President Tanaka, in his monthly comment said, “I think of our Foundation literally – as the foundation for all of Rotary.” It is through the Foundation that Rotary is “Doing Good in the World”.

November ThemeSo it should be no surprise when Rotary establishes a month whose theme is dedicated to reminding clubs to review their giving goals and just as importantly, their plans to use grants to support both their local and international projects.

On a more personal level it also calls on each Rotarian to review his or her own giving plans. With the Every Year, Every Rotarian promotion campaign Rotary asks: “Are you personally contributing $100.00 annually?” I’m pleased to say that last year as your District Governor, our average exceeded that plateau as our, per member contribution was $111.87. Let’s see if we can’t exceed that in 2012-13.

In 2011-12 The District had $16,000 available to disburse through the District Simplified Grants process for use on local projects. This money was shared by 12 clubs. Another 10 clubs received Foundation funds for larger International projects.

Big changes, however, are on the horizon for how the grant money in the future will be managed. Therefore it seems auspicious that in District 5550, November 1st and 2nd saw the World Community Services Committee and District Executive members convene in Russell, Manitoba to focus on how grants will work beginning this July 1 2013.  I’ll be leading that change as your District Rotary Foundation Chair (DRFC) for the next three years.

This is much the same in-service opportunity all clubs will have during the “Grants Management and Club Certification” workshops during November (17th Regina; 24th Winnipeg) and December (1st Saskatoon; 8th Swan River). It is important to note if your club wants to apply for a grant during 2013-14 it is mandatory that at least two members attend one of these sessions.

The chair of this year’s Rotary Foundation Board is Canadian and Past R.I. President, Wilf Wilkinson. In his November message he tells us, it is time to bring the kind of long term thinking to our grants that we have applied to the PolioPlus campaign and adds “Part of our goal in Future Vision is making sure that we focus on the long view in everything we do.” It’s a view, I fully support and one we will all have to learn to practice.