the Global Grants (GG’s) and District Community Grants (DCG’s) aspects of the Grants program. John Barrett has been our lead in these areas for many years.
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 service project ideas to life.

Our Club, like most, has a local grant program that is 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 individual and Club donations to The Rotary Foundation.

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).  

It is worth pointing out that grant ideas can come from any member of the Club, and any member may develop the grant idea into an actual project. Because both types of grants involve money contributed by not only by individual Club members and the Club itself but The Rotary Foundation as well (which we'll look at in the final installment), and require the management of those funds, the Board of Directors, at a minimum, must approve the grant before it is submitted for District or Foundation approval. And, it is expected that the grant manager will keep the Board, and the Club, regularly informed of the grant's progress throughout the life of the grant.

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. The vast majority of global grants address large-scale challenges found outside the boundaries of the United States within the realm of humanitarian projects.

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 over the years the grant is active. They yield significant and long-lasting benefits to the supported local community.  The Global Grants webpage provides a great deal more information. Broadly speaking, there are hundreds of global grants in action at any given time in Rotary, for which up to 70 million dollars are allocated annually. A good overview of the broad range of global grants supported by the Foundation may be found here.

Our most recent Global Grant is a project to dig fresh-water wells and help to establish water distribution systems in rural Honduras. The work to accomplish those tasks is complete, and John Barrett is in the process of coordinating the final report. 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 the dental clinic in Kenya which John continues to support on an annual basis.

We are actively working on developing the outline of a potential global grant under the leadership of President Caleb Summerfelt, which is to help build water treatment facilities in earthquake-damaged Kathmandu, Nepal. The Board has not yet approved our application for this grant.

In contrast to global grants, District Community Grants (DCG's) are local projects funded with a combination of money contributed by the Club and, via our Rotary District (District 5020), The Rotary Foundation.  District community grants fund small-scale, short-term activities that address needs in our communities and communities abroad. We can use district community grants to fund a variety of district and club projects and activities, including 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. They 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, they generally start in July and must always be completed no later than the following June).  DCG's may involve projects requiring up to $7,000, half of which our 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 district community grant is support of the Jefferson Teen Center, being developed by John Barrett and Pete Leenhouts. President-Elect Paul Wynkoop is developing a DCG for Rotary Year 2019-2020 to support the Chimacum High School horticulture program. 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 how we donate to The Rotary Foundation as Rotarians.     






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