Glen Christiansen is Past President of the Rotary Club of Brantford Sunrise, Chair of the Rotary Leadership Institute and co-chair of the Foundation Committee (both D7090). The Rotary Fund (TRF) is the charitable arm of Rotary International. It belongs to each Rotarian around the world. It is the heart of Rotary, the engine that powers so many Rotary projects because it transforms your gifts into tangible actions.
Whether it is eradicating polio, promoting peace or doing projects in our seven areas of focus the TRF has been there for 100 years and funded over 4 billion dollars US worth of activity. The Foundation has been rated 4 stars by Charity Navigator for the past 13 years. The TRF is also able to collaborate with other foundations and institutions (e.g. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) to achieve optimum results.
There are 3 key arms of TRF: Endowment Fund, Annual Fund and the Permanent Fund.  Today Glen focused his presentation on the Annual Fund.
The Annual Fund is used for a variety of purposes. One is Global Grants. A Global Grant will help fund such projects as the library project Bob Morrow has proposed for our club in conjunction with the RC of Nairobi Madaraka. The Annual Fund also supports District Designated Funds. These funds are used at the local level for projects that club(s) based such as the DVSRC placement of the Steam Hammer at the Dundas Museum and Archives several years ago. The Annual Fund also supports projects for peace.

The challenge is that requests for grants have doubled since 2013 yet the fund has not. And currently the requests now almost match the fund. So the good news is Rotarians as people of action have project ideas to better the world and their own communities; the bad news, as the number of Rotarians declines (in D7090) and the giving drops  (COVID has impacted this disproportionately especially in our club) the ability to continue funding is in jeopardy. The grants that clubs seek fund a host of projects. Glen gave some D7090 examples of bike repair stations in Hamburg N.Y. and I Pad’s to the All Bridges Learning Centre in Brantford.
He shared several videos as to illustrate the impact of Rotary grants.
Applying for a grant, whether District or Global, is a detailed process. First, a club may only qualify for application if at least two club members attend the Grant Application Training. This must be done each year and certified and submitted to the District Foundation team. 

The Niagara region Rotary Clubs working together addressed the challenge of a PPE shortage in early 2020. They proposed repurposing a fruit sterilizer into a mask sterilizer. To do this, they reached out to clubs in Brazil, Bolivia and St Maarten (previously Vocational Training Team trips and the District Floating Conference in the Caribbean probably helped) and secured over 33,000 dollars in Global Grants and combined with clubs and District Grants yielded the 60,000 dollars needed for the project, an outstanding example of “together we are better”.
At the moment our club’s per capita giving is lower than the D7090 average of $138 per person and far lower than $344 per person for the Canadian average. Our club has made generous contributions in the past because we support the Foundation in our annual club budget. However, the last two years the monies to the Annual fund have lessened. We have continued to support the Polio Plus initiatives including answering the challenges set by Thie Convery. This year we are asking you to consider making a personal donation.

Glen explained that we may donate easily by going to If online doesn’t suit, The Rotary Foundation will take a cheque! Glen has set “recurring contribution” on his” My” page so that he doesn’t have to worry about forgetting – but we suggest your birthday as a day to remember to give back to others. Glen’s final pitch was to consider leaving a legacy to the TRF.