International Service

The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International

Through Foundation grants and programs, Rotarians and other contributors can help change the world. They can finance a well for a village that lacks clean water, improve the environment, or provide scholarships to educate the next generation. The grants and programs available to Rotarians allow them to realize Rotary’s humanitarian mission throughout the world, including its number-one goal of eradicating polio.

Polio Plus

To eradicate polio, Rotarians have been mobilized by the hundreds of thousands. They’re working to ensure that children are immunized against this crippling disease and that surveillance is strong despite the poor infrastructure, extreme poverty, and civil strife of many countries. Since the Polio Plus program’s inception in 1985, more than two billion children have received the oral polio vaccine. Rotary’s US$200 Million Challenge is the Rotary Foundation’s response to the two grants totaling $355 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help eradicate polio. The Rotary Foundation has received a $100 million Gates Foundation grant, which Rotary will raise funds to match, dollar-for­ dollar, over three years. Rotary will spend the initial$100 million within one year in direct support of immunization activities carried out by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), a partnership spearheaded by the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and UNICEF.

Polio plus Grants

Primarily applied for by National Polio plus Committee chairs or a major partner agency, such as the World Health Organization or UNICEF. Support is available for eradication efforts in polio-endemic, recently endemic, and high-risk countries, including National Immunization Days, polio virus transmission monitoring and other activities.

The Rotary Foundation is Rotary’s charitable organization.

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.

Humanitarian Grants Program

Humanitarian grants are available from the Rotary Foundation to assist Rotary clubs support the mission of the Rotary Foundation.

There are two main grant types.

District Grants

These grants can be used for a wide variety of activities, including but not limited to, funding scholarships, supporting vocational teams, sponsoring volunteer service, providing disaster relief and for carrying out community and international service projects. Global Grants Global grants support larger international projects with sustainable high impact outcomes in one of 6 areas of focus that correspond to the Foundation’s mission statement.


  • Peace and conflict resolution
  • Maternal and child healthcare
  • Water and sanitation
  • Education and basic Literacy
  • Economic and community development
  • Disease prevention and treatment.

Global grants that are developed by clubs and/or Rotary Districts will receive a matching grant from the Foundation’s world fund. These grants can also be used to sponsor scholars or
vocational training teams studying or working in the areas of focus or to develop larger scale humanitarian projects with other pilot clubs and districts in other countries.

Educational Programs

Ambassadorial Scholarships

The Foundation sponsors one of the largest international scholarship programs in the world. Scholars study in a different country, where they serve as unofficial ambassadors of goodwill. Since 1947, more than 47,000 scholars from 110 countries have received scholarships of more than $476million through The Rotary Foundation.

Vocational Training Team(VTT)

Global grants may be used to fund vocational trainings in an effort to support the capacity building of a benefiting community. The type of training may be most beneficial in conjunction with a humanitarian project to help sustain its sustainability. GlobaI grants may also support vocational training teams, groups of professionals traveling abroad to either
learn about their profession or teach local professionals about a particular field. A vocational training team may be multivocational but must share a common purpose in support of an area of focus. Each team must consist of a minimum of one Rotarian team leader and three non Rotarian team members with no maximum limit on the number of participants. There are no age restrictions on participants or time restrictions on length of stays while abroad.

Rotary Peace Fellowships

Each year, up to 60 scholars are sponsored to study at one of the seven Rotary Centers for International Studies in peace and conflict resolution for a master’s-level degree. Sign up for The Peace Net newsletter, which provides a forum for the Rotary Centers community. A further 3 month certificate course in Peace and Conflict studies for professional development is also available at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok Thailand. The Rotary Peace and Conflict Studies Program offers a rare professional development opportunity for midcareer professionals in fields related to conflict resolution and peace building. Up to 25 participants from around the world experience an intensive 3 month course at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand’s oldest university ranked one of the top universities in Asia.

Disaster Recovery

Allows Rotarians to donate money in response to specific disasters. Funds are distributed to local committees to support recovery efforts. The program was created in 2005-06,and the Foundation currently administers four Disaster Recovery accounts: Hurricanes Stan and Wilma (Guatemala and Mexico).Hurricane Wilma (United States}.the Earthquake in India and Pakistan, and Solidarity in South Asia.