The Rotary Foundation

In 1917, Rotary International President Arch Klumph proposed that an endowment be set up “for the purpose of doing good in the world”. In 1928, when the endowment fund had grown to US$5,000, it was renamed “The Rotary Foundation” (TRF), and it became a distinct entity within Rotary International.

Five trustees, including Klumph, were appointed to “hold, invest, manage, and administer all of its property........ as a single trust, for the furtherance of the purposes of Rotary International”. Two years later, TRF made its first grant of US$500 to the International Society for Crippled Children.

After Rotary’s founder, Paul Harris, died in 1947, the Paul Harris Fellowship was instituted. The US$1,000 contribution for the award was directed to TRF, and such was the inflow of PHF money into the Foundation that it grew rapidly in stature. The first donation in 1917 was $27.50; contributions now exceed $1 billion. In 2003-2004 alone, $70 million flowed in.

Within TRF there are three funds;


The Annual Programs Fund which makes grants to clubs to pursue TRF’s objectives,

The Permanent Fund which is TRF’s investment core, and

The PolioPlus Fund, which provides the cash to fight the war against polio worldwide.

Polio Update


See the latest video: Click Here


TRF is the financial bloodstream of Rotary worldwide. It will give grants to clubs to enable them to undertake projects, providing the projects match the six areas of TRF focus;

    • Water and sanitation
    • Disease prevention and treatment
    • Basic education and literacy
    • Maternal and child health
    • Economic and community development
    • Peace and conflict prevention/resolution