The power of Rotary lies in our global network of community leaders and technical experts, and our exceptionally strong ethic of Service Above Self.


The Annual Fund makes it possible for Rotary clubs to transform lives around the globe. It is one of several funds managed by The Rotary Foundation.  


Broadly speaking, the Annual Fund supports Rotary humanitarian, educational, and cultural exchange programs around the world. 


Rotarians focus our service efforts in six areas to maximize our local and global impact: promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education, and growing local communities. These are called “Areas of Focus”, or “Rotary Causes”. 


Every Rotarian is encouraged to make a personal donation to the Annual Fund every year, and to participate in one of the Foundation programs. Our Club is active in many of the Rotary programs, including Global grants, District Community Grants, Alumni programs, Peace Fellowships, Rotary scholarships, the Rotary Youth Exchange program, and the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), among others. 


All donations made by Rotarians are completely voluntary.  Our Club asks each Rotarian to donate $120 each year to the Annual Fund. Most members donate more than that, while a few members donate less, each according to their circumstances. (Our Club averaged $391 per person over the past Rotary year). 


Our policy, like many clubs, is to make it possible for Rotarians to see why donating to The Rotary Foundation’s programs is important, and to make it easy to do so; we do not “twist arms” nor do we force donations. While the donation amounts each member makes are never publicized, Rotarians are recognized for their donations, most notably through the Paul Harris Fellow recognition.   


The Rotary Foundation itself has an enviable record of managing our funds, one that every Rotarian should be proud of - and one that is very closely tracked. 90.6 percent of the money we donate to the Foundation is used for the programs and services supported by the Foundation, while only 9.3 percent is used for administrative and fundraising expenses, an enviable record indeed. 


Charity Navigator rates The Rotary Foundation 4 out of 4 stars, and has done so for the past twelve years. In fact, the Foundation is ranked number two in the United States. Find out more, here:        


The Annual Fund is the primary source of funds that support The Rotary Foundation’s programs and areas of focus. Lets take a closer look at the Annual Fund itself. 

Contributions to the Annual Fund are invested for three years to generate earnings to meet the Foundation’s operating expenses.


To achieve the Fund’s objective, the portfolio is invested conservatively with an emphasis on liquidity and income over capital appreciation.


The Annual Fund portfolio is 100 percent invested in fixed income assets, and earned 2.8 percent in fiscal 2019. 


Over the past five years, the Annual Fund generated an average rate of return of 3.2 percent and grew from $421 million to $433 million. The rate of return is the total realized and unrealized capital gains, and interest and dividend income.


At the end of every Rotary year, contributions directed to the Annual Fund-SHARE from all Rotary clubs in a district are divided between the World Fund and the District Designated Fund, or DDF.   


The World Fund provides the Foundation’s portion of funding for approved grants. Through the World Fund, the Foundation Trustees can allocate funds where the needs are the greatest.  


The Foundation invests the other half of the donated funds for three years, and uses a portion of the interest generated, not the principal, to fund Foundation operations. At the end of the three year period, the Foundation disburses the funds to Rotary Districts around the world.  


Within a set of guidelines, each Rotary District decides how to use the District Designated Funds (DDF) allocated to it. The District can use these funds, which are a reflection of what was donated from that District three years earlier, to pay for Foundation, club, and district projects chosen by Rotary clubs in that District. Districts may use up to half of their DDF to fund district community grants. The remaining DDF may be used for global grants or donated to PolioPlus, the Rotary Peace Centers, or another district.


District 5020, the District to which our club belongs, allocates nearly half of the DDF to district community grant projects such as the Chimacum High School pavilion we built this past year. We access those funds by developing a local project and spending the money in its completion, up to $3,500 of which is reimbursed to us by a matching grant from the District using those DDF funds. The District also allocates funds to support sustainable global projects clubs develop, such as the seven-club project we are developing designed to help people in urban Togo, a country in Africa, build composting toilets as a way to reduce disease. The District also annually donates DDF to Rotary Peace Centers and the Polio Plus program. 

The Annual Fund is the primary source of the funds Rotarians around the globe use to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Our financial help makes all this happen, and more. Donate to the Annual Fund here: